Skillicorn Goes After Municipal League Conference Costs

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:


Allen Skillicorn

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL—It is time for the Illinois Municipal League to end its taxpayer funded annual conference.

The Daily Herald reported that “50 suburbs…spent $119,431.64 to send 151 elected officials or staff to the 2017 Illinois Municipal League conference in downtown Chicago.”

The venue is telling as the League gathered local officials to collude with lobbyists against taxpayers on the taxpayer’s dime in a city that is the worst example of public corruption and graft.

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The Daily Herald said that registration fees for “106 elected officials and 45 staff members from the 50 towns” were paid.

Lake in the Hills parking costs were featured in the article:

“We were advised that self-park was full at approximately noon on Thursday. None of those individuals had arrived at that time,” said Jennifer Clough, village manager of Lake in the Hills, where taxpayers spent $577.50 on hotel valet parking for four people.

Costs for local municipalities for the event were printed:

  • Lake in the Hills – $11,071.50 (second highest after Round Lake Beach)
  • Barrington – $2,163.90
  • Fox Lake – $1,644.13
  • Cary – $925.25
  • Algonquin – $330.00
  • Barrington Hills – $227.73


Skillicorn Goes After Municipal League Conference Costs — 11 Comments

  1. Government employees should not be staying overnight at a hotel for a local conference.

    Taxpayer expenditures should be limited to a few employees at most commuting to the conference on a daily basis.

    Not a contingent of employees.

    And there should be no taxpayer expenditures for overnight hotel stays for a local conference.

    If government employees want to stay overnight for a local conference, they should personally pay for the hotel, parking, and meals required in an overnight stay.

    Why are the boards approving these expenditures.

    Why does board policy allow such expenditures.


    The Illinois Municipal League is not a government entity.

    Rather, IML is registered with the Illinois Secretary of State as a lobbyist.

    IML lobbies state legislators on behalf of local units of government.

    In other words, IML’s customers are local units of government.

    So local units of government pay IML to lobby state government.


    At some point past legislators and a Governor signed a law allowing IML into the IMRF pension system.

    Which was not a taxpayer friendly decision, as IML is not a government entity, and IMRF is a public sector pension system.

    That practice has ended.

    As of January 1, 2017, no new IML employees can join IMRF.

    That was House Bill 4259 (HB 4259) in the 99th General Assembly, signed into law August 19, 2016, as Public Act 99-0830 (PA 99-0830).

    However, existing employees are still contributing to IMRF.


    Higher pay means bigger starting pensions.

    Per Open the Books, here are the top 15 pay (not pensions) at IML for 2014, 2015, & 2016.

    2014 – Larry G Frang – $392,424

    2015 – Jason L Niewman – $264,930

    2016 – Brad Cole – $245,363

    2015 – Brad Cole – $229,131

    2014 – Roger D Huebner – $228,071

    2015 – Roger D Huebner – $218,909

    2014 – Anne M Masters – $172,638

    2015 – Anne M Masters – $149,164

    2014 – Jason L Nieman – $121,364

    2015 – Rita P Donnewald – $118,846

    2015 – Craig C Elliott – $116,987

    2015 – Joseph G McCoy – $116,148

    2014 – Rita P Donnewald – $100,918

    2016 – Craig C Elliot – $100,364

    2016 – Joseph G McCoy – $100,364

  2. Per Open the Books and the Better Government Association (BGA), here are the 2016 IML pensions.

    The Years of Service and benefit start date is from the BGA pension database.

    Name – Pension – Years of Service – Benefit Start Date

    Kenneth A Alderson – $210,804 – 37 – 1/1/2008

    Larry G Frang – $167,376 – 42 – 1/1/2015

    Roger D Huebner – $115,320 – 28 – 10/1/2015

    Danny L Boastick – $44,268 – 27 – 1/1/2015

    Thomas G Fitzsimmons – $36,684 – 25 – 7/1/2005

    Gary E Koch – $33,888 – 20 – 1/1/2010

    Gerald L Zarley – $23,400 – 18 – 1/1/2016

    Michael H Atchison – $21,432 – 18 – 5/1/2014

    Phillip M Davidson – $21,384 – 9 – 10/1/2015 (Also receiving an SERS pension?)

    Rita P Donnewald – $11,340 – 6 – 6/1/2015 (Also receiving an SERS pension?)

    Linda S Flesch – $4,284 – 8 – 7/1/2013

  3. “We were advised that self-park was full at approximately noon on Thursday.

    None of those individuals had arrived at that time,” said Jennifer Clough, village Manager of Lake in the Hills, where taxpayers spent $577.50 on hotel valet parking for four people.”


    $577 / 4 = $144 per car.

    $144 / $48 (conference discounted valet parking daily rate) = 3 days per person.


    The linked article stated Lake in the Hills sent 2 staff and 7 elected officials to the 2017 IML conference in downtown Chicago.

    What were the names of the 2 staff and 7 elected officials who attended the conference?

    A FOIA request would reveal that information.


    Apparently the drivers and passengers in the 4 valet parked cars did not read or chose to ignore the following parking information on the IML website.


    “In addition to the Hilton parking garage, there are various other parking garages and surface lots close to the Hilton.

    Click on this link to view a map of parking lots close to the Hilton.

    Please note that neither the IML or the Hilton is associated with these lots, but we wanted to make you aware of their locations.

    For additional information on Chicago parking please go to:


    The conference was September 21 – 23, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago.

    There are about 15 parking garages within a block or two of the Hilton Chicago.

    There is an app available for download to a smartphone to help locate a parking garage.

    Some parking garages allow one to prepay to reserve a spot.


    Would inclement weather have been a reason not to self park?

    What was the weather like on September 21 – 23, 2017.

    Per Accuweather:

    Date – High – Low

    Thursday September 21, 2017 – 95 – 74

    Friday September 22, 2017 – 95 – 75

    Saturday September 23, 2017 – 95 – 75 is even more specific, indicating no rain.

    Didn’t even need an umbrella.

    Could have even called Uber to drive a block or two from another parking garage to the hotel if it was too difficult to carry 3 days of luggage.

    Maybe someone had an injury or disability and had to self park.

    But all 4 cars containing such a person?


    How many spouses, partners or friends stayed at the hotels payed for by taxpayers?

    Taxpayer subsidized weekend getaway to downtown Chicago?

    Could that be a reason for overnight stay for some, instead of commuting and staying at home.

    Lots of people commute from McHenry County to Chicago every day, and don’t have to stay overnight in a hotel.

  4. Mark do Ill Ass of Park Dist next.

    Then APWA and then the Police and Fire Dept Ass.

    Say and since you are my research hero, how many roads maintained by McDOT and all the townships combined?

  5. It’s only the taxpayers’ money, what’s the big deal.

    It is Illinois, ain’t it?

    It is the MOST CORRUPT State in the union, ain’t it?

    It is always open season on the hapless taxpayer, isn’t it? 24/7, 365 days a year!

    It is the way we’ve ‘always’ done things, ain’t it?

    Taxpayers be damned, just shut up and pay!

    That’s your function and job.

    Quit complaining and be a jerk, GO TO WORK to pay for all this waste!

    That’s an order straight from Jack Franks/Mikey Madigan/Rauner/Quinn/Edgar/Thompson/Ogilvie/etc.

  6. It’s only $13/day to park at the Cumberland Blue Line Park and Ride just off the Kennedy.

    Tale the ‘L’ downtown, and avoid the traffic.

  7. Wow.

    The people that are running LITH can’t find parking in Chicago for 3 days?!?

    On top of that it’s complete waste not to take the Metra down and Uber it.

    That would cost about $50/day.

    IF they did go, we should have had 2 people go and report out; not 9 people.

    Taxpayer paid vacation.

    I’d love to know how many people stayed in each room, because it was probably not 1.

  8. If they go home at night they would miss the dinners and hospitality suites the lawyers,accountants, engineers,etc spend on those board members and presidents.

    It’s not tike they are in Springfield, like Skillicorn, where the food and drinks and ??? flows freely from the lobbyists.

    The Village officials want their share too.

  9. what a waste of money, those IML employees only work 7 hours a day and Craig Elliott position should have been outsourced a long time ago for a much, much cheaper cost, his position requires much less then a 1/4 of a work week of 35 hours, what waste of taxpayer’s money

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