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posted: 2/26/2010 12:01 AM

Had enough of Grafton Twp. politics?

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Pam Fender's honeymoon didn't last long.

Just one week after starting as Grafton Township administrator, Fender this week had what sounds like a minor scuffle with Supervisor Linda Moore.

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Fender was apparently trying to get to a copy machine ensconced in Moore's office. But Moore wanted the door to her office closed, and their accounts diverge over whether Fender tried to force her way in or Moore tried to force her newest co-worker out.

For two women supposed to represent the good people of Grafton Township, that's bad enough. But Fender kicked it up a notch when she called Huntley police to the scene. And Moore tried to top her by attempting to press charges (according to police) and threatening legal action.

Local authorities must get pretty sick of being asked to play referee to politicians' childish disputes. Chief John Perkins sounded fed up with the whole situation when I talked to him later that day.

He relayed to me how police had been called out the township offices several times in the spring and summer. Eventually, Perkins said, his officers stopped responding unless it was a criminal matter. Isn't that what police are for?

Folks in the McHenry County State's Attorney's office must be feeling Perkins' pain. They've been asked to initiate investigations against both the township trustees and the supervisor.

Because if history has taught us anything, it's that you can get to anyone - by complaining about that person to the state's attorney.

Never mind that the state's attorney often opts (wisely, I might add) to stay out of the fray, as when an assistant state's attorney wrote Moore a letter essentially saying there wasn't merit to her complaint against the trustees.

No word yet on whether the state's attorney will pursue any of the 38 charges against Moore outlined in a 10-page Adobe Acrobat document drafted by the trustees and the township attorney.

As for the tiff between Moore and Fender, I don't think I'm the only one who saw this coming. In fact, I think trustees could have reasonably predicted it when they named Fender administrator, despite her lack of education or experience in public administration.

I like Pam Fender. She has been a vocal advocate on the village board for issues she is passionate about and a dedicated community volunteer.

But wouldn't Grafton Township be better off with a trained administrator looking for a career steppingstone, someone who lacks the baggage of Grafton Township politics?

My colleagues at the Northwest Herald didn't write about this week's catfight. I can't blame them. Perhaps they're sick of the silliness taking place in Grafton Township.

I am, too.

And if reporters and editors who have little personal connection to Grafton Township are fed up, it's a good bet the folks who actually live, vote and pay taxes in the township aren't far behind.

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