Palatine Township supervisor, highway boss spar over appointments
Palatine Township Supervisor Sharon Langlotz-Johnson says criticism over politically connected Aaron Del Mar's prior appointments to two taxpayer-funded posts played a role in her opposition to his recent placement on a fire district board.
Against Langlotz-Johnson's recommendation, the township board voted 4-1 last week to reappoint Del Mar to a 3-year term as a Palatine Rural Fire Protection District board trustee, which pays $2,500 annually. The three-member board meets once a month to make spending and other decisions for the fire district, which serves unincorporated parts of Palatine Township, Schaumburg Township and much of Inverness.
Del Mar also is Palatine Township's $20,000-a-year highway commissioner -- a post he received with Langlotz-Johnson's backing in May 2016 -- and serves as Palatine Township Republican committeeman, and in 2016 he was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to a $20,000-a-year post on the Illinois International Port District board.
Langlotz-Johnson said complaints about political cronyism involving Del Mar's previous appointments led her to recommend former township supervisor Linda Fleming for the fire district job instead.
"I took that to heart," Langlotz-Johnson said of the criticism.
She also contends it's time for Del Mar to stop holding three taxpayer-funded positions that pay a combined $42,500.
"It's fundamentally, ethically wrong," she said.
Del Mar, who in his role as Republican committeeman slated Langlotz-Johnson for the township supervisor's post, dismissed her objections.
He said he is highly qualified for the fire board, having gained experience in fire department issues while a Palatine village councilman from 2009 to 2013. And there is nothing wrong with him serving three public agencies, he said.
"When I took over on the fire board, it was in a negative budget for the last eight years," Del Mar said. "Since I've been on the board, it's been in the black. So, we've had a balanced budget or a surplus. I think that's incredibly important."
Township Trustee Bill Pohlman said he nominated Del Mar for the fire board after considering Fleming and three other candidates. He does not see a problem with Del Mar simultaneously serving as highway commissioner, a fire district trustee and a state port district board member.
"None of them are high-paid positions," Pohlman said. "I mean, it's not like he's milking the state or the local communities for big money."
Langlotz-Johnson also questions whether Del Mar can take on all the responsibilities of the three posts. Del Mar also owns a business and is involved in a nonprofit organization that helps fathers in child-custody cases.
Del Mar said he doesn't have a problem with his busy schedule.
"I juggle everything," he said. "I don't have a 9-to-5 job. I work for myself. I have my own company. My company's office is two blocks away from the road district."