McHenry County rejects appointing coroner; Batavia voters want recreational pot dispensaries
By Kevin Schmit
If Woodstock Republican Michael R. Rein holds the sizable lead he maintained Tuesday night in the election for McHenry County coroner, it looks like he'll actually be able to take office because a measure to appoint, rather than elect, the officeholder was on track to fail.
With all 212 precincts reporting, Rein had 73,848 votes compared to Wonder Lake Libertarian Kelly Liebmann's 25.340 votes, a ratio 74.5% to 25.6% in unofficial tallies.
Of the 68,203 mail-in ballots in McHenry County, 18,306 remained outstanding.
McHenry County voters appeared poised to reject the idea of appointing instead of electing the coroner.
In a binding referendum, 67,575 voters opposed appointing the coroner while 37,241 approved for a ratio of 64.5% to 35.5%.
In a nonbinding referendum, Batavia voters leaned in favor of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries with all 22 precincts reporting, including all early and returned mail-in ballots.
By a ratio of 61.5% to 36.4%, 9,663 voters favored dispensaries while 5,703 opposed, with 10,917 outstanding mail-in ballots remaining in Kane County.
In January, the city council decided to place an advisory referendum on the ballot. Even though the result is not binding, the tallies could affect future decisions on marijuana dispensaries.
Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke in August of 2019 said he'd veto an ordinance allowing dispensaries, which would require 10 council votes to override. Schielke, though, said in September he supported the putting the question to voters.
"People have the final decision. That's what I like about the referendum," Schielke said in September. "I'm not about to counteract what the community feels about it."
Algonquin village clerk
In a binding referendum, the bulk of Algonquin voters in Kane County and McHenry County rejected having the village clerk appointed instead of elected.
With the six precincts in Kane County reporting, 2,974 voters said no to having the clerk appointed compared to 1,186 voting yes, a ratio of 67.3% to 26.8%. In McHenry County, 8,187 voters were against appointing the clerk while 4,118 were in favor for a ratio of 66.5% to 33.5%.
There are still mail-in ballots outstanding in Kane County and McHenry County, though the number in Algonquin was released.
The village currently has an elected clerk who serves part-time while a deputy clerk is a full-time employee. Clerk Jerry Kautz was first elected in 1989 and has run unopposed in every election since 1993.
Dundee Twp. property taxes
With all 46 precincts reporting, Dundee Township voters rejected a 50% property tax increase.
As of Tuesday night, 18,214 voters were against the property tax increase and 5,634 voters were in favor, with 10,917 outstanding mail-in ballots remaining in Kane County.
The tax increase to raise funds for general operations would increase the limiting rate from 7.28 cents to 10.98 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. Dundee Township officials calculated the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $12.33 in property taxes in 2021.
Dundee Township officials estimated the tax increase would generate an additional $700,000 in revenue in its first year. Supervisor Patricia Glees said about half would go to the general fund with additional revenue used for the open-space fund, cemetery fund and for general assistance.
• Shaw Media contributed to this report.