Al Zielinski, Linda Moore File as Grafton Township Write-Ins

The man who opponents thought was out of the running, put himself back in by filing as a write-in candidate for Grafton Township Assessor.

Assuming he filed the correct paperwork, he will need about 50 votes to win re-election.

Al Zielinski

Al Zielinski

Zielinski had been removed from the ballot by the Grafton Township Electoral Board for the infraction of not numbering his petition sheets.

After takin office, Zielinski brought underassessed neighborhoods up and lowered those that were relatively overassessed.

That infuriated those whose taxes rose, of course.

The Township Board cut the salary for the next assessor to $30,000 with pension benefits under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

The salary now is $72,162, plus IMRF pension and full benefits.

When Zielinski filed for re-election, despite the Township Board’s having cut the salary about in half, a successful objection was filed, leaving that line on the Republican Primary Election ballot empty.

Only three people filed for the four Trustee seats on the Township Board.

Two people have filed as write-ins in the February 28th GOP primary:

  • Matthew Cooper of Lake in the Hills
  • Linda Moore of Huntley

Moore ran successfully for Township Supervisor on the platform of stopping the buidling of a new township hall planned by the outgoing Township Board.

She was successful.

Trustee Betty Zirk made her argument for a new Town Hall at the Township Meeting following Linda Moore's election as Township Supervisor. Zirk did not run for re-election.

Trustee Betty Zirk made an impassioned argument for a new Town Hall at the Township Meeting following Linda Moore’s election as Township Supervisor. A motion to build a Township Hall resulted in a tie vote. Tie votes fail. Zirk did not run for re-election.

That success, however, brought much animosity from the Township Board, which unsuccessfully attempted to all but replace Moore with a Township Administrator.

Linda Moore

Linda Moore

Moore sued and won, but the drum beat of negative publicity led to her defeat in the 2013 GOP Primary Election to the ousted Township Administrator.

That Administrator lost to current Supervisor Jim Kearns, who said he would resign once he took a seat on the McHenry County Board representing District 6, the most rural part of McHenry County.  (His name is still on the Township web site).

Also filing for the empty Township Trustee seat is Iyad A. Akel, a resident of Lakewood.

He filed as an Independent, leaving the February 28th vote between Moore and Cooper.

Assuming he filed the proper documents and can marshal enough write-in votes, Zielinski will retain his office.


Al Zielinski, Linda Moore File as Grafton Township Write-Ins — 39 Comments

  1. “After takin office, Zielinski brought underassessed neighborhoods up and lowered those that were relatively overassessed.”

    This is a falsehood created by Z and no one else.

  2. During this campaign, I will counter each lie with honest, factual data.

    Others are welcomed to offer their data as long as its source is cited so it can be verified.

    The data below are from the assessor’s database when I took office in January, 2014.

    “2013 SR” is the sales ratio: the ratio of assessed value to true cash value for 2013.

    The statutory requirement is 33.33%.

    Ratios below 33.33% are under-assessed (paying less than their fair share of the property tax burden).

    Ratios above 33.33% are over-assessed (paying more than their fair share).

    ————————Very Under-Assessed Neighborhoods as of 1/1/2014————————
    Neighborhood Name…….2013 SR..Parcels..Parcels Up..Parcels Down..Max. Increase..Max. Decrease

    Hunter’s Ridge………..26.01%…..84……..74…………5……….$41,055………$12,688

    Lakes of Boulder Ridge…28.52%….135…….133…………2……….$35,593……….$5,013

    Cheswick Place………..28.89%….114…….109…………5……….$39,355………$19,081

    Country Club Addition….31.59%….275…….175………..98……….$30,644………$62,534

    Looks like what the complainers wanted was to let the less-fortunate carry the weight for one more year even though the complainers had been under-assessed since 2011 and the less-fortunate over-assessed.

    ———————–Very Over-Assessed Neighborhoods as of 1/1/2014————————
    Neighborhood Name…….2013 SR..Parcels..Parcels Up..Parcels Down..Max. Increase..Max. Decrease
    Spring Lake Farms……..35.35%….168……..13……….153………..$8,880……….$8,806

    Heritage of Huntley……35.58%….329…….273………..57……….$17,530………$31,975

    Willow’s Edge…………35.70%….165……..30……….136………..$8,240………$16,918

    Spring Lake South……..35.97%…..98………9………..89………..$8,629………$16,911



    Bell Chase Townhomes…..37.35%….152……..38……….114………..$7,305………$13,490

    Huntley Condos………..38.59%….109……..30………..79……….$14,286………$20,099

    Southwind Townhomes……38.97%….177……..21……….146……….$13,366………$14,175

    Wing Pointe Townhomes….39.56%….154………9……….145………..$9,454………$15,029

    North CL Park Beach……41.15%….150……..56………..99……….$27,217………$14,627

    Meadowbrook Impressions..41.45%….306……..23……….283………..$6,186………$16,713

    Covington Lake Townhomes.43.97%…..64………1………..64………..$6,094………$16,832

    The largest increase for Hunter’s Ridge was an arms-length purchase at $490,000.

    However, it received a county stipulation lowering it to $427,000 even though fair cash value was clearly determined via the purchase.

    It’s nice to have connections…

    This is just one blinding example of unfairness that I’ll be sharing during my campaign to help people decide how they want their township assessor’s office run.

    It’s time for ALL Grafton property owners to be treated fairly and with respect not just those with “connections.”

  3. Mr. Zielinski, those you claim have “connections” are simply those humble property owners concerned that a rogue, questionably legal non-quad re-assessment occurred during your first year in office.

    There are no “connections” other than to one another in a common fight for fairness and transparency from your office.

    Will we be discussing your near-manic lack of transparency, verbal obfuscation, and your failure to comply with a FOIA request for said transparency (and the resulting monetary settlement) during your upcoming campaign?

    Hard at work justifying your salary today, once again, by blogging.

    Once again.

  4. Z, this is all data according to you.

    And neighborhoods you changed and created.

    But the lies and manipulation are amusing.

  5. Clearly stated:

    “The data below are from the assessor’s database when I took office in January, 2014.”

  6. Mr. Zielisnki, you talk about “connections.”

    Well, an empty plot of land at 7511 Bonnie Ridge in Lakewood sold for $280,000 in 2013.

    Yet the land (eventually built on) was valued by the Grafton assessor at just under $90,000.

    Plus, the house two doors down, 9515 Turnberry, has a plot valued at $38,922.

    For a 1.4 acre plot.

    On a lake.

    Man those homeowners must have connections.

    You should investigate.

    (For the record, 9515 Turnberry is Zielinski’s declared address.)

    The more questions are asked, the more the Grafton Assessor looks like a sham.

    By the way Zielinski, stop posting during office hours.

    You’re on the clock.

  7. I hope this exchange reaches a lot of taxpayers because it highlights exactly why I’m running: stopping the lies and deals.

    “Grafton Taxpayer” requires basic math:

    $280,000 *.3333 = $93,333 prior to county equalization which was below 1 for 2015 thereby generating the lower value.

    In addition to being properly valued, this sale confirmed our office’s valuation of all “Superior Plus” lots in neighborhood 180014 at $90,000.

    As to 9515, it and all other residential parcels in Grafton Township are valued on a site, not square foot, basis.

    This is most accurate valuation methodology for residential lots.

    When was the last time anyone bought residential land like they buy hamburger?

    People buy residential land based on location and view not square footage.

    9515 starts with a “Superior Plus” designation due to its waterfront but then receives one “external” for its location on busy Turnberry Trail and another “external” for the external obsolescence due to the water tower across the street.

    “Superior Plus” – external – external = “Standard” which is where it’s valued just like all the other Standard lots in neighborhood 180014.

    Check the assessor data on the township web site.

    “Grafton Taxpayer” also requires basic reading:

    The township office is closed today.

    I can and will do this all day (and all campaign) to make sure the truth is fully told, explained and defended.

  8. Z you should really check things.

    This is the page for 7511 Bonnie Ridge.

    The assessed value was $29193.

    So, again, you state the fair market value (assessed *3) is just under $90k, when it sold for $280k?

    You adjusted plot values elsewhere based on local land sales, but not here.

    Assessments are not that complicated.

    Someone that stammers this much is just hiding.

    Never mind you valued a BRAND NEW HOME at $438k, and the county upped it to over $1,000,000.

    And valuing your declared address downward because of a water tower.


    I tell you what…find an outside assessor to review your numbers.

    Someone that is neutral and can review the materials.

    And preferably someone that wasn’t sued for foreclosure.

    A good assessor would gladly open their books to anyone, (especially since it’s the law) and not have to be sued for them.

    Otherwise, these are manipulated numbers churned out by you. .

  9. Ah, that literacy thing raises it’s head again…

    If only he understood what pro-rated meant…

    It depends on occupancy date.

    Our records show it as 8-8-2016.

    Therefore, it won’t be fully valued until 1/1/2017 (that

    Property Tax Code tax lien date thing).

  10. Mr. Zielinski, you do all of Grafton Township a disservice with your manipulation of data to achieve your own personal agenda.

    Everyone who has educated him or herself to the process has found your practices wrong, and even unethical.

    It speaks volumes that the board is against you and the county is against you.

    Grafton cannot afford you due to lawsuits and continued ineptitude.

    You are unprofessional to the point of calling out citizens by name in public forums, slandering senior officials (for which I am SHOCKED you were not brought up on charges), and so painfully arrogant that you refuse to listen to the issues of concerned citizens.

    Is this the sort of behavior we should expect from an elected official?

    I think not.

    I am personally embarrassed for Grafton Township with you in office.

  11. Why are assessments based on sales anyway?

    If I want to pay too much for a property, maybe based on it’s location (lake, river, etc) it’s still square feet, walls, roof….

    Makes no sense to go on sales.

    Should be based on the building: sq ft, basement, garage/out buildings, etc.

    Not what someone paid for a short sale or to live on waterfront – just the buildings plain and simple. Wouldn’t need all the assessors and their differing rules and ways.

    All would be similarly assessed for the structures.

    Get the schools off the property tax bills!

  12. Thank you for your question, it’s a good one that has a sound basis and answer directly in the IL Property Tax Code and is supported by extensive case law.

    Fair cash value is usually and unquestionably established via arms-length transactions.

    The following Illinois Property Tax Code statutes and Illinois court decision specifically address fair cash value.

    35 ILCS 200/1-50: Fair cash value.

    The amount for which a property can be sold in the due course of business and trade, not under duress, between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

    35 ILCS 200/9-145: Statutory level of assessment. Except in counties with more than 200,000 inhabitants which classify property for purposes of taxation, property shall be valued as follows: (a) Each tract or lot of property shall be valued at 33 1/3% of its fair cash value.

    “Illinois courts have consistently held that “a contemporaneous sale between parties dealing at arm’s length is not only relevant to the question of fair cash market value but would be practically conclusive on the issue of whether an assessment was at full value.“ Residential Real Estate Co. v. Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, 188 Ill. App.3d 232, 241, 135 Ill. Dec. 611, 543 N.E.2d 1358 (1989).

    Stressed sales (short, foreclosure, estate, divorce, etc.) usually do not qualify as fair cash value.

    As to property taxes, our office deals only with assessments, not taxes.

    Assessments determine an owner’s share of the total levy, not the amount.

    The amount is determined by all of the taxing bodies who take a bite from each parcel.

    It’s not until the levies are published that the resulting taxes will be known.

    That total levy divided by a township’s Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) generates the tax rate.

    That tax rate, times your net assessment, will be your property taxes.

    That’s why “deals” that reduce the EAV (and thereby increase the tax rate) unfairly shift the burden.

    I’ll have several examples on my new web site.

  13. Any idea why the statute didn’t require each parcel to be valued at fair cash value instead of 33 1/3% of fair chase value?

  14. Tax rate x (EAV of a parcel – exemptions for that parcel) = property taxes for a parcel

  15. No benefit.

    Just the law.

    The 1870 State Constitution said it would be assessed at full fair value or something to that effect…meaning 100% or what it could be sold for.

    That was degraded through time until the guideline from the Illinois Revenue Department was 50% in the late 1960’s.

    When the 1970 Constitution was implemented with different languare, the General Assembly set the level of assessments at 1/3 of a three year running average of fair market value.

    In retrospect, it should have been a one year average.

  16. If the Assessor will send me what is in the comment in a format that might be easier to understand, I shall post it in an article.

  17. Deals that reduce the EAV would include tax increment finance districts (TIFs) created by municipalities?

  18. MUCH easier than that:

    a simple phone call to the right person(s)!

    Obviously, not anyone in our office.

  19. Again, the Grafton Assessor is somehow justifying that a piece of land he lives on is valued at $40k, despite being two doors down from an empty plot sold for SEVEN TIMES that amount at $280k, and somehow justifies this as fair and equitable.

    And discounting the size of a plot?

    That’s hilarious.

    But seems to fit the value of 9515 well.

    When someone can’t dazzle them with brilliance, they baffle with bulls**t.

    Then again, that’s what patholigical liars do.

  20. The Assessor continues to demonstrate his inability to connect with facts and would rather cherry pick information to suit his own means.

    This is NOT someone you want in a public office.

    He is NOT impartial and does NOT work for the people.

    The fact that his own property is assessed so low is clear evidence of his bias.

    He refuses to allow direct apple-to-apple property comparisons.

    His ethics are highly questionable.

    This is absolutely NOT someone I want in a Grafton office position, representing Grafton Township.

    I have always been proud and thankful for how well Grafton is run, but Mr. Zielinski singlehandedly destroys public trust.

    It is shameful to say the least.

  21. All he needs is a small number of votes.

    There is no point in fighting it.

    He has no opponent.

    You are wasting your time venting.

    Get an appraisal if you don’t like his work.

  22. “Not the assessor”:

    I’m sorry, but this failed dot com flake needs to be held accountable for his actions.

    To perpetuate that he’s some kind of experienced professional that spews some “data” that is manipulated so that he looks like king of kings is contrary to, well, every action he has committed.

    The only way he skirts by is because more people haven’t asked questions.

    Try looking deeper at his assessments.

    Try looking at the minutes of township meetings.

    He is not someone deserving of the public trust.

  23. “Try looking deeper at his assessments.”

    Ok, here are some data that are not mine: they’re from McHenry County.

    Grafton Township was the ONLY township in McHenry County to meet/exceed the specifications set by the Illinois Department of Revenue for assessment accuracy and uniformity for EACH of the past THREE years.

    Our office is VERY deserving of the public trust.

  24. “Venting” is apt, as that is all some of us may do at this point, but the hope is to shine a light on the unethical activities of the Assessor who cares only to push his own personal agenda to the detriment of the Grafton Township residents. Mr. Zielinski stresses “fairness”, yet his twisted numbers do not support this. Torturing numbers to the point at which they SCREAM does not make him right. He entered office with a specific agenda and he has done, and continues to do, everything he can, despite the resident’s satisfaction, to push his personal beliefs. He is not impartial. He is not professional. He has no respect for those with whom he works. He has no respect for the people he serves – The Taxpayers. I have personally witnessed the Board Members pulling him aside multiple times for “private session” to be scolded like a child. The walls are thin! There is ABSOLUTELY NO TRUST in Mr. Zielinski in the Grafton Township. This man is not capable of doing the necessary job. I must give praise to the Grafton Township officials for recognizing this man’s inability to do the necessary job. Please, do not allow this man to continue to “serve” in any public capacity. He is much too narcissistic to care for you or your families. He has NO interest in you or helping you in any way. He cares only for himself and serving his own needs. Mr. Zielinski, you are in deep need of soul searching. STOP. Please. I will beg if I must, for Grafton. There must be a modicum of pride left in this township.

  25. Grafton Township was the ONLY township in McHenry County to meet/exceed the specifications set by the Illinois Department of Revenue for assessment accuracy and uniformity for EACH of the past THREE years.

  26. Mr. Zielinski, its funny, you still tout subjective numbers that are created BY YOU.

    (And danced around how a one plot of land is apparently worth $40k, just two doors down from one purchased for $280k).

    This reminds me of the time Enron said they were making record profits, while striking down any contrarians, until they finally ran out of cash and declared bankruptcy.

    But a true measure of a solid, professional assessor is how open this person is with the public, how said person is seen by their peers, and how this person works with others.

    Of course, a resident filed an FOI of your assessments with the Grafton Clerk, and you denied pertinent data, so he had to sue for it.

    And you did the only professional thing you could do…go after him on this blog.

    The Grafton minutes here give great detail….

    Later of course, you were apparently deposed, and that deposition didn’t seem to go well.

    You were angry with said resident.

    Man, those are the marks of a real professional.

    I’m wondering if you’ll tout this in your campaign.

    I also have to wonder what your peers, such as other, more experienced township assessors, think of you.

    Quick memo: don’t ask the Grafton board for any endorsements.

    They voted “no confidence” in your 2015 assessments.

  27. Did Grafton Township received the Meet/Exceed the specifications set by the Illinois Department of Revenue for assessment accuracy and uniformity before or after the McHenry County Assessor had to correct everything.

    I think it is important to know how WRONG the assessments were when they were turned in and then had to be corrected by logical assessors.

  28. This bears repeating: NO CONFIDENCE IN ZIELINSKI.

    The ENTIRE BOARD found him lacking. What Zielinski calls “connections” is, in reality, common sense.

    He has no support at the township level nor the county level.

    His salary has been cut in half because of this lack of confidence. The board has had to draw money directly from his office budget to cover lawsuits.

    Yet Mr. Zielinski refuses to accept personal responsibility and would rather play the blame game.

    He has reduced himself to personally recording board meetings.

    You can smell the lawsuits being filed already.

    A direct question to you, Mr. Zielinski.

    How much more money are you going to cost Grafton Township?

    How much more of our hard earned tax dollars are you going to waste? STOP. We cannot afford you.

    Taxes are too high already.

    Stop adding to the burden.

  29. This are my final perspectives on this post unless valid questions arise.

    1. The assessor doesn’t report to the Board, (s)he reports only to the voters.

    2. Our office could care less what the Board’s confidence level is because none even have the faintest clue what we do, how it’s done or have expressed any interest in learning. The Department of Revenue has VERY high confidence in our assessments and that, combined with what property owners think, is what matters.

    3. The Board achieved their financial gains on the backs of the assessor’s office and especially it’s Deputies. The property owners will suffer because the office cannot be properly run with the current staff and budget. But, given the County Board Chair’s perspective of having the county do assessments, that is likely their plan/goal.

    4. Special reductions in a single subdivision that was not even subdivision-wide was not/never is “common sense.” It’s completely unfair to the other residents of the subdivision and the township as well as disrupting uniformity. The specific details of that story will be among my first press releases.

  30. Once again, complete denial and complete lack of accepting personal responsibility for the utter failure of the Grafton Assessor’s Office.

    Enjoy your lower taxes, Mr. Zielinski, as you gaze out across your lake property.

    Your bias and self-serving nature is painfully clear.

    You fool no one.

  31. “The assessor doesn’t report to the Board, (s)he reports only to the voters.”

    That’s right you report to us.

    We are voters too.

    And when tough questions are asked, or FOI’s made, you hide behind press releases.

    “Our office could care less what the Board’s confidence level is because none even have the faintest clue what we do.”

    The problem is Al Zielinski doesn’t have the faintest clue either.

    Everyone else sees that, except you.

    “The Board achieved their financial gains on the backs of the assessor’s office and especially it’s Deputies.”

    You also cost Grafton $25k for a lawsuit.

    You did so many unauthorized expenditures the board took your credit card away.

    That’s hilarious.

    Your card is taken away like a teenager.

    Real responsible.

    And Kearns offered to budget in raises for your deputies but you refused to give them.

    Speaking of deputies, I wonder what they think of you. Especially the ones that quit.

    I get the feeling you’re not “boss of the month.”

    “Special reductions is a single subdivision that was not even subdivision wide is not/never common sense.”

    Let me guess: Turnberry right?

    At some point down deep, do you realize you’re a joke?

  32. How come you did not answer my question above?

    It was valid!

  33. The problem is that with no one running against Al Zielinski, he will be in the position again.

    And after all the havoc he has caused for Grafton and it’s residents, that is a tragedy!

  34. Dios mio!!!

    Two clowns are actually running as write-ins because no one would sign their petitions!!

    Talk about circumventing the process.

    Welcome to the 2017 edition of “Pick the Incompitent”

    I cannot wait for the candidate forum, when both decide to skip so they can organize sock drawers.

  35. I don’t ever remember a candidates’ night for township candidates.

  36. Z,

    What a joke.

    You manipulate data to your benefit changing assessments as you see fit.

    You lack consistency and an understanding what market value really means for the various markets within Grafton.

    Your employees see what a mess you are and what nonsense you have brought to the office.

    I love the comments you made about how if you have .25 or 5 acres overlooking a lake you have the same view so the same value?

    Or the other that you suggested to a neighbor that your employees aren’t there to help people try to understand and lower the current assessments.

    Just classic statements from someone who doesn’t care about the people in Grafton.

    You think you are so right but really you are so wrong.

    I understand that a lady may challenge you so you might want to take the job/election seriously.

    I will vote for Mickey Mouse before you.

    Oh by the way the state just approved my appeal thanks for wasting my time again with your ridiculous comps!

    when you show up a couple hours a day and

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