Our Revolution – McHenry County

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Advocacy in Action: McHenry Senior/Disability Bus

We are not just about reporting on local civic happenings. Instead, we help create positive action. (Miss the story? Read it here.)

In response to the suspension of the Senior Express service, we have already taken the following actions and encourage others in the community to join the effort and do the same. Don’t wait!!

! Recent Updates and Actions

The NW Herald’s Brittney Keeperman reported that Trustee Rakestaw had unpaid taxes sold at auction and still has not paid the tax debt own on June 3, 20119. That makes him ineligible to serve at any level. We are working to ensure no ineligible trustee continues in their role while owing a tax debt to the same people they represent.

This also means we will be looking for McHenry township persons willing to serve their community for one hour a month and act as trustee. The vacancy must be filled by a resident of the township who has lived there for at least one year. How do we know?

Illinois code says, ( 65 ILCS 5/) Illinois Municipal Code. ) “…(b) A person is not eligible to take the oath of office for a municipal office if that person is, at the time required for taking the oath of office, in arrears in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the municipality or has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony.

and “(4) Owing a debt to the municipality. A vacancy occurs if a municipal official fails to pay a debt to a municipality in which the official has been elected or appointed to an elected position subject to the following removal..."

The McHenry Township Clerk must begin working to notify the Trustee of this ineligibility and serve notice. A hearing must be scheduled and the matter resolved within 30 days.

I addition, we will be looking into allegations that Trustee Rakestraw has a homestead exemption on the same property that has been improperly applied.

Finally, there are a few members of the public who are passing around incomplete information on the Senior Express Bus schedule. The complete public handout from the meeting is here with the full annual report of the bus service and all 1200 stops made to transport residents. Senior Bus Service Annual Report

What can YOU do fix this?

The simple answer is the McHenry Township Trustees can reverse this decision themselves. They can vote to continue the bus service.

  • Direct Community Action: We are planning a community consolidated event to help apply gentle persuasion to motivate our elected representatives. This is a tool guaranteed by the Constitution to be used in just these circumstances. We will have more information to follow and ask you to help in the planning process. Would you like to be involved?
    • Join in the planning:
  • Talk to other elected representatives. We have already called the following elected representatives and will continue to follow-up until we receive a response. Call them! They are here to help you:
    • State Senator Craig Wilcox – called twice, no response
    • Illinois Attorney General’s Task Force on Disability Rights
    • Senator Tammy Duckworth– We called about assistance with grants to help offset the cost of the bus program. That is our tax money, let’s see if we can get more of it back here working for us.
      • 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900
        Chicago, IL 60604
        Phone (312) 886-3506
    • Congressional Rep Lauren Underwood– We will be calling today for assistance with grants to help offset the cost of the bus program. That is our tax money, let’s see if we can get more of it back here working for us.
      • 490 East Roosevelt Road Suite 202 West Chicago, IL 60185 (Phone) 630-549-2190
    • McHenry County Board Reps, District 4. We pay for a lobbyist in Springfield so let’s get them working to bring more transportation dollars back to McHenry Township to support the cost of this vital service. Your county Board member is also there to advocate with other local officials in just these situations. Call them and ask for help:

We will have more to follow as we identify local agencies and advocacy groups willing and able to help.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for your leadership on this issue. It’s an unconscionable attack on the quality of life and basic survival of our veterans, disabled citizens and all of our seniors.

    They have lost their lifeline.

    We must help them get it back.

  2. I am home bound. I called, emailed and already send out a lot of help requests. I called all the tv stations. I do not even qualify fir this bus service but I know many people who really need this bus. I feel if we keep up the pressure they will have have to change this. They could have just taken the money from the excess nursing home fund. It’s for the seniors. I am a judge of election for many years and this is a good example of what happens when people do not vote. Again I will help any way I can

    • Has anyone approached this as a violation of the ADA-Americans with disabilities act. Surely the can’t get away with this. They also receive a federal grant for this. Clearly ties into the ADA.

  3. Unfortunately, what they did was legal. Townships have 3 statutory responsibilities – roads, property assessment & general assistance. The bus program was an added benefit some years ago. It is a wonderful program. The trustees are responsible for establishing the budget, setting the levy & auditing bills for accuracy & if they fit to the proper line item.

    Other government agencies have no legal authority over the township. There are many who want to eliminate the township but that is the government closest to the people vs who goes to county meetings – state meetings and or federal meetings. All real estate tax $$ stays 100% local vs state or federal taxes.

    If townships are eliminated & duties rolled to the county why not then eliminate the county giving the duties to the state? Why not eliminate states & roll to the federal government?

    Has anyone considered starting from the top down instead of the bottom up?

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