East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn says results of a survey he mailed out show most of its respondents don't want an auto auction business in town, but Village President Jerald Bartels says the survey has no value.
Insurance Auto Auctions, which sells totaled vehicles to the highest bidder, hopes to build a 12,000-square-foot building and 34 acres of outdoor storage north of Route 72 at Commonwealth Drive in a reclaimed gravel pit. Skillicorn and some residents from neighboring Barrington Hills oppose the business because they fear leaking fluids from the vehicles will contaminate groundwater.
Skillicorn mailed his quarterly "East Dundee Dispatch" newsletter in December to 1,700 addresses with an enclosed survey. He compiled the newsletter and paid $215 for its postage.
Of the 100 people who responded, 75 wrote they're opposed to IAA, even though the survey never asked them to weigh in on the company.
"I didn't ask about (IAA) and people cared enough to write it in," Skillicorn said. "The fact that it's not ... an option (on the survey) tells me there's not a lot of support for it."
The survey had nothing to do with IAA, and Bartels can't understand why Skillicorn is trumpeting results for a question that was never asked.
In the newsletter, Skillicorn discusses his opposition to IAA and updates the people on other issues. The survey asks whether the village should ban video gambling and to rate, in order of importance: freezing the property tax levy, attracting a new grocery store and improving the streets, roads and planting trees.
Bartels also said several merchants who fought for video gambling were upset about the survey because it gave the impression that it's still up for debate, though the board approved video gambling last fall. Skillicorn, who opposed video gambling, said he asked that question to see whether there was enough support to repeal the measure.
Bartels suspects Skillicorn has greater political ambitions, pointing to his trips to Springfield and a radio show which focuses on politics and current events.
"I believe Allen has aspirations of a political career beyond East Dundee, and this is nothing more than a steppingstone to advance his political agenda," Bartels said.
Skillicorn said if he had interest in a higher office he would have gone after Bartels' seat.
"I'd probably be running for mayor because he doesn't seem to get it on taxes and spending and subsidizing an auction yard that the people don't want," Skillicorn said.
IAA is working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to mitigate pollution concerns. East Dundee is expected to take a final vote later this month or in February.
"We're looking forward to being a good business partner in the East Dundee area," IAA spokeswoman Jeanene O'Brien said.