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posted: 8/13/2017 12:01 AM

Putting a stop to the shenanigans

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McHenry County taxpayers pay higher property taxes than 99.99 percent of Americans, and that's on top of a permanent income tax increase in a state with almost 7,000 local governments. People have had enough and are fleeing.

Since I was elected McHenry County Board chairman last November, we've taken action: we're cutting 10 percent from our tax levy, we're reducing the county budget by $8 million, and we placed a referendum on the March ballot to consolidate the Recorder and County Clerk's offices. We continue to explore consolidating unnecessary taxing entities.

Under a law I wrote as a state representative, McHenry County can consolidate taxing bodies that rest entirely within the county and to which I, as chairman, appoint at least half the boards of trustees. The Lake in the Hills Sanitary District is one such body.

In June, I asked the district <Lake in the Hills Village Board> to discuss consolidation with us. What happened next shocked me.

A rogue group led by the district's director decided to purchase 13 acres of Kane County farmland in an attempt to foil consolidation by claiming to be a multicounty entity. They illegally mailed a political communication with constituents' bills opposing consolidation, and retained an attorney at taxpayers' expense.

Their attorney said the land purchase is part of a long-term plan, but documents from the last several years yielded a total of three emails on the subject. It's clear that the local good old boys are trying to protect a fiefdom.

A McHenry County judge temporary halted the rogue group's land purchase. A final ruling is expected soon.

In the face of greed, lies and possible criminal behavior, I am confident that our country's founding principles will be upheld and shenanigans like these will be nothing but a footnote in our history.

Jack Franks

Chairman, McHenry County Board

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