A cadre of Republican McHenry County Board members are standing in support of Chairman Jack Franks and the pressure he’s putting on Algonquin Township officials to put a referendum to voters in the November election asking whether the highway department should be eliminated.
Those County Board members all live in Algonquin Township and include Chris Christensen, R-Cary; Tom Wilbeck, R-Barrington Hills; John Reinert, R-Crystal Lake; and Christopher Spoerl, R-Cary.
Their support comes after a letter Franks sent to Algonquin Township officials Thursday, urging them to give voters a choice to abolish the highway department, where Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser has been involved in multiple lawsuits.
“The taxpayers of Algonquin Township deserve better,” Christensen said in a statement. “Consolidation of the Algonquin Township Highway Department is, in my opinion, a step in the right direction. Let the Algonquin Township Board have full oversight.”
Franks’ letter focused on the public’s perception of the turmoil brewing inside Algonquin Township.
Wilbeck said citizens should choose how they are governed.
“Let the residents decide if change is needed,” he said in a statement. “Let the voters be heard.”
Reinert called the township’s legal costs – more than $478,000 in the last year – “offensive.”
“Highway commissioners operate with almost no oversight, and this has resulted in disaster for the taxpayers of Algonquin Township,” Reinert said in a statement. “It’s time to give the voters the ability this November to rip up the blank checks they have been forced to sign again and again.”
Spoerl pointed to the McHenry County’s shrinking population: People are fleeing crushing property taxes to find affordable living, he said.
“People don’t need any more motivation to move, and unfortunately, the goings on in Algonquin Township are yet another example of things that make people want to leave,” Spoerl said in a statement. “At this point, the voters deserve the right to decide whether the highway department should continue to exist as an independent unit with little or no oversight.”