Algonquin Township Has Calm Meeting, Property Taxes Cut 5%

The calmest meeting of the Algonquin Township Board since new officers were elected occurred Tuesday night.

The big news for the night was the passage of a budget for the Township side (excluding the Road District) that was 5% less than last year.

Last month the Board approved a cut in the Andrew Gasser’s Road District tax levy of 5% [not an abatement that can later be recaptured].

That means the entire Algonquin Township tax take will be 5% less than this year and that the Board cannot vote to bring it back to last year’s level.

Carl Gustafson of Fox River Valley Gardens pressed the life safety argument for the Edwards Road bridge, which Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser now has under contract, albeit at over $50,000 more than originally bid because more of the work will occur in winter.

Nick Chirikos

Former McHenry County Board member Nick Chirikos, a Democrat beaten by Gasser, hired by former Road Commissioner Bob Miller and fired by Gasser on his first day in office, pressed the Trustees to make the job an appointed one.

He argued that Gasser’s salary should be reduced, given his lack of experience in the field.

He said he looked with disapproval at the “extended legal autopses of the former Road Commissioner.”

Given the problem with calculating bills at last month’s meeting, citizen Mike Pollard a calculator to Supervisor Chuck Lutzow.

Melissa Victor and Dave Chapman

The Supervisor advised the Trustees that expenses [for the Township of Illinois convention] would exceed the budget, so their payment would be deferred until an amended budget was passed.

Trustee Melissa Victor reiterated her disapproval of line items in the Road Commissioner’s budget showing insufficient money to pay obligations.

“It shows we are over by so much.”

Andrews Gasser

That gave Gasser the opportunity to reveal that while other Township Road Commissioners had spent 65%-70% of their budgets, “we’re at 56.1%.”

“We have the money [to cover the line items showing deficits], but it’s not in the right line item.

“I agree with you.”

He stated that an amended budget was needed.

Of the $2.55 million in the Road District budget, $1.4 million has been spent, leaving $1.2 million in the bank.

Victor pointed to aa 433% shortage.

“There’s so many items,” Victor said.

“There’s three,” Gasser replied.

An audit by Brown & Company was accepted by the Board, but not before Trustee Rachael Lawrence pointed out,

“This audit is not a forensic audit.

“It is a standard audit.”

Forensic audits look for wrongdoing.

Additionally, the Board voted to spend $63,115.43 on a new electronic security system for the twenty-three access points.

The largest cost was $26,180.37 portion to pay installation employees Prevailing Wage.

Only Trustee Dan Shea opposed the idea.

“I think this is outrageous,” he said, while also criticizing the $4,600 a year maintenance fee.

“This is well vetted and way overdue,” Trustee David Chapman said.

Trustee Rachael Lawrence agreed.

“The benefits to having this are profound.

“It is a state-of-the-art system that will last for a very long time.”

Chapman reported that he attended a social media seminar at the TOI Convention.

He commented that the officials could approach it “willy-nilly as individuals or get together as a township.”

He wants “a social media policy.”

“The best idea is to stay out of social media,” Lutzow commented.

Victor’s takeaway from the TOI Convention was

“When you cut levies, you cut services.”

“We haven’t cut any services,” Gasser observed.

He pointed out that the improved traffic flow made possible through cooperation with the McHenry County Conservation District had made recycling more efficient and that Algonquin Township is the first to accept Styrofoam, an increase in service.

Rachael Lawrence

Lawrence offered this list of problems:

  1. meeting agenda was not posted on the web site
  2. minutes were not posted on the web site
  3. minutes for Wednesday night’s meeting were not sent to Board members until two hours, twenty minutes before the meeting began
  4. bills were not provided with enough time for review

She added that there had been problems with answering Freedom of Information requests.

“I can see it in attorney [Jim] Kelly’s bills.

Lawrence thought the lawyer should not be involved with answering such requests.

She urged all Township officials to be “completely above board,” pointing out that a document she had requested from Clerk Karen Lukasik in October has still not been provided.

Victor replied, “I think we need to have everything in order, including our budget and line items.”

Chapman announced that he was setting up a panel discussion on township government for February 8th.

And, it was the last meeting for long-time Algonquin Township Assessor Bob Kunz.

Supervisor Chuck Lutzow congratulates Assessor Bob Kunz on his pending retirement.

Kunz related that he started in the office at age 20.

Kunz also informed those in the room that township meetings in the late 1960’s through mid-1970’s were quite contentious.


Comments

Algonquin Township Has Calm Meeting, Property Taxes Cut 5% — 17 Comments

  1. Then what’s going on with the Highway department running CClear in the late evening?

    Tell us Gasser

  2. You ^ lose all credibility with your post when you start off namecalling.

    If you have a question regarding a treatment for pavement call the township.

    Congratulations Gasser for your impressive reduction in taxes.

    I guess not having an overpaid asst as your hired spouse and padding her pay with obscene overtime along with your efforts in management has made a positive difference for the taxpayers! Keep up the good work.

    Merry Christmas, Alg. Twnshp!

  3. Look at the tabloid yellow journalism by NWH.

    It’s headline is that Nick C wants Andrew Gasser’s salary cut.

    What exactly were Nicks qualifications to be hired by Bob Miller?

    Yet when we look at this blog we learn Andrew Gasser cut taxes by 5%.

    Congratulations Cal for telling us the truth.

    Too bad that Rag which claims to be a newspaper couldn’t report on a reduction in actual taxes.

  4. Nick was only hired as a political pawn or political land mine.

    His back pay should be based on experience, what’s minimum wage?

  5. Gasser’s salary was etched in stone by the prior Township Board.

    It cannot be changed.

    The current Board could lower the salary for the next term of Gasser or someone new or the Board could do the proper thing and place a referendum on the ballot for March 20 to eliminate the Road District and place that function under the direction of the Board of Trustees effective at the end of Gasser’s term.

    BTW, last year the Alg. Road District also reduced the levy by 3.13 % and the Township Board reduced their levy by 9.78 %.

    Those reductions also were not an abatement that could later be recaptured.

  6. I can appreciate Chirikos’s sentiment (in fact I tried to speak with him after the meeting but he had already left).

    However, the salary of the Road commissioner is NOT an employee position whose salary is based on the applicant, but rather it’s based on the duties of the elected office itself.

    The previous board set the salary, and state statute says it cannot be reviewed but once every four years.

    There is nothing that the Township Board can legally do to change ANY township official’s salary until then, so that is a battle that will not be won.

    There is, however, a way to solve most of Mr. Chirikos’s complaints: soon-to-be state statute–HB607, which was signed into law and goes into effect the first of the new year– would allow Township boards and voters (by resolution and binding referendum) to abolish the Road District, thereby absorbing all the duties and functions of the Road District into the township, presumably including the hiring of a Township employee to replace the Highway Commissioner and setting of salary, based upon merit, qualifications and performance.

    The employee would then, in theory, report to the board, be paid on merit/qualifications, plus he or she could be replaced if there was wrongdoing and/or lack of performance.

    Here’s the link to the above-referenced legislation, for those interested:
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/060500050K6-134.htm

  7. What needs to happen is to get rid of Algonquin, Dorr, Grafton, Nunda and McHenry Townships altogether!

  8. In the meantime, can’t the Township share resources like heavy equipment, storage and computer capacity.

    Over the years I’ve driven by most of the Township locations mentioned in the previous comment.

    First, Algonquin Townships Administration Building and support building look like the Taj Mahal(spelling) vs. all the rest.

    Second, they all have a variety of equipment that could be shared or loaned to their sister Townships to save the expense of purchasing equipment that sits idle for months and months.

    Possibly some sort of a rental/swap agreement that would in the end save taxpayer money.

  9. Wow Chirikos was on the county board and he doesn’t even know this fundamental truth?

    Scary folks!!!

  10. Very small potatoes.

    Mr. Potato-head Lutzow, a Miller minion, throws crumbs to the peon-taxpayers.

  11. Holy cow Skinner not only got of David Chapman scowling like Grumpy Cat and wow could Victor turn her nose up any higher at Lawrence?

    I think I see nose goblins!

    And Skinner just what in the Pink Hell is an “Andrews Gasser”?!!?

    Is that a skid mark?

    Is he the streak of the week?

    I think Mr. Potato head is a few fries short of a happy meal there Truth!

    Gasbagger is trolling the shit out of us all.

    Has anyone checked his facebook page?!!?

    He be trollin.

    We are all sucker fish that have taken the tea bagger bait.

    Maybe Mr. Ed over at the northworst herald will do a story on that too!

  12. No Flair Pay, he knows, (or should know) but this is the length these people will go to in order to protect Big Daddy.

    Wonder what Nick got besides the job!

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