Al Zielinski Runs Write-In Campaign for Re-Election as Grafton Township Assessor

A press release from Grafton Township Assessor Al Zielinski:

Alan Zielinski seeks re-election as a write-in for Grafton Township Assessor

LAKEWOOD, IL (January 26, 2017) – When discussing the possibility of another term, many asked:

“Why bother?

“The “good ‘ol boys system” clearly wants you out.”

My answer:

“I have an obligation to Grafton’s property owners.

“They deserve a voice for fairness and someone who will continue to fight for the average guy.

“We’ve made great advances but my job is not done.”

Grafton Township’s property tax payers deserve these fundamentals from their assessor.

  • Strict adherence (not just a wink and a nod) to the Illinois Property Tax Code.
  • The highest valuation accuracy and greatest fairness possible.
  • Using 21st century tools and methodologies to achieve the above.
  • Assuring property values are based on the market, not relationships or phone calls.

In a shortsighted attempt to select their own contractor or delegate to the county the important task of valuing $1.4 billion of their constituents’ property values, the Grafton Township Board arbitrarily cut the assessor’s salary to $30,000 from $72,162 and removed all benefits.

Nonetheless, I decided to run again on behalf of the vast majority of Grafton’s property tax payers who:

  • deserve accurate, fair, honest assessments and
  • truly want to pay only their fair share and/or
  • are working too hard to spend time appealing and/or
  • think the system is broken or rigged so why bother.

Since taking office in 2014, we’ve made huge strides transforming the system from the old days of backroom “deals” to the current transparent and honest assessments for all.

Under my leadership, we achieved notable accuracy and fairness accomplishments. Where’s the proof?

Grafton was the only township in McHenry County to surpass the Illinois Department of Revenue’s specifications for assessment accuracy and uniformity for all three years since I took office.

I’m confident in the honest and analytical processes we’ve implemented to achieve that stellar record.

However, we have no control of our assessments once we submit them.

A major aspect of my campaign and next term will be educating property taxpayers about what happens to their assessments after they leave our office and what can be done to help maintain our levels of accuracy and fairness.

Obviously, the “good ‘ol boys system” wants me out so it can revert to the good ‘ol days.

Whether that’s allowed to happen rests solely and literally in the voters’ hands.

My place on the ballot as a Republican candidate was removed due to a “good ‘ol boys” objection regarding an insignificant technicality.

Therefore, I need you and your neighbors to write-in “Alan Zielinski” as your vote for Grafton Township Assessor during early voting and on February 28th.

Property taxes are one of the largest household expenses. Much work remains to improve the system so please help me continue our record of accurate, fair and honest assessments in Grafton Township.


Al Zielinski Runs Write-In Campaign for Re-Election as Grafton Township Assessor — 19 Comments

  1. I love that this country gives freedom of speech.

    Not a chance I write in his name.

    Turnberry is assessed pretty unevenly across the board.

    This is the only community I know of in the country where land on a golf course if worth more than land on water.

    And go figure… who lives on the water in Turnberry!

    Talk about the ole boys network, time to find another line of work Al.

    We the people will continue to be heard.

    As far as I’m concerned, every elected official from local level on up to the state has been put on notice.

    Stop treating us like you know what is best!

    It’s our money… we will direct you ALL on how to spend it!

  2. Mr. Zielinski, this is so refreshing.

    I’m sure you’ll follow up this press release with a press CONFERENCE, where Grafton’s citizens can ask you directly about this good ol boy network, and fairness you bestow upon your citizens…well except the ones you go after on blogs and deny proper Freedom of Information requests on basic internal stuff like calculations …you know stuff the Illinois Property Tax code declares open for anyone to view. No winks and nods there.

    Things are open and transparent, as long as we, your citizens, don’t ask the tough questions right?

    And it’s funny, you keep talking about accuracy and uniformity of your office, but your predecessor kept accurate assessments too, and more so ran an office that kept regular hours, returned calls and never dissuaded a taxpayer from appealing, and even gave sessions on how to appeal to the Board of Review.

    Maybe at the press conference you can explain how you destroyed documents on a different FOI, or give your reason that the Township took all budget expenditures from you except salaries, because you abused them.

    Or maybe they took your expenditures because you cost them $25k in that lawsuit, and they’re guessing it won’t be the last.

    At least this time, no one is running against you.

    You don’t have to offer any opponents a job in your office if they drop out.

  3. There is nothing open and honest about Mr. Zielinski.

    Please STOP!

    You do nothing but cost the township money!

    You can’t do a simple job of objectively assessing homes.

    Your bias is so painfully clear, and the entire county disagrees with you, yet you continue to push, costing all of us MORE MORE MORE. We cannot afford you or your antics.

    How many more lawsuits does this township need?

    How far will they slash your budget?

    For the love of God, stop!

    You already achieved your goal of lowering your own property values, achieving lower personal property taxes.


    I think not.

    I have never met a more unethical human being in my life.

    I beg of you, on behalf of Grafton Township, PLEASE STOP.

  4. Its apparent to me that the board cut the salary on the assessor position to reflect the value that you’ve provided to them in your last term.

    It could also be reflective of the amount of time you spend in the office.

    It could also be reflective of how much money they have to make up in their budget from what you’ve cost them in lawsuits.

    In other words, you’ve provided negative value in your position since becoming assessor and has cost the township so much money in your every day shenanigans, lawsuits, and lack of trustworthiness that they didn’t have any choice to cut your salary or they wouldn’t have been able to afford keeping you in the office.

    If the world was fair, they would take that money that they cut from your salary and give it to the people that actually work in the office every day during ALL the work hours and actually do the work.

    Also, I had to laugh when I read “Using 21st Century Tools and Methodologies.”

    Remind me what type of back up system do you have for the $1.4 billion in assessments?

    Oh yea, its all saved on site there in the township building because you are so transparent, you don’t want to give the data up to the township so they could back it up on a remote cloud system.

    Why is it you don’t want to use that 21st Century type system?

    Is it because you don’t trust those cloud thingies or is it because you don’t want to provide your data to people because you are afraid of what they might find if they start looking into it…..

    This whole article is like an oxymoron for what has actually happened during your entire tenure as assessor.

  5. As expected, we’ve heard the naysayers with their mutations of the truth.

    Perhaps some taxpayers who were significantly over-assessed and corrected will add their thoughts.

    My side of the story (there are always two sides) is on our web site:

  6. Thank you for posting the truth on this website.

    Here I thought the reason you got sued was because you refused to be transparent with the assessment data, assessment practices and calculations when asked to provide them by a tax payer.

    When you flat out refused his initial request, he went the formal route of asking for that data at a board meeting.

    When you still refused, he submitted a freedom of information (FOIA) act to get that information.

    Once you still flat out refused, he then filed a lawsuit.

    At least I now know that you got sued not because you weren’t being transparent with your assessment data and refusing to hand it over when asked for it multiple times through multiple avenues, but because of “inadequate counsel.” Totally makes sense.

    Maybe the township Counsel that is mentioned on your website can answer for this lawsuit at the next township meeting?

    It is completely logical that it is the township Counsel’s fault that you got sued because you, the assessor, were not being transparent with your assessment data so I’m sure he agrees with you. However just to be sure, can you provide a name and number for this person? I’d love to hear his response on why he cost the township a lawsuit.

    I’m sure he will be more than willing to answer my questions since he is listed on your website as the reason you got sued.

  7. Holy Crap, AZ, that website was the funniest thing I’ve read this year.

    By my count now, you’ve placed blame on the Grafton Board, the McHenry County Assessor, the citizens you work for, and now the “inadequate council” of the Grafton Township.

    That’s so Blagojevich of you.

    Another line was great: “Alan has complete faith in the ability of Grafton’s voters to see through lies and misinformation…”

    That’s right Al. We’re the voters. And we know you’re a Liar.

    But keep fighting for the taxpayers from your woefully underassessed 1.4 acre waterfront estate! Take it to the man!

  8. Sometimes the truth causes one to chuckle.

    Hopefully some education and illumination accompanies the levity.

    No one was “blamed;” the facts are truly and clearly stated on the web site.

    Facts speak louder than opinions so here’s an undisputed fact:

    Grafton was the ONLY township in McHenry County to surpass the Illinois Department of Revenue’s specifications for assessment accuracy and uniformity for all three years since I took office.

    Another undisputed fact is I do have complete faith in the ability of Grafton’s voters to see through lies and misinformation and focus on my unblemished character, extensive management experience and proven valuation qualifications.

  9. It is appalling that you find the need to “chuckle” at the woes of the township and its citizenry.

    This alone speaks to your character among all else.

    The “lies and misinformation” are created by you and you alone.

    Ask anyone else on the township board or in McHenry County.

    This is simply horrible.

    You need to change your tagline – “Alan Zielinski: Man of Alt-Facts”.

    You have proven this time and time again.

    Hasn’t Grafton suffered enough?

  10. Hey AZ,

    FYI. Unblemished characters don’t try to secretly record township meetings.

    And why don’t you post the supposedly third party ratings of your said accuracy?

    Not YOUR findings…the actual ratings.

    We don’t see them anywhere.

    You touted how you had the best equalizer in 2014 but you know who had a better one?

    Your predecessor in 2013.

  11. “the actual ratings.”

    Grafton’s exemplary three-year accuracy and fairness track record is determined by the county.

    Seems pretty “actual” to me and the Illinois Department of Revenue.


    Let’s see this county letter or spreadsheet that says “congrats Grafton assessor you are the most accurate in all the land.”

    Right now you, and just you, say you are hyper accurate, yet sit on all the calculations and findings like it’s in a lockbox.

    You fight FOIs and you fight an offsite backup that the township requires, like you fear someone else might take a harder look.

    I’d like to see the reasoning that says a 1.4 acre lakefront estate is worth $100k less than the homes around it.

    Man this is funny.

  13. Regarding the 2013 equalizer, that was when my predecessor was laid-up in a hospital and minimal changes were made in his absence.

    In 2013, Grafton had still not recovered from the 2008 national real estate correction.

    If the market is flat and no changes are made, an equalizer is unnecessary.

    All that means is there was little change from 2012, not that 2013 was fair or accurate.

    That was proven when we did the sales ratios for 2014 and uncovered the huge over- and under-assessments.

    Those factual numbers are presented here:

    Our 2014 equalizer, with over 15,000 corrections based on the above, was less than 1.5%.


    File a FOIA with the county.

    They’ll be happy to accommodate.

    That way you’ll be sure you have “the actual ratings.”

  15. I have asked for the margins of error (call “coefficients of dispersion” in assessor talk).

  16. Oh wow I love this!

    Al Zielinski, honest, courageous, accurate, fair and open assessor with unblemished character gets asked by an admittedly annoying citizen to show the numbers that led AZ to conclude he’s the best in the business, and he goes……. “Ask the County?”

    Isn’t this the county with the “good ol boys” that altered your supremely accurate numbers?

    How do we know these county stats are good?

    If those do get out, and they’re different from your conclusions, will you refute those, just like you refute everything from the Grafton board, the County Assessor, the Grafton attorney, and us your taxpayer and well everyone else you come into contact with?

    And Mr. Skinner made a good point…are these accuracy numbers you tout or a Coefficient of Dispersion…defined as “the relative dispersion or variability of assessments from the median.”

    So are you using the equalizer as your bellweather to say you’re awesome?

    Because the equalizer is, uh, not meant for that.

    And then you go on a tangent saying the 2013 equalizer numbers weren’t as accurate, (according to you,) because your predecessor was hospitalized.

    And what did candidate Al Zielinski, he of unblemished character do?

    You continued to verbally plunder him.

    You also went after his family during that campaign, claiming nepotism, even after it was refuted.


    But let’s talk about those huge assessment swings in 2014.

    Let’s look at 9425 Turnberry, PIN number 18-11-255-001. That was valued at $462k in 2013, yet your hyper accurate methods dropped it nearly $82,000 in your “legal reassessment” to $380k.

    Then for the quadrennial, you raised the same house to $486k, a $100k+ increase after an 80k decrease.

    How in your universe does one lakefront house drop nearly 20% and then rise almost 30% in less than two years?!?

    Did the lake disappear and reappear? (And you might want to check your methods. It sold for $525k in early 2016.)

    By the way, that house is across from Zielinski’s address.

    There were examples of that all over the township.

    One particular neighborhood especially. 😉

    You could fill an encyclopedia with them.

    That doesn’t happen in other townships.

    Yet you still sit there and say you’re the best.

    And you fib when you pass around that “factual data” you post all over, with a partial list of neighborhoods, but don’t post ratios for all the 100 “homogenous” neighborhoods you created, and how they changed when you reassessed, or how you calculated.

    Anything that shows how “the sausage is made” in your office is tucked away in your bunker.

    Al I’ve got a new campaign moniker for you:

    LAZ…as in Lying Al Zielinski.

    If you’re really honest and fair, OTHER PEOPLE will say you’re honest and fair.

    That’s how it works.

    Right now, I get the feeling they say a lot of other things.

  17. anybody but al!!! the property west of me assessed 23,000.00 less,the property to the east assessed 9000.00 less.

    Me in the middle assessed 10,000.00 more which opened the door for Lakewood to use there TIF tool and put $ 1066.52 on my tax bill !!



    when referencing information….Webster Dictionary defines the word “Transparent” as “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices”

    when referencing assessment information….Zielinski defines the word “transparent” as “you are never getting anything from me, ASK THE COUNTY!”

    Its pertinent to know that when reading anything that Al Zielinski releases, what he says in text and what he does in action is most often not even close.

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