Chairman Jack Franks and state Rep. Allen Skillicorn Ask Algonquin Township for Referendum to Abolish Highway Department
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – State Rep. Allen Skillicorn is joining McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ call for the Algonquin Township Board to put a referendum to voters to eliminate the elected office of Highway Commissioner.
Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, and Franks, D-Marengo, sent a joint letter Monday to Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow and Trustees Dan Shea, Rachel Lawrence, Melissa Victor and Dave Chapman, imploring them to take advantage of a new law that allows a township board to put a referendum on the ballot abolishing the office and giving trustees full oversight of the highway department.
The letter is the third that Franks has written to trustees since May asking them to empower voters in the wake of a never-ending parade of legal bills racked up over lawsuits filed by and against the current highway commissioner, and his patronage hiring of a deputy commissioner with no job-related experience.
“At some point, silence equals consent. State law allows township boards to ask voters if they want to eliminate the highway commissioner’s office, and the current officeholder has become the poster boy for doing so. But township trustees will not allow their voters to have that choice – they have been unwilling to put it on their agenda to even discuss it. Township taxpayers are furious with the situation, and they have been met with a shrug by the trustees they entrust with their dollars. This has to change,” Franks said.
Skillicorn, whose 66th House District covers the far western portion of the township, voted for House Bill 4637, which seeks to allow McHenry County voters to abolish their particular townships altogether by voter referendum. The bill, now in the Illinois Senate, was drafted by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, because of the current situation in Algonquin Township – much of the township falls in the 52nd House District he represents.
“I have been watching the situation in Algonquin Township with dismay. Our residents are struggling with one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Government already wastes far too much of their hard-earned money, and squandering it on petty political feuds is a disgrace. Just last week, this nation celebrated the bold actions of visionary men who had had enough of taxation without representation. It’s time for Algonquin Township’s trustees to quit pretending that they’re helpless to stop this situation, and vote to put this referendum on the ballot,” Skillicorn said.
Four County Board members who live in Algonquin Township – Chris Christensen, Tom Wilbeck, John Reinert and Christopher Spoerl – also have called on township trustees to put the question on the ballot.
The Algonquin Township Board has two more meetings until the Aug. 20 deadline to approve binding referendums for the Nov. 6 midterm election. The township board next meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the township building at 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake.