Al Zielinski Staying as Grafton Township Assessor

This is a press release from Grafton Township Assessor Al Zieliniski:

Four more years of accurate and fair assessments for Grafton Township

Al Zielinski

HUNTLEY, IL – Grafton Township property owners can look forward to four more years of accurate and fair assessments based on Al Zielinski’s decision to take his oath of office for the 2018 through 2021 term.

Zielinski’s first term as Grafton Township Assessor ran from January, 2014 through December, 2017.

He won re-election in 2017 as a write-in candidate.

An amazing team of professionals generating exemplary results

“Grafton Township is blessed to have skilled and experienced professionals making its valuations.” said Zielinski.

“Based on my emphasis on continuing education and the township’s investments in its Deputies, Grafton has one of the most qualified assessment staffs in the state.

“We have

  • one Certified General Appraiser (the highest appraiser designation in the state)
  • one CIAO-S (the second highest designation offered by IPAI, the Illinois Property Assessment Institute) and
  • two CIAO-I designations (the third highest designation offered by the IPAI).

Given our focus on using the market approach to value and our openness to review and revise assessments each year, property owners can rest assured their assessments are truly based on current market values.”

Focusing on Grafton Township

When asked about his decision to relinquish his appointment as Boone County’s Chief Assessment Officer, Zielinski was forthright.

“I was told I was too blunt with the township assessors. I

“don’t know how anyone can demand absolute compliance with the Illinois Property Tax Code, the Board of Review’s Rules and his/her oath of office in a more delicate manner.

“Because the County Board was unwilling to accommodate my commitment to excellence so we could achieve results similar to Grafton, it accepted my resignation.

“I achieved a lot in my time there creating processes that will help them improve future accuracy and equity.

“They have my best wishes.”

Looking to the future and building on an established record

Based on the 2017 results obtained from McHenry County, Grafton Township has consistently exceeded the Illinois Department of Revenue’s accuracy (sales ratio) and equity (coefficient of dispersion) specifications for each of the four years during Zielinski’s first term.

“We’re not resting on our laurels.

“To the contrary, we’re using our past record as the minimum acceptable performance level for the next four years.” said Zielinski.


Al Zielinski Staying as Grafton Township Assessor — 26 Comments

  1. Accurate and fair ?

    That’s a joke, right Al ?

    Hey Al, if you haven’t noticed or have been in a
    coma for the past few years, Huntley home owners
    have been fleeing in record numbers year after year.

    Why is that, Al ?

  2. No joke (unless one thinks the Department of Revenue’s accuracy and fairness metrics are laughable – which they aren’t).

    Assessments and taxes are not directly correlated.

    Assessments could be cut by half and property taxes would be the exactly same because the tax rate would double.

    The driving force behind the tax rate is the numerator (levy) not the denominator (EAV).
    What our accuracy and fairness provide is a bright, clear light allowing focus on the levy.

  3. That’s right!

    Al Zielinski resigned from a job paying over $70k to stay on a job that pays….less than half of that! And you were so intent on quitting that Boone job that….you held the Annual Boone Assessors meeting less than three weeks ago, which is a meeting to discuss the upcoming assessment year.

    I’m sure Al wasn’t fired at all.

    And now he returns to a job position that…he didn’t want to have replaced after he left! (He was recommending that the office not replace his position, but roll his responsibilities over to a Deputy Assessor) so he’s really useful and consistent around here. And again, it wasn’t his fault in Boone, it was those darn non-compliant township assessors. I wonder how you deal with those. I mean, I know one that was sued and told to resign from the Grafton Township board multiple times.

    We have all the reason to believe you Al. Since you’ve done nothing but lie to us so far.

  4. Time to end townships.

    Currently the county board has the power to put a referendum on ballot.

    Franks what are you waiting for?

  5. “I’m sure Al wasn’t fired at all.”
    At least that part is accurate.

    35 ILCS 200/3-10 is very clear.
    “The county board, by a vote of 2/3 of its members, may dismiss a supervisor of assessments before the expiration of his or her term for misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of the duties of the office.”

    Since none of those occurred, it wasn’t a “firing” but a resignation as stated.

    Hopefully some readers can/will relate to the fact that honor still takes precedence over salary.

    Thank you for providing the link to the Assessors’ Meeting.

    That same page provides a link to the presentation that was made.

    After reading it, it’ll be clear that:
    – compliance (as conveyed in the press release) was a critical fundamental and
    – my honor and integrity have always been, and remain, inviolate.

  6. **Huntley home owners have been fleeing in record numbers year after year.**

    Something tells me it isn’t because of property assessments.

  7. Townships must go. 17 Counties got rid of them and the pension losers that go with them.

  8. You know it’s funny Al.

    – You “resigned” from a job and went back to one that was half the salary. Over Integrity? Do you really think we were born yesterday? By the way, were you drawing a pension over there? And when did you start drawing a full time salary over there?

    – There was a Closed Meeting on December 19th in Boone County that was a “Special Finance, Taxes and Salaries Committee Meeting.” Before that meeting, your name was on the Boone website. Not long after that meeting, your name was off the website. The minutes will eventually be released from said meeting. I’m sure the minutes will not undermine the supposed ethical unicorn that you are.

    (You’ll have to click a meeting and scroll to 2017)

    – You point fingers at everyone. You’ve pointed fingers at the Grafton Board, The County Assessor, the Grafton Township Attorney, Grafton citizens, and now Boone County. (I’m pretty sure you’ve pissed off the Mchenry County Board of Review too.) Everyone else is dishonest and corrupt except you. Here’s a hint: Honest people don’t pass blame to literally everyone else.

    But the pathetic facade you attempt to present in this blog is hilarious.

  9. Hey Al…another thing. You can keep pointing the finger at the tax levies for people moving, but like it or not you are the most powerful person in the taxing process. And people would rather move than deal with your line of idiocy. There was even a homeowner interviewed by the Northwest Herald that had sold his home in Huntley and moved to Florida. And what was one of the moving factors? When you jacked his home value in that illegal 2014 reassessment. It’s funny how you keep touting accuracy, from your woefully underassessed 1.4 acre estate.

    And the funny thing is…there is probably a reason you never flat out quit Grafton and went to Boone. In the private sector, you give your two weeks notice and leave one job before going to another. And most people in the government sector do that too. The Grafton Board told you multiple times to resign. But you kept your foot in the Grafton door didn’t you? Down deep, you probably knew the people at Boone might find out if you were a squib. And I’m guessing they did.

  10. **like it or not you are the most powerful person in the taxing process.**

    I have absolutely no skin in the Al game.

    I don’t have a side.

    But… this attack is asinine.

    If you really think that the assessor is the most powerful person in the taxing process, you’re either blatantly lying or intentionally ignorant.

    The assessor assesses the value.

    He/she does not set tax levels.

    This isn’t hard to understand.

  11. In the aggregate, it’s a zero sum game, but to the individual homeowner, a bad assessment will have a far greater effect on his or her property tax bill than the tax rate.

  12. Alabama Shake…first I’m glad you don’t have skin in this game. Jealous.

    The problem with the Grafton assessor is his failure to assess uniformly through the township.

    He showed preference to certain neighborhoods by lowering their assessments and shifted a tax burden to others when he raised theirs.

    That is power in the taxing process.

    One citizen had to sue for neighborhood data because Z wouldn’t give what should be very public neighborhood information. (The citizen got the data. one thing found out: Z lowered values in his neighborhood despite sale prices rising in the same period.)

    And the fun part is a citizen can’t do much more than appeal their own home value…but not appeal with homes outside their neighborhood.

    You will hear him spout how he the numbers fit all his way, and how hes a man of integrity.

    He will spin and spin and spin.

    But notice how he doesn’t post data.

    And do you trust a guy by what he says or what he does?

    Try asking him hard questions and see how far you get.

  13. I can’t speak to the micro (neighborhood) data, but the margin of error (Coefficient of Dispersion) inGrafton Township last year was second lowest in McHenry County.

  14. Cal…Grafton had the lowest Coefficient of Dispersion in McHenry long before Z took over.

    There is fairly uniform housing compared to other townships, (Del Webb for example) which leads to a lower COD anyway.

    Also…Z fails at another key metric: the Sales Assessment Ratio. Don’t forget, the target ratio is 33.3%. Well, in 2014, the year Z (illegally) reassessed, the Raw Median was 31.16%. IN 2015, when he reassessed for the Quadrennial, the sales ration was WORSE at 29.06%.

    This is stupid for a few reasons:

    – His rationale for reassessing in 2014 was because some neighborhoods fell to 29% or 31% sales ratios. So why was it so bad in 2013, but acceptable when he took over?

    – The Grafton Sales Assessment ratio in 2013, the year before Z took office, was 33.6%. JUST 0.3% FROM THE TARGET. And the COD was lowest in the county too. That’s about as close to perfect as you can be. Yet Z comes in one year before the Quadrennial, and says “We need to reassess” and then the sales ratio drops under Z, and then drops again?

    Here’s the link to the IDOR Sales Ratio numbers in 2013 (You need to scroll down a few pages)

    – And don’t forget…some neighborhoods got RAISED values in 2014. Meanwhile other neighborhoods definitely dropped. Who got some shade? And what happened when a citizen asked for neighborhood data? He had to take Z to court.

    The premise that Z is accurate is a blatant lie where he cherry picked some numbers.

  15. If, as the proposed wizard of statistics Grafton Taxpayer opines, the Coefficient of Dispersion is truly related solely to “fairly uniform housing compared to other townships,” how could Burton Township, with its much greater diversity of housing, be the only township to have a lower CoD than Grafton for 2017?

    If someone is going to spout statistics, one should know (at least a little) of what they speak (especially when their commentary relates to what happened three and four years ago).

    What I said.

    “Based on the 2017 results obtained from McHenry County, Grafton Township has consistently exceeded the Illinois Department of Revenue’s accuracy (sales ratio) and equity (coefficient of dispersion) specifications for each of the four years during Zielinski’s first term.”

    TRUE based on Department of Revenue statistics which don’t “spin” and have no personal agenda.

    To my knowledge, no other township McHenry County can make that claim.

    The purpose of the press release was to advise Grafton taxpayers they can look forward to four more years of accuracy and fairness (especially no deals).

    It’s my firm belief that’s what the vast majority want (except those who long for the ‘ol days of “Let’s Make a Deal!).

  16. Al,

    You’re seriously the funniest dude alive. And you’re doing the classic liar’s defense: try to disqualify someone that takes you to task, then make vague claims without any links or verifiable data.

    And Never mind that…

    A: I wasn’t using opinion, I WAS USING ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE STATS. Along with data from the County. And they refute your claim.

    B: I’m bringing up THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF YOUR FIRST TERM. They’re kind of critical since you ASSESSED BOTH YEARS.

    But let’s go to the tape here (no spin) and show the IDOR numbers:


    Again, the state specifies that you attain a median 33.3% sales assessment ratio. If I’m reading this right, you need to be between 35.33% and 31.33%. ( and if that’s wrong, that means your presentation slides to citizens were wrong.)

    Below is the data and the link to the IDOR website. And according to those numbers, Grafton was close to perfect in 2013 (the year before you took over), and…then slid downward under you.

    2013 Median Sales Ratio for Grafton: 33.6% (The year before Z took over)

    2014 Median Sales Assessment Ratio for Grafton: 31.16% (BELOW THE IDOR’s SPECIFIED RANGE.)

    2015 Median Sales Assessment Ratio for Grafton: 29.06% (BELOW THE IDOR’S SPECIFICED RANGE)

    So, your predecessor nailed it in his final year in office.


    Haven’t seen the stats for 2016 and 2017.

    (Cal you were posting about Coral Township. Would you care to share the County Sales Assessment ratios – 2016 or 2017 or both – with the rest of the class?)


    Z says I don’t know much about Coefficient of Dispersion. True, I’m not an expert, but I asked experts.

    Per the County Assessor’s office, here is the COD’s for McHenry County from 2010 to 2015.

    As you can see, Grafton was one of the lowest since before Z took office. And I had asked an assessor in Dupage County about COD, and he had this to say. (Forgive me Z, but I don’t trust any explanation from your lying ass.)

    “The Coefficient of dispersion is a good statistical tool to rate the quality of assessments but you also have to compare apples to apples. If the housing stock is mostly new subdivisions and very homogeneous then the coefficient of dispersion should be 10 or under according to the International Association of Assessing Officers. If the housing stock is older and nonhomogeneous then the COD should be 15 or lower according to the international Association of Assessing Officers. If you have any depressed areas in a township with lots of foreclosure sales the COD will be much higher. If you have a small parcel count with very few sales the COD will be much higher. In my opinion with the housing mix in your township the COD should be under 10.”

    Now granted the COD they didn’t go up under you. But it’s safe to say you didn’t revolutionize it either. And you’ve had plenty of sales data to go with.

    And you blew it on the Sales Ratios.

    (But kudos to Burton Township. It must be nice to have an assessor who works full time there, without one foot out the door. )

    And let’s talk DEALS.

    You tried to cut a deal with your campaign rival back in 2013: if she were to drop out, you’d give her a job as a deputy assessor.

    You also told FEN that Del Webb was overassessed by $10.9 million in 2014. Never mind that your own data said they were at 33.3% in 2013. Why the drop Al? You made a lot of speeches over there. Lots of voters there.

    And then there’s FAIRNESS.

    How does your 1.4 acre address (Link here)…

    …have the same land value as house on a 0.25 acre?

    That isn’t fairness to all. That’s Fairness to AL.

    I tell you what, just get another professional to endorse your work. But I wouldn’t call anyone in Grafton…or Boone…or at the County Assessors office…or at the Board of Review.

    Go away Z. The vast majority of Grafton does not want you here. We deserve better.

  17. Ali Z tells what needs to be done: ““The county board, by a vote of 2/3 of its members, may dismiss a supervisor of assessments before the expiration of his or her term for misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of the duties of the office.”

    It is time now more than ever for the Grafton Board to do what they said they were going to do… TAKE CARE OF THIS IDIOT. They should be spending all of the paid office hours to lobby the McHenry County Board to get this imbecile out of office.

  18. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
    An old commercial but oh so accurate regarding the above post.

    Township assessors are ELECTED officials over which the County Board has not influence.
    Township assessors answer only to the township voters not the township Board.

  19. Doesn’t the township board decide your budget and/or bills? If so I would say you report to them, otherwise that’s just another broken government….

  20. You know, I’m always fascinated when replies to this post with data that refute the Assessor’s claims somehow get stuck, for days, in moderation. And then I find out a few other people I know had that same problem!

    Then again, I’m fascinated that the Assessor pretty much writes what he wants for this Blog, with no tough questions. The same thing happened when the Assessor responded to offering a campaign rival a job if she were to drop out, and when he was sued for denying a proper FOIA, ect. ect. I mean, this Blog rightfully goes after the County for FOIA denials, and is properly tough on Jack Franks for some shenanigans, but gives this chump assessor an open platform, carte blanche, so he can keep his facade going.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s your blog, and you can do what you want. But that’s hilarious.


  21. I think its funny he says he reports to township voters and not the township board. If I am reading things correctly, the board decides his budget and bills.

  22. If you are first time commenter, your email address must be approved.

  23. Hey Al. I DARE you to answer my post here after I publicly addressed your attempts at stolen valor. You were there last night at the Ela Township meeting (late I might add), and you sheepishly did not address the concerns I brought up regarding your claims of 3 purple hearts and combat experience as a member of my beloved Marine Corps. I also confronted you directly, you just looked down at your shoes. You sir, have no HONOR.

    To all seeing this post – Attached, is my public comment on Al Zielinski at the Ela Township meeting last night (Al was voted OUT of Grafton Township on a rail last election by 90% of the voters & who has somehow squirmed his way into Ela Township in Lake County. He is now claiming to be a combat veteran in his effort at getting jobs.

    I (and others) did a FOIA request of the Marine Corps & the Federal Govt…. and according to them – Mr. Zielinski had NOT served in the Marine Corps (hr went into OCS in 1970 & failed to complete it). This is the man who also “sales chased” as a Grafton County Assessor and caused me to fight back a doubling my home’s assessment over 4 years ago (I won on appeal).

    But here is the rub….. he is now claiming he is a Marine Corps combat veteran AND that he has 3 purple hearts. That he also became a sgt in 6 months.

    Ela township hired him last week without doing a full background check. A Veteran (who had been the Ela Township assessor at one time) was BYPASSED by the Ela Township board.

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