Comments on Township Abolition by Referendum Legislation – Part 1

State Rep. David McSweeney’s legislation to allow voters to eliminate township government has garnered a number of comments.  Some of the more cogent ones are below:

From “An American:”

If McHenry County has to pick up the tabs for any debts and obligations, shouldn’t McHenry County voters get a say on it?

Seems like if you can just schluff off your responsibilities on the rest of the county, and now that cost is dispersed among more people then you’d be better off, but the person outside of the township being abolished would be worse off.

Why should county taxpayers be responsible for what an individual township did when many of the people in the county live outside of the township and had no responsibility or say-so in the township’s matters?

[To the best of my knowledge, only Dunham Township has outstanding debt and that is what remains of a $1 million bond issue for road improvements.]

Didn’t Franks tell a newspaper that an IGA could be worked out as they hash out the details?

How will an IGA work when the unit must be abolished after 60 days?

Wouldn’t the entire transition have to occur within 60 days?

There wouldn’t be any township employees after that point, right?

What happens to elected officials if a township abolishes itself?

Will they still get paid the yearly salary?

Will they have to be paid until the end of their term?

Who will pay them if the township is abolished?

Will this open up the possibility of lawsuits?

Why is McSweeney using the state to force a 10 percent cut on local governments?

How is it conservative to micromanage local governments?

I think McSweeney has jumped the shark again.

The guy seems to really enjoy chasing headlines.

Ask him a policy question on FB or Twitter and watch him ignore you…

He has no idea what he’s doing.

Another clown!

“Out of towner” answers the township debt question:

Debt outstanding based on latest reports filed with the State Comptroller:

  • Chemung $906,398
  • Dunham $579,100
  • Greenwood $154,574
  • Hebron $369,373
  • Marengo $154,502

Total $2,163,947

All other Townships showed zero.

McHenry County reported their outstanding debt at $ 85,748,432.

The McHenry County Conservation District reported indebtedness of $95,370,000.


Comments on Township Abolition by Referendum Legislation – Part 1 — 4 Comments

  1. I believe that you will find the correct answer is that any outstanding debts are the responsibilities of the taxpayers in the original District and do not become a general County taxpayer responsibility.

  2. So the people in charge of county board property tax assessment/collection would make sure the debt that is captured from acquiring a township would specifically apply that debt owed to properties that are located specifically within the newly dissolved township?

    I read it a different way than you, Steve.

    This is what the bill says

    “NOTICE OF PETITION TO DISSOLVE (dissolving township).
    Residents of (dissolving township) and McHenry County are
    notified that a petition has been filed with (dissolving
    township) and McHenry County requesting a referendum to
    dissolve (dissolving township) on (date of dissolution)
    with all real and personal property, and any other assets,
    together with all personnel, contractual obligations, and
    liabilities being transferred to McHenry County.”

    Wouldn’t debt be a contractual obligation? Maybe I’m interpreting it too much, but is there some specific language that brought you to your conclusion or are you just guessing as well?

    What are you basing your interpretation on?

    The bill wasn’t clear enough for some Republican lawmakers either, Steve.

    The Daily-Journal reports:

    “Some Republicans outside of Lake and McHenry counties opposed the measure. Sen. Dale Righter, of Mattoon, said the measure would see a township abolished and then the rest of the county’s residents stuck with that government’s debt.

    “Why is that provision in there, and why do you think that’s really fair?” he asked.”

  3. Is anyone else astounded by the $95,370,000 debt of the conservation district?

  4. Anyway, the debt is just one question/concern.

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought you are against consolidating schools based on the premise that bigger government won’t reduce costs?

    That decentralization is better?

    That unionization and more bureaucracy follows from consolidation?

    That service won’t be as good?

    I know there are definitely conservatives, such as the chairman of the McHenry County Republican Party, who have made that argument in regard to township consolidation.

    Then again there are people who support this bill who don’t have a strong opinion one way or another and even some who would oppose eliminating a township who’d still support the bill because they want to give voters a bigger say in how the government is run.

    Bills should be well thought out though, not rushed.

    Specifics are important.

    Personally, I don’t like McSweeney.

    He’s made a career out of being a firebreathing goof but he’s always short on specifics.

    I think he shares a similar ideology with people like Gasser and Rauner, but he throws them under the bus because he knows they have some popularity issues.

    McSweeney has no loyalty or commitments other than to himself.

    He’s one of the most vile creatures I’ve seen, and I pray that Democrats will run someone against him in 2020.

    Steve Reick gets a lot of heat but he actually takes effort in explaining why he does what he does.

    McSweeney chases headlines and then cowers from questions and criticisms.

    He is not the type of person we need in Springfield given the magnitude of our problems.

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