Reick Steps into Township Efficiency Issue

Posted by State Rep. Steve Reick:

Rep. Steve Reick Files Legislation to Require Cost Study to Ensure Township Road District Consolidations Save Money

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) is hoping to infuse some common sense into the discussion of township road district consolidation by requiring a cost analysis to determine if consolidation proposals will actually save taxpayers money.

HB 4190, filed in Springfield this week, serves as a trailer bill to clarify two pieces of legislation approved earlier this year.

The bill would require a cost study be conducted before a township’s trustees could take action to put a consolidation proposal before voters.

“People seek consolidation because they want lower taxes. I fully support consolidation that results in lower taxes,” said Reick.

“But consolidation just for the sake of consolidation- when taxes don’t go down or possibly would actually increase- that is not in the best interest of taxpayers.

“We need this additional layer of transparency so trustees and voters are acting on a full set of facts.”

Specifically, Reick’s HB 4190 would amend the Illinois Highway Code by providing that before a township may submit a referendum to abolish a road district, the township must prepare through an independent contractor a cost study that demonstrates the abolishment is cost-effective and that the township which would assume the road district responsibilities is capable of carrying out the duties performed by the road district slated for elimination.

Any consulting firm with an existing agreement for services in the township in question or in the county where the township is located would be prohibited from conducting the study.

“SB 03 and HB 607 were both signed into law in August of this year, but neither includes this additional step of transparency” Reick said.

“Consolidation does not necessarily equate to lower taxes because services must still be provided. Before asking taxpayers to make a decision at the ballot box, trustees need to ensure that a successful vote won’t have unforeseen negative consequences on people’s property tax bills.”

HB 4190 is awaiting assignment to a substantive committee, and Reick is hopeful it will receive fair consideration when lawmakers return to Springfield at the end of January.


Reick Steps into Township Efficiency Issue — 18 Comments

  1. But I thought that the county board already did that? Wink 😉 wink

  2. Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) was signed into law as Public Act 100-0107 (PA 100-107) on August 14, 2017.

    House Bill 607 (HB 607) was signed into law as Public Act 100-0106 (PA 100-106) on August 14, 2017.


    The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning website has an article from this year about local government consolidation.



    Considerations and Practices of Local Government Consolidation

  3. Proof, is that so much to ask?

    I’d suggest a committee of 12 look into the numbers and related facts.

    Outside comsults maybe a unneeded expense.

  4. The study is a completely unnecessary expense designed to make it more difficult to get rid of road districts.

    The township would inherit the equipment and facilities from the road district, and they could keep the employees and hire a public works pro to run the operation.

    They would have real oversight over the budget, so it would be pretty hard for them not to save money over having an unaccountable road commissioner being able to spend whatever he wants to.

  5. what if I said that saving taxes is not the only reason to abolish a road district?

    The point is to prevent abuse by the highway commisioners who have no one to answer to as it stands.

    Name one other elected position or taxing body in this entire state that has as little oversite as a highway commissioner.


  6. US Congress (House of Representatives and Senate).

    State Legislature (House of Representatives and Senate) aka Illinois General Assembly.

  7. How about the sheriff’s office.

    Some controls exist there as the Road Districts.

    And trustees do have a great deal of control over the Road District provided they do their job.

    They approve the road district levy, road district budget and are supposed to be auditing every road district bill monthly.

    And the road commissioner does have a boss, the voters.

    Every four years if they don’t like what the commissioner does they can elect another one.

    Secondly, review what a public works director makes compared to a road commissioner, there is no savings if a qualified director is hired.

    Besides, unlike the larger townships, the road commissioner’s job is usually a part time job in most townships.

    Lastly, how many times have we been told by politicians with personal agendas that we were going to save taxes and in the end it costs more.

    Seems like Rep. Reick is dead-on in his Trailer Bill!

  8. The bill, if it passes, would be effective January 1, 2019.

    That leaves a nice window for townships to Git-R-Done next year without going through the extra bs.

  9. Public works directors oversee street divisions sewer plants and the water divisions on top of other duties and don’t have sole power who they hire also didn’t Condon just have another lawsuit filed against his road district what’s that now 3 what’s that costing taxpayers

  10. Congressmen dont have their own tax levy and millions dollar budgets.

    the township boards can “audit” bills but cant even deny them or they run the risk of being sued by the contractor.

    Highway Comissioners are one-man governments, and board cant even make changes to their budgets or levys.

    They just approve or not.

    And usually its always at the last minute for required filing so the board has no choice but to approve.

    All I’m saying is that is NOT just taxes that make people want road maintenance under township control instead of road districts.

    It’s also corruption and oversite.

  11. Which road districts in McHenry County have a part time road commissioner?

    Or should I say, which road districts pay their road commissioner part time salary?

  12. Current McHenry County Highway Commissioners of McHenry County Road Districts.

    Alden – Bart Schnulle

    Algonquin – Andrew Gasser

    Burton – Daniel Sutton

    Chemung – Donald L. Staver

    Coral – Donald R. Argal

    Dorr – John Fuller

    Dunham – David Nolan

    Grafton – Thomas J Poznanski

    Greenwood – Donald Goad

    Hartland – Michael Murray, Sr.

    Hebron – Zeke Nickels

    Marengo – Jake Adamson

    McHenry – James Condon

    Nunda – Mike Lesperance

    Richmond – Dave Bockelmann

    Riley – Dave Diamond

    Seneca – Scott Swanson


    Most of the Road Districts do not post the pay and benefits of the employees on their website.

    Maybe they are exempt from the state law which requires local governments to post pay and benefit information on the their website.

    Regardless, maybe Steve Reick or another legislator can propose legislation to improve such transparency.


    Open the Books publishes pensionable income of employees in government.

    They obtain the information from the public sector pension fund to which the employee contributes, which in the case of Township Road District Commissioners, would be IMRF.

    However, not all townships participate in IMRF.

    And there is a lag time for Open the Books to post the information.

    What follows are the current McHenry County Road Districts Commissioners that are posted on Open the Books.

    Open the Books (OTB) does not publish start date or years of service.

    The Better Government Association (BGA) posts the start date for many employees.

    The Better Government Association does not seem to obtain pensionable income pay, for many or all employees, and it seems they obtain the pay data from employers (employers tend not to report all pensionable income).

    The pension funds report all pensionable income.

    Open the Books obtains their data from the pension funds.

    Typically pensionable income is higher than non pensionable income.

    Also BGA and OTB years don’t always seem to match; once again; because they typically or always seem to obtain data from different sources (OTB from the pension fund; BGA from the employer).


    Alden Township

    No records for any Alden Township employees in the BGA salary database.


    Algonquin Township previously simultaneously employed the Highway Commissioner, his wife, and two of his son-in-laws.


    Robert J Miller, previous Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $96,294

    2015 – $94,311

    2014 – $93,318

    source: OTB widget

    Next is the pay of Bob Miller’s wife, Anna May Miller, at Algonquin Township.

    2016 – $83,601

    2015 – $82,106

    2014 – $82,403

    Next is the pay of a Bob Miller son-in-law, Derek Lee, married to Rebecca Miller Lee, daughter of Bob Miller.

    2016 – $86,230

    2015 – $82,148

    2014 – $81,910

    Next is the pay of another Bob Miller son-in-law, Andrew Rosencrans, married to Mallory Miller Rosencrans, daughter of Bob Miller.

    2016 – $71,909

    2015 – $69,932

    2014 – $69,768


    Note: BGA salary database does contain Algonquin Twp employees.


    Dan E Sutton, Burton Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $24,000

    Start date with the Township was April 12, 2005 per the BGA salary database.

    Dan E Sutton Election History:

    April 3, 2001 – lost to Eugene Kattner

    April 5, 2005 – unopposed

    April 7, 2009 – defeated Jeff Thirtyacre

    April 9, 2013 – unopposed

    April 4, 2017 – unopposed.

    Note: There is also a Burton Township in Adams County.


    Donald Staver, Chemung Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $58,915

    2015 – $56,859

    2014 – $55,203

    2013 – $53,595

    2012 – $51,628

    2011 – $49,169

    2010 – $46,827

    2009 – $43,833

    2008 – $40,167

    2007 – $36,667

    2006 – $34,500

    2005 – $31,833

    2004 – $28,500

    2003 – $28,500

    2002 – $28,500

    2001 – $27,700

    2000 – $27,014

    Donald Staver general (not primary) election history:

    April 3, 2001 – defeated G. Kruckenberg and Joseph Hermonson

    April 5, 2005 – unopposed

    April 7, 2009 – unopposed

    April 9, 2013 – defeated Paul Hereley

    April 4, 2017 – unopposed.


    Pay from OTB widget and previous OTB records.

    September 1, 1995 start date per BGA salary database.


    Donald Argall, Coral Township

    2016 – $22,000

    Donald Argall general (not primary) election history:

    April 3, 2001 – unopposed

    April 5, 2005 – unopposed

    April 7, 2009 – unopposed

    April 9, 2013 – unopposed

    April 4, 2017 – unopposed.

    Mary Argall is the Township Clerk.

    pay source: BGA salary database

    OTB does not have records for Coral Twp.


    John Fuller, Dorr Township Highway Commissioner

    Mr. Fuller previously was employed by the Nunda Township Road District and a Door Township Trustee.

    Then he was a candidate for Dorr Township Highway Commissioner.

    Mr. Fuller defeated Tom Thurman (incumbent) by 42 votes (1.88%) in the April 4, 2017 election for Dorr Township Highway Commissioner.

    Following is the pay of John Fuller as a Road District employee.

    Per the BGA salary database, Mr. Fuller earned $27 per hour as a Dorr Township Crew Member in 2016, with a start date of November 10, 1987.

    Following is a recent history of Mr. Fuller’s income at Nunda Township, prior to becoming Highway Commissioner in Dorr Township.

    2016 – $60,505

    2015 – $59,106

    2014 – $62,005

    source of 2014, 2015, & 2016 figures: Open the Books widget for Nunda Township.

    Per the BGA salary database, Mr. Fuller’s start date as a Dorr Township Trustee was May 20, 2013.


    Tom Thurman, previous Dorr Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $75,151

    2015 – $77,787

    2014 – $70,595

    2013 – $67,880

    2012 – $69,804

    2011 – $67,771

    2010 – $65,797

    2009 – $63,880

    2008 – $62,090

    2007 – $60,282

    2006 – $58,526

    2005 – $55,531

    2004 – $52,000

    2003 – $53,500

    2002 – $52,000

    2001 – $48,250

    2000 – $42,000

    Mr. Thurman’s general (not primary) election history:

    April 3, 2001 – unopposed

    April 5, 2005 – unopposed

    April 7, 2009 – unopposed

    April 9, 2013 – unopposed

    April 4, 2017 – was defeated by John Fuller.

    Wage figures are from OTB.

    The start date of July 28, 1992 is from the BGA salary database.


    David Nolan, Dunham Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $55,000

    source: BGA salary database

    OTB does not have records for Dunham Township.


    Tom Poznanski, Grafton Township Highway Commissioner

    2016 – $61,086

    2015 – $59,888

    2014 – $59,829

    source: OTB widget


    Maybe the rest to follow some other time.

  13. Illinois voters have made many mistakes by voting without ALL the facts.

    This will be the next one.

    Without reasonable proof of savings and efficiency why do it?

    “They’re all crooked” is false.

    People steal from the PTO and from villages and cities and the federal government.

    One bad apple should not spoil the bushel

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