Appellate Court Rules County Clerk Joe Tirio Should Have Placed McHenry Township Abolition Referendum on March Ballot

The 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin ruled in favor of the outgoing majority of the McHenry Township Board’s effort to place a referendum to consolidate McHenry Township into McHenry County at last year’s {corrected from last March’s] November election.

Considering that the referendum put on the ballot to place the Township Road District under the new Township Board failed over 4-1 and a previous consolidation referendum failed by almost that much,, it seems unlikely that one putting township government under county government would have succeeded.

April 9, 2021, results reported for referendum to put McHenry Township Road District under the control of the newly-elected McHenry Township Board.

McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio concluded that the proposed referendum was duplicative of the one defeated earlier.

Associate Judge Kevin Costello ruled in favor of Tirio.

However, Dillon’s Rule was what tripped up Tirio’s decision.

Dillon’s Rule says that local officials may not do anything not specifically authorized in state law.

The Appellate Court put it this way:

Had the legislature that a county clerk may use his or her knowledge of past ballots to ascertain whether a question submitted for the next election runs afoul of Section 28-7’s prohibition, we believe that it would have made such power clear.

Robert Hanlon was the attorney for McHenry Township.

Assistant McHenry County State’s Attorneys Norm Vinton and Carla Wychoff represented County Clerk Tirio.


Appellate Court Rules County Clerk Joe Tirio Should Have Placed McHenry Township Abolition Referendum on March Ballot — 27 Comments

  1. I rarely comment on appellate rulings and pending litigation.

    However, the striking of a referendum in a presidential election cycle was an unusual act.

    The blog article references the wrong election.

    I believe Mr Tirio had received erroneous counsel on the matter but was attempting to do his job correctly.

    Obviously, his position certainly convinced Judge Costello.

    Nevertheless, the appellate court reversed Judge Costello, and I believe, in light of the ruling, the system will be more efficient.

    Our power, as citizens, is at the ballot box!

    Because of errors made and now clarified by the appellate court, the right to vote on the issue was denied to the citizens of McHenry Township.

  2. Tirio has been a BIG disappointment.

    He campaigned against the corrupt establishment.

    Looks like he joined it.

  3. Wow, Tirio.

    Why did he prevent the question from going on the ballot?

    Cal, you are wrong.

    If that question went on a big turnout election, the township would have been toast.

    That’s why the demoncrats and township employees and kin wanted it on the low turnout election.

    They tried to get me to sign at the senior center in Johnsburg 2 yrs ago.

    They passed the petition while we were playing cards and tried to scare everybody that if the township got abolished the senior center would be closed down.

    I said wait, if you are for the township, why are you passing petitions to get it abolished?

    They said because they wanted to prevent the question from going on at a worse time.

    I said worse time?

    They said yeah, the latter election would be harder to ‘control.’

    Township Road workers were collecting signatures at the senior center.

    Isn’t that wrong?

    Especially during working hours.

  4. Joe maybe relied on stupid legal advice from Kenneally-Squeally.

    The real goof is Judge Fudge-Costello.

  5. Nonsensical ruling.

    It basically says that the County Clerk must not uphold State law.

    Let referendum filers do as they please.

    Why not let voters vote twice in the same election, if they want? After all, the appellate court says it’s not the County Clerk’s place to “remember” things.

    The rank imbecility is SO Illinois…

  6. And of course Robert Hanlon approves of it.

    Mr. Hanlon, how much money have you made as an attorney billing both government and anti-government clients?

  7. No, he didn’t receive erroneous council.

    He knew what the law said and he knew what the referendums said.

    Did the court actually rule on the content of the referendum or not???

    Or did they just rule on some gay procedural thing?

  8. It was a procedural ruling concerning Dillon’s Rule not being followed.

  9. I very rarely ever post here, and I used to be a McH ASA, on the civil side, long ago.

    I read the appellate ruling.

    What Norm Vinton was arguing, and what Judge Costello was apparently buying, is that Joe Tirio, as County Clerk, can arbitrarily scotch referendum questions that come before him.

    Tirio’s arguments are strange, to say the least.

    They are unconstitutional, self-serving and frankly rather dumb.

    And they are very chilling.

    A bureaucrat like Tirio can decide, on his or her whim, what can or cannot be voted on.

    Nobody appointed or elected Joe Tirio as some kind of Master Decider as to what elected boards can put on the ballot.

    Tirio broke the law that the General Assembly enacted.

    And Tirio almost got away with it.

    It’s all very simple.

    Tirio had no power to take his unilateral, arbitrary action.

    It’s disgraceful that the SA’s office distorted the case law and succeeded just like the Democrats did in several states last November (WI, PA, AZ, GA, MI, etc) to perpetrate a scam when they brazenly stold a National election.

    Tirio did even worse, however, he stold citizens’ rights to even vote on an issue and wrongfully usurped the power of an elected unit of government in a blatant power grab.

    Even more shocking than Tirio’s action is Judge Costello’s illogic and after-the-fact whitewashing and sanctioning of Tirio’s unlawful conduct.

    Thank God the 3 judge Appellate Court saw through the smokescreen and unanimously slapped Tirio, the SA’s Office and Judge Costello down.

    They deserved it!

    The rule of law is what is crumbling in Chicago, Washington and many, many other places. Can’t you see it?

    When massive, violent and protracted BLM and Antifa riots throughout the nation resulted in dozens of deaths and billions in property damages and are called ‘peaceful protests,’ but a peaceful protest in Washington is called an ‘insurrection’ something is really twisted.

    Open up your eyes.

  10. Where’s the opinion?

    I don’t wanna read it!

    Tirio kinda punted and now gets cooked.

  11. I say kudos Joe Tirio!

    He made the best decision he could trying to resolve the issue between the rabid McHenry Township Trustees who badgered, infringed upon, insulted, denied, propagandized, and wasted (including this ruling) the tax payers’ dollars on frivolous law suits.

    What was this, the fourth referendum on basically the same issue?

    Put the referendum on any ballot, the results would’ve been the same!

    The residents of McHenry Township have spoken, it’s their resounding choice to keep the quality of their local government!

    It’s like walking out of a grocery store after buying a can of Folger’s Coffee and someone coming up to you and telling you to go back in and buy that less expensive generic can of coffee because it will save you money.

    No, it’s my choice to spend my money on what works for me!

  12. Robert Williams I don’t know what you do for a living but it seams like Mr. Hanlon has clients on different sides of issues and effectively argues for his client.

    Cal used him in the McCluster case.

    So yes he should charge for services and he invested more money in his education than you probably did.

  13. For those that bash mr Tirio, keep in mind that the state’s attorney’s office made the silly arguments that are attributed to Mr Tirio.

  14. Would Tirio stop a referendum mandating English for all county governmental transactions?

    Would he also prevent a plebiscite on forbidding illegal aliens to be hired by the Sheriff?

    He tried to protect a taxing body from taxpayer wrath.

    Yeah Townships are so great.

    Just ask the Bob Miller Family.

  15. To me , the crux of the issue was state statute that said that (in circumstances like this), if a question is presented to me to be put on the ballot, and it is prohibited, it is my job to return it.

    I knew the question had just been on the ballot.

    I knew 23 months should have passed between appearances on the ballot.

    So, as I saw it, I had two choices:

    1. Do what I did and send it back to the township, or

    2. Ignore the statute.

    If I ignore the statute, the inevitable court case would come where I would have to answer whether I knew of the statute to return the question, and the law about how frequently you can put a question on a ballot.

    Darned if you do, darned if you don’t.

    Obviously, the law is not obvious.

    If it was, there wouldn’t be this difference of opinion.

  16. Joe you lost trying to steal my right to vote.

    Nobody appointed you to be statute nullifier.

    Maybe you should bother to read the statutes you claim empower you to pick and choose what’s goes on the ballot,

    instead of trying to please the establishment.

    Maybe if you actually did your job, not like the last election’s fiasco where you blame your underlings, you could have avoided this embarrassment.

    Quit trying to justify the unjustifiable.

    You succeeded in blocking a valid referendum.

    Why don’t you apologize to the voters instead of trashing the appellate court and wasting time here with your lame excuses?

  17. I just can’t vote for Tirio ever again.

    Story Joe, you didn’t keep your promises.

    You are a township whore.

    It’s out now.

  18. You had two choices Joe:

    1. Obey the law.

    2. Obey Township losers.

    You chose wrong. You should resign ASAP.


  19. Funny response from Joe.

    But it doesn’t make any sense.

    I couldn’t follow the court order.

    Why did Kenneally’s office get involved?

    That was Joe’s first mistake.

    Can’t Tirio get his own lawyer?

  20. The State’s Attorney’s Office is the attorney for all county officials.

  21. Attorney Robert Handlon did an awesome job for the voters and taxpayers.

    McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio failed both the the voters and taxpayers!

    Looked to me the nasty township people had a hand in this.

  22. You guys are morons, the country is burning down and you’re worried about township races that you would have gotten your ass pounded down 4-1.

    You’re an idiot.

    And America is going to continue declining.

    Oh you think if only you would have gotten or voted the right way on some township thing everything would be better??

    It’s not going to get better.

    It’s going to get worse.

    Things are going to get a lot worse, Bob!

  23. I don’t understand the ruling.

    Why isn’t the SA’s office punished for bad advice?

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