Local Editorials

Our view: Algonquin Township, stop it

Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser speaks at Wednesday's Algonquin Township meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.
Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser speaks at Wednesday's Algonquin Township meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

The infighting among elected officials at Algonquin Township has become embarrassing. So we have some advice we hope all will heed: Stop it.

Just stop. Don’t do it anymore. Don’t call your attorney again. Don’t file another lawsuit. Stop. It.

It’s time for Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser and Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik to drop their lawsuits against each other and fire their lawyers.

Or, at the very least, let them fund their petty political legal battles the way they funded their election campaigns: with private money.

Honestly, we’d like it even more if they’d grow up and govern.

Stop now. Before you end up like Grafton Township did a few years back: Nearly bankrupt.

The bickering and political infighting serves no purpose other than to waste public funds. Algonquin Township has already wasted enough, with little to show for the money it has spent thus far on legal fees.

Since Lukasik took office in May, the clerk has spent almost $41,000 on legal bills, according to October financial records. Gasser has spent almost $136,000 for lawyers working on multiple lawsuits – already $40,000 more than the road district’s total annual budget for legal expenses.

Last week, Algonquin Township trustees approved a transfer of $194,870 from the road district’s $3 million reserve into a fund to cover Gasser’s mounting legal bills.

Gasser certainly doesn’t have a strong political mandate. He beat predecessor Bob Miller by a slim margin in an off-year primary election.

To be clear, we’re not just talking about Gasser and Lukasik here. We hold everyone involved here accountable, including Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow and board members Daniel Shea, Dave Chapman, Melissa Victor and Rachael Lawrence.

This is township government, an unnecessary layer of government in a state that already boasts the most local governments in America. The nonsense afoot at Algonquin Town Hall is fast making it a poster child for doing away with township government.

Public grievances alone haven’t been enough to persuade the politicians involved here to correct their behavior. Last week, they could barely get through a meeting.

So, maybe it’s time for a community intervention. The next Algonquin Township board meeting is at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Algonquin Township, 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake. Bring your children for a free civics lesson. Township “electors” – as residents are called – have the right to address the board.

Either the public will see an example of how government is not supposed to work, or, with an audience disgusted at mounting legal fees and political bickering, the elected officials will behave and actually set to conducting public business.

People need to show up and make their voice heard before Algonquin Township goes broke.

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