Part 2 – Who’s the Best Politician in McHenry County?

More on the McHenry County Board discussion of a five-year contract for County Administrator Peter Austin:

Diane Evertsen

Diane Evertsen

Diane Evertsen started off, complaining about the size of the compensation, which she calculated included a 3 1/2% .

She compared that with the 3/10 of 1% raise that Social Security recipients will receive next year.

Her “Number 1” problem, however, was the five-year term of the contract.

“It’s absolutely unconscionable,” Evertsen said.

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

“‘Unconscionable’ is a good word for this,” Yvonne Barnes said.

“I can’t vote for this.

“I can’t decide whether I’m extremely sad that this is on our agenda or extremely sick this is on the agenda.

“There are no words for me that I can state in public what I feel about how this came to us and what’s included in this.

“Honestly, in my eight years on the County Board this is the most shameful resolution I have ever seen.”

Barnes pointed to a recently passed a County code for employees which included “accountability, integrity and respect.”

“I think this fails in all three areas.”

Robert Nowak

Robert Nowak

Robert Nowak was next.

He wondered why a residency requirement was not included in the contract.

Discussion led to the revelation that Administrator Austin lives in Crystal Lake.

Nowak also wondered why performance standards were not included in the contract, although he did not use that phraseology.

Tina Hill

Tina Hill

The Lake in the Hills Board member thought it would be good to have a commitment to cut the budget 5%.

Tina Hill pointed out that the County Board gave the Administrator direction “when we pass our budget policy.”

Jeff Thorsen

Jeff Thorsen

Jeff Thorsen expressed concern about the long-term nature of the contract.

“Five years.  I have a problem with that with the Board on the eve of change.

“I think the least we can do is postpone the decision until a Board that’s going to have to live with that decision can have the opportunity to weigh in.

“I have a deep concern that a Board that is partially on its way out is imposing a long-term situation on a Board we don’t even know who is.”

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler pointed out that Austin’s contract automatically was renewed if the County Board took now action.

“I thought that was not in good judgment and now we get five years.

“I would ask that we take a second long look at this.

“Mr. Austin has done a fine job as Administrator,” Wheeler said, but indicated he wanted “commitments made by Mr. Austin to the Count Board.

He then moved to table the resolution until next January.  (The new Board will be sworn in the first week of December.)

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield, who decided to run for State Representative rather than running for re-election, “completely disagree[d] with that.

“You’d rather take the opinion of someone whose been here one month over those who have been here four years?

“Be professional here,” she urged.

Hill, who also decided not the run for re-election, opting for seeking the Recorder of Deeds office, “vehemently disagree[d]” with the motion.

Pointing to her fourteen years on the Board, Hill argued that one of the reasons to vote on Tuesday “is so that it is not politicized in the next term of the County Board.

“I’m the one qualified to make that decision.”

Hill referred to Donna Kurtz speaking “eloquently” on that the need for “lack of politicization” in committee.

She argued for continuity, saying that by delaying the vote until January  and “you’re going to see everything flying all over the place.

“We are hiring a professional administrator who is not political.

“Personal agendas and politics–I just won’t stand for it!”

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

McHenry County Republican Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup agreed with not waiting.

He pointed out that “a future Board Chairman could terminate the Administrator and act as the Administrator.

“If that’s what you want and you want to take that risk, go ahead.

“We should act on it in the current term.”

= = = = =
More tomorrow.


Part 2 – Who’s the Best Politician in McHenry County? — 19 Comments

  1. There is no one in the private sector receiving a 3 1/2% increase….is the Board nuts?

    Why 5 years, again, very abusive to the taxpayer.

    In short, outrageous!

  2. This is so shameful ….. another democrat overfeeding at the McHenry Co. trough.

    Why didn’t they just give him a 50 year contract that he could pass along to his grandkids!

  3. Do you have any idea the learning curve for that job?

    You would have more worries if you didn’t lock him in and Franks fired him to take over.

  4. McHenry County Illinois is in a property tax Rate crisis, or not.

    Most homes pay over 3% in property tax rate on fair market value of homes.

    This compares to 1.4% national average.

    (Those who would argue there are compensatory ‘lower “other taxes”‘ or compensatory benefits should produce specific examples of such; two years I’ve been looking I find nothing offsetting or compensatory.)

    In Woodstock the property tax rate is 4.6% of home value which is staggering relative to national average, Indiana 1% property tax cap, and mortgage rates below 3%.

    County Administrator what say you? Which Master are you serving?

    Will you earn your quarter million (and multi-million$$$ guaranteed pension benefit) by serving those narrow few who are directed public tax dollars by your recommendation, or will you answer to those many who have been and continue to be economically devastated by your fiscal policies?

    Will You declare a Property Tax Rate Crisis in this County, and shift the burden of proof for spending onto those receiving the money?

  5. The learning curve to run a budget, based upon fiscal prudence to preserve the best interests of the community funding that budget has not been traveled by this Administrator.

  6. The budget has never used property tax rate capitalization into home values, and the actuality of a property tax rate at the highest one tenth of one percent in the nation, as a factor in budgeting decisions.

    That is naive ignorance at best, sociopathic savagery at worst.

  7. Maybe Andrew G, Mike W & Chris C would
    Comment on this meeting & some of the issues
    Brought up in Cal’s two threads about it.

  8. A couple useful sites for your edification:

    The first site is interesting because it examines the effective tax rates state by state in combination with median property value (interestingly enough, Illinois’ median home value is the same as that nationally: $175,700).

    With the fifth most pricey property tax amount paid (per this site), Illinois is 4 spots ahead of Wisconsin, but other midwestern states are considerably poorer overall, with low median home prices relatively speaking.

    Here, the effective real estate tax is 2.25% (second highest in US).

    To put this in context, exactly 25 states have an effective real estate tax under 1.00%, so the net average (1.13%) is strongly skewed to be near 1.00%. The property tax haven is Hawaii @ 0.28%, followed by Alabama at 0.43%.

    I’ll pass on living in ‘Bama, but ROLL TIDE!!!

    This site also looks at amounts paid by residents for “vehicle property taxes”, which Illinois collects zero. Sales tax is another sore spot for restaurants and products, but that’s a semi voluntary tax as you can choose not to dine in Chicago where the restaurant tax is newly 11%.

    Unfortunately, sales tax on cars follow your residence not purchase place, and even that crosses state boundaries.

    Kiplinger’s site is also interesting because they look at the best and worst states not only for property taxes, but sales, income taxes, grocery taxes, and even BEER TAXES!

    Unfortunately, there are no numerical values to compare, but the diagrams tell a curious tale.

  9. Reigning in the cost of a Public Sector bureaucrat, is like trying to kick a pit bull off a meat wagon.

  10. We are the meat wagon because the vast majority does not want to be involved, the quiet majority wants to complain.

    The remaining few of us get stomped upon!

  11. We pay his portion of IMRF contributions?

    With his quite decent wages, he should pay out of his check, both portions of the IMRF contribution.

    Come on, toss us a cookie at least.

  12. Winnebago County manager has a compensation package which is about one half of the Austin package!

  13. Oh, he tossed the taxpayers a cookie!

    He reduced his car allowance but he increased his salary by a like amount, thereby increasing his taxpayer funded IMRF contribution and his taxpayer funded employer portion of Social security plus medicare!

    btw Medicare premiums DOUBLE next year!

    Austin is not dumb but board members who voted yes are either very stupid are easily manipulated but they sure do NOT represent the taxpayers.

    Unfortunately if you vote for any Dems on the County Board, inlcuding Chair, you are making it worse!!!

    We need more HONEST conservatives to run for political office!!

  14. If the effective tax rates for Illinois are some kind of an average, it covers up the very low effective tax rates in Cook County and the very high ones in the collar counties.

  15. Property tax rates in Woodstock are 4.6% of total fair market value.

    People bring up other taxes (beer taxes, car taxes) without presenting specific examples.

    Sales tax differentials are misleading, because most people do not spend the fair market value of their home (roughly $200,000) annually on purchases subject to sales tax.

  16. Cal — you do know that median and mean (aka average) are two different things right?

    Susan — What do you mean by “compensatory”?

    Where the “other tax” produces the same revenue as the property tax?

    If so, I doubt you will find it.

    The property tax’s upside is that money is kept in local hands rather than state hands, plus I can claim it as a noticeable deduction on my federal taxes.

    Not many other taxes can be utilized in that capacity.

    I trust the local folks more so than state folks. Sales and income would be large revenue makers, but fluid as both are dependent on income.

    If people do not work, it’s harder to collect money when goods are not being sold.

    And contrary to all our neighbors, Illinois does not tax services.

  17. I know the difference between a mean and a median average.

    There is at least one service that is taxed in Illinois.

    That is the development of film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.