Nepotism Topples Top Illinois Township Official

In an eerie echo of the defeat of long-time McHenry Township Assessor Carol Perschke four years ago by Democrat Mary Mahady, 24-year Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller was defeated by McHenry County Board member Andrew Gasser in Tuesday’s Republican Township Primary Election.

When she lost, Perschke was Chairman of the Illinois Property Assessment Institute the organization which conducts training courses for assessors.

Miller is President of the Township Officials of Illinois.

News of Miller’s  loss will have spread throughout township officials across Illinois.

Gasser’s campaign pounded on nepotism.

This was Andrew Gasser’s best piece against nepotism.

During the summer, the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee passed a resolution opposing nepotism.

Miller responded in a statement defending nepotism read to the Precinct Committeeman before the vote.

The campaign included an anti-nepotism entry in the Algonquin Founders Day Parade.

The anti-nepotism banner in the Algonquin Township Founders Day Parade.

Literature was printed and distributed in some precincts.

The back of the Algonquin Township Republican Party’s literature on nepotism.

This was the second defeat of a member of the Miller family based on the issue of nepotism.

In the 2016 GOP Primary, long-time McHenry County Board member Anna May Miller (Chairman of the County Board’s Transportation Committee) lost after being attacked on the issue.

This side of the mailing talks about double dipping, long service and nepotism in the context of Anna May Miller’s employment.

“Miller Time Is Over” was the tag line.

Also in play in the election, although mainly on stickers on the front page of the Northwest Herald, was township consolidation.

Miller led the successful fight against holding a referendum to determine whether townships should be consolidated.

Gasser’s victory margin was 145 votes, showing the closeness of the strength of the two GOP factions in Algonquin Township.

During the campaign there were not complaints about the service provided by Miller.

There were complaints, however, that the Road District could be run more economically.

As a shield on this issue, Miller cut his tax levy 10% shortly before the campaign began.

This race undoubted saw the most money spent.

While spending won’t be made public until April, the amount in bank accounts at the first of the year, plus contributions of $1,000 or more are public information.

Miller had almost $49,000 available on January 1st.  His Political Action Committee had more money than any other local politician.  He picked up an additional $3,000, plus the cost of the negative mailing that came from an untraceable pop-up PAC on the day before the election.

Gasser started with $5,600, but garnered $17,625 in donations of $1,000 or more, plus

  • the cost of at least two stickers on the front page of the Northwest Herald (the one above) finance by McHenry County GOPAC, and
  • an attack piece against Miller from Liberty PAC

One final thought comes to mind.

This election marked the end of the Miller dynasty.

It started in the 1960’s with Bob Miller’s grandfather Julian Dvorak.

He was elected as a reformer I believe. The previous Road Commissioner had not been willing to put the township logo on his private truck.

I remember his refusing to agree to vacate Three Oaks Road when Vulcan Materials wanted to mine under it.

I don’t remember who made a deal with Vulcan, but I’m told that the traffic count on Route 14 went up 10% the day after Three Oaks Road was closed.

When Dvorak died, his son-in-law, Bob’s father Del Miller, took over.

When Del Miller died, the Algonquin Township Board appointed Bob Miller to replace him.


Nepotism Topples Top Illinois Township Official — 16 Comments

  1. 2,720 ballots cast.

    When the end March reports are filed it will be interesting to see what the cost per vote was.

    I wonder if there will be a recount?

    How long does the Clerk have to certify the results?

  2. Anyone else find it odd that they used the subversive color of soylent green for their tee shirts?

  3. You have it wrong – my sources tell me that while the t-shirts are in fact the regular old polyester/cotton/rayon blend, the banner they are carrying is, in fact, made out of people.

  4. I’m sick of the Millers ……

    now a majority of voters demonstrated they were too.

    I really wonder if Gasser didn’t get 65% of the vote …..

    these diebolded ‘paperless’ election can be rigged rather easily to steal about 15% of the vote …

    after that it gets sorta complicated and problematic.

    The Millers’ long ride on the taxpayers’ backs is comin’ to a blessed close!

    Here’s my bon voyage card for the Miller parasite-clan:

  5. Thank you, Cal for your thoughtful commentary.

    (It’s just the pictures of creepy people that turns the stomach.)

  6. I’ll be holding my breath for all the taxes to come down!

    I agree with Cindy, what a bunch of misfits.

  7. The Millers are like herpes; just when you think you’ve got it all cleared up–BOOM!–another outbreak. They will be back. I’d wager that both of the sons in law get picked up by another Township Road District before the end of the year and that the Miller clan runs one of them against Gasser in 2021 and/or 2025.

  8. Mr. Miller clearly miscalculated public distaste for nepotism in taxed-to-death McHenry County.

    For me, it was his wife’s overpaid position that was particularly distasteful. Sure there are many husband-wife teams in private businesses but this is probably more out of necessity to save money.

    In the Miller situation, the husband-wife duo was to make more money (at taxpayer expense).

    Mr. Miller could have easily hired a qualified candidate at much lower pay.

    I think Mr. Miller could have saved his job if he had replaced his wife when the nepotism issue was heating up.

    I am assuming that the Millers have generous health insurance benefits until they are replaced?

    I’m not sure about their age, but if they are not 65 and eligible for Medicare, they will soon find out why people are mad and did not support them in the last election – taxpayers resent paying for generous benefits for government workers, especially when taxpayers are struggling to afford health insurance benefits for themselves and their families.

    If Robert or Ellie May are not successful finding a job with health insurance benefits, they will have to find individual policies.

    They will be limited to 1 provider – BCBSIL.

    This network is narrow with no teaching institutions.

    If they qualify for a subsidized ACA plan they will learn that many doctors in the area won’t accept the plan.

    If they buy an un-subsidized individual policy, they can expect to pay over $20K for the two of them.

    Retirement benefits for Mr. Miller and his wife are another issue.

    Overtaxed residents in McHenry County are trying to save for their own retirements, kid’s college etc.

    Seeing Robert’s wife making 90K for an assistant job (with benefits) is hard to swallow.

    Welcome to the real world, Miller clan.

  9. Look for a $5 tax savings.

    It is the smallest tax percentage on your bill.

    If Gasser wanted to lower taxes, he should have run for school board.

    You do not get paid for that, however.

    Gasser claims that Road Supervisor is a part time job, He He.

    Gasser will get paid the entire $90,000. for the “part time” job.

    It is set by state statute for 4 years.

    He was selling the SanFrancisco Bridge and you bought it.

  10. I agree 100% with you James, but I think the Algonquin Township/Miller debacle illustrates a growing level of anger, distrust, and public scrutiny of our taxing districts.

    Maybe this and the recent CL library advisory referendum are a sign of bigger things to come.

    Mr. Miller is definitely more qualified – heck he’s been at this his whole life!

    He took advantage of taxpayers by hiring his wife, and voters ousted him because of this, even if the tax savings is negligible.

    The upcoming school board elections should be really interesting and there are better candidates running than Mr. Gasser.

    He would have been a distraction.

    A group of candidates running for D155 have done their homework and I hope they are successful making changes (and lowering our taxes!)

  11. Reasonable,

    Who’s going to lower my taxes in D47 and D155?

    Is there anyone with enough of a backbone to labor force a strike rather than swallow a one-sided union contract?

  12. Miller’s son in laws will be protected watch more to come.

    Jack way in left field and McHenry County Board has no control

    he walks in the door and all the board members say yes sir

    Mary McClellan is out control in her office

    What a great place to live McHenry County

  13. There is no election contest in District 47.

    For some reason no one wanted to run.

    I think Crystal Lake-area taxpayers are not as angry as taxpayers elsewhere.

    Maybe they are more well-to-do.

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