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Concerned Taxpayer

Lake Villa, IL

#1 Mar 16, 2012
Illinois needs to abolish Township Government due to its waste, ineffectiveness, and constant misuse of our hard-earned dollars. It’s no coincidence that the Trustees, Supervisors, Assessors and Deputy Assessors as well as other Township employees want you to be blind to the business they conduct—or don’t conduct. Our Townships are filled with cronies who gladly take a salary and generous benefits off of your hard-earned dollars and laugh all the way to the bank. And if that’s not enough, township taxes also pay for the salaries and pensions of the township’s elected officials. Next time you get your property tax bill, notice how many different pensions your tax dollars are paying for. Does anyone pay for your pension other than yourself? Well, maybe if you are a government employee or civil service employee. I’d say something’s wrong with this picture. Let those township employees pay for their own pensions! It’s time to put an end to Township government. The Better Government Association had this to say about the corruption and waste within the Township government.“Cronyism, nepotism, patronage...all in the service of taking care of friends and families and campaign contributors," said Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association. Nepotism is running rampant in our townships along with the “good ole’ boy” mentality of cronyism and that needs to stop.

Here’s the scoop, a township may provide senior and public health services, restrict animals from running at large, provide fire protection, and maintain roads in unincorporated areas. But, as a result, townships levy taxes on their residents to pay for these services—services that could often be efficiently absorbed into the county operations and would likely make delivery more practical and less costly to taxpayers. Roads get plowed and maintained by overlapping municipalities or the state, so why do the township road crews do it too? There’s already a County Assessor, so why have separate Township Assessors and Deputy Assessors? What does a Deputy Assessor do anyway except be there when the Assessor is “out to lunch” or taking care of personal business, but then again the Deputy Assessor is usually “out to lunch” too and/or taking care of personal business on taxpayer time. It’s just another waste of taxpayer dollars. General aid and assistance to the poor is handled by a multitude of government-supported human service agencies. So with all that brought to light, I ask you the all-important question: What exclusive support role do townships perform? Remember, these same services that the Township governments are mandated to do such as property tax assessing, road repair, etc. could easily be transferred to county governments saving thousands of dollars.

Elected officials in township government usually include a supervisor, highway commissioner, assessor, and four trustees who make up the township board. Townships also employ clerks, a deputy assessor, and other support staff. That is, at least, seven salaried elected officials per township, plus salaried department staff. This prompts another question: Is the township delivering services that a city, county or state could not do? The answer is “No.” It’s time to abolish these antiquated relic Townships. By abolishing Townships, tax relief could be felt by everyone including seniors on fixed incomes, average families, and families going through rough times. Townships are a wasteful burden that we definitely don’t need. If you agree, contact your state representative or senator ASAP and let them know how you feel.
Mystery Man

Fox Lake, IL

#2 Mar 16, 2012
i often wondered why we have a Grant Township as well as town governments.
I've also wondered why we have to pay for cars for all these officals to drive around in.
I have no problem with the trucks the building dept needs and use.
But why do the inspectors need cars ?
Can't they just drive their own and we'll spring for gas ?
Heck even a small fee for maintance on their car.
In the old days politicians needs office building, meeting rooms, etc.
But now we live in the digital age.
Why can't they just work out of home ?
We got voice mail, e-mail, smart phones, ipads, iphones, fax machines, internet, etc.
Do we really need to have so many buildings with so many workers in them ?

How about term limits on ALL elected officials.
If term limits are good enough for the POTUS then its good enough for any politician/elected offical.
If they are only servering at most an 8yr term then don't need full pensions for life paid for by taxpayers.
Let it be 100% contributed by themselves out of their salary while in office.
This way its up to them how much they want to put aside for themselves.
Concerned Taxpayer

Lake Villa, IL

#3 Mar 16, 2012
Mystery Man wrote:
i often wondered why we have a Grant Township as well as town governments.
I've also wondered why we have to pay for cars for all these officals to drive around in.
I have no problem with the trucks the building dept needs and use.
But why do the inspectors need cars ?
Can't they just drive their own and we'll spring for gas ?
Heck even a small fee for maintance on their car.
In the old days politicians needs office building, meeting rooms, etc.
But now we live in the digital age.
Why can't they just work out of home ?
We got voice mail, e-mail, smart phones, ipads, iphones, fax machines, internet, etc.
Do we really need to have so many buildings with so many workers in them ?
How about term limits on ALL elected officials.
If term limits are good enough for the POTUS then its good enough for any politician/elected offical.
If they are only servering at most an 8yr term then don't need full pensions for life paid for by taxpayers.
Let it be 100% contributed by themselves out of their salary while in office.
This way its up to them how much they want to put aside for themselves.
I totally agree with your comments on the vehicles. It seems like such a waste and abuse of taxpayer money, and your idea of limiting the term on all elected officials is a great idea too. But let's not stop there - let's also limit the term of all the elected officials' support staff as well. After all, the support staff is usually made of family and friends hired specifically by the elected officials. That's where the problem of nepotism and cronyism comes from and many of the support staff never had the proper credentials or qualifications to be hired in the first place.
Josh

Fox Lake, IL

#4 Mar 16, 2012
I agree with both of you. What a terrible waste of taxpayer money. Hiring staff consisting of friends and family and creating well paying jobs, so unfair to those of us that have been honestly looking frantically for work for couple of yrs.
Mystery Man

Fox Lake, IL

#5 Mar 17, 2012
i'm with you on the supporting staff too.
In fact why do they ever need so many staff workers.
Two should be the limit.
I love the idea of term limits for ALL tax paid workers in any and all fields.
I have a relative who has been collecting welfare her whole life.
Nothing physcially wrong with her she just doesn't like working.
She's good friends with all the workers at the welfare office.
They party together.
So she gets all the benefits she wants rubber stamped no questions asked.
Maybe if these workers were out after 4 years that might make a dent on these welfare queens.
Then maybe real caring people could have a chance at jobs helping the poor and seniors.
Would love to see that system run fairly.
Concerned Taxpayer

Lake Villa, IL

#6 Mar 17, 2012
Josh wrote:
I agree with both of you. What a terrible waste of taxpayer money. Hiring staff consisting of friends and family and creating well paying jobs, so unfair to those of us that have been honestly looking frantically for work for couple of yrs.
I can't tell you how many times I have seen different township elected officials taking care of their personal business, i.e., the township truck parked out in front of the elected official's personal business, another official was out shopping with her young child, on another occasion an official was having a LONG lunch and cocktails on taxpayer time (3:00 pm) with no thought, I'm sure, of returning to work. And to think our hard-erned money is paying for their abuse of "our" time. Then on top of that, we get to pay for their pension as well. Is this an abuse and misuse of taxpayers' money or what??? And then, because it's all family and friends within the township circle, who's going to blow the whistle? I'll tell you, NO ONE!
OMG

Round Lake, IL

#7 Oct 17, 2012
Concerned Taxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
I can't tell you how many times I have seen different township elected officials taking care of their personal business, i.e., the township truck parked out in front of the elected official's personal business, another official was out shopping with her young child, on another occasion an official was having a LONG lunch and cocktails on taxpayer time (3:00 pm) with no thought, I'm sure, of returning to work. And to think our hard-erned money is paying for their abuse of "our" time. Then on top of that, we get to pay for their pension as well. Is this an abuse and misuse of taxpayers' money or what??? And then, because it's all family and friends within the township circle, who's going to blow the whistle? I'll tell you, NO ONE!
Yep, and I'll bet that elected official who you saw shopping with her son was the Antioch township Assessor, Heather Marotta, because I've also seen her many times running her personal errands during the day. Now, if that's not enough to make you want to vomit, listen to this: She gets paid a full time annual salary of $77,482.00 of taxpayers' money and she gives us part time work. OMG, that's sick!! Yep, we need to get rid of township government and all those job abusers and save the taxpayer's money for something worthwhile.
Save Us

Naperville, IL

#8 Oct 17, 2012
OMG wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep, and I'll bet that elected official who you saw shopping with her son was the Antioch township Assessor, Heather Marotta, because I've also seen her many times running her personal errands during the day. Now, if that's not enough to make you want to vomit, listen to this: She gets paid a full time annual salary of $77,482.00 of taxpayers' money and she gives us part time work. OMG, that's sick!! Yep, we need to get rid of township government and all those job abusers and save the taxpayer's money for something worthwhile.
It's not any worse than her boss. Don't know how much he makes screwing us but I wonder if he was making any money with the other gig the Antioch rescue squad . Hmmmm I wonder !
Mystery Man

Wheaton, IL

#9 Oct 18, 2012
Where's the local news media when you need them ?
This kind of abuse and corruption should be investigated by real journalist.
Like they used to to many years ago.
These kinds of politicians should be exposed for their graft.
Just imagine if the local papers ran an article about any particular politician along with pictures of them shopping or eating out during work hours on taxpayers dime.
Maybe they wouldn't keep getting voted back in and then we could get good decent politicians.

In the meantime keep posting such sightings.
Maybe even give details. Where and when they were shopping. How long they were there. Too bad we can't post pictures of them goofing off during work hours. But its a thought.
OMG

Round Lake, IL

#10 Oct 18, 2012
Save Us wrote:
<quoted text>It's not any worse than her boss. Don't know how much he makes screwing us but I wonder if he was making any money with the other gig the Antioch rescue squad . Hmmmm I wonder !
To answer your question on Smouse's salary, here is a partial quote taken from an article in the Lake County News Sun which is where I got my information:

Antioch, Avon Town Boards Cut, Freeze Salaries
By Judy Masterson jmaterson@stmedianetowrk.com September 13, 2012 7:34PM

In Antioch Township, the board voted to freeze the following annual salaries:$77,482 assessor; $92,240 highway commissioner; $64,545, supervisor; $24,597 clerk; $250 per meeting for trustees.
“Antioch Township is in the black and we will continue to be, but that doesn’t mean we can increase salaries,” said Supervisor Stephen Smouse.“With the economy the way it is, a lot of people haven’t gotten raises in four or five years. We didn’t feel it was right.”
Smouse, who said the board hopes to lower the next levy by 2.5 percent, acknowledged that raises, typically between 2 and 3 percent, are “miniscule” in terms of taxation.
“But it’s the principle of the thing,” he said.
Township salaries are coming under increased scrutiny in Illinois, home to more taxing bodies than any other state.

So Mr. Smouse thinks 2 and 3 percent is miniscule, does he?? Well I just read that the COLA increase for social security for 2013 is a whoping 1.7%. Now stick that where the sun don't shine, Mr. Smouse!! He and the rest of those good ole boys / gals draw a fat paycheck for their part time work, get their health insurance paid for by the taxpayers, their pensions, vacations and let's not forget the per diem for their mileage when they have to use their cars for "township work" (translated: personal errands). I agree with Mystery Man, there needs to be an investigation on the political fat cat abuse with these so-called townships and their crooked politics. The county could take over these township responsibilities and save us taxpayers a ton of money and put it where the money is actually needed, not in these township employees pockets. By the way, why does the assessor need a deputy assessor?(what the H___ is a deputy assessor??) If the assessor, Heather Marotta, would stop her personal activities on township time, there would be enough time in her busy schedule to do her job and the so-called deputy's job. And, why is the supervisor, Steve Smouse, getting paid a full time salary for part time work? I've seen his car out in front of his personal business many times during the day when he is suppose to be on the township clock. If he works part time for the township, he shouldn't get full time salary. I'm still trying to figure out what the rest of the township clowns do for their paycheck!!
Antiochian

Des Plaines, IL

#11 Oct 18, 2012
OMG - you need to read your own post. Your own quote from the paper says Mr. Smouse froze salaries and did not take an increase, so they did not receive a raise. He agrees with you that they should not take raises. So not sure why you are arguing with his comments in the rest of your blurb. It also shows them reducing the tax levy, which in my opinion is a good thing.
OMG

Round Lake, IL

#12 Oct 18, 2012
Antiochian wrote:
OMG - you need to read your own post. Your own quote from the paper says Mr. Smouse froze salaries and did not take an increase, so they did not receive a raise. He agrees with you that they should not take raises. So not sure why you are arguing with his comments in the rest of your blurb. It also shows them reducing the tax levy, which in my opinion is a good thing.
Sorry, Antiochian, my post must have gone right over your head. I'm definitely not arguing, I'm just revealing the facts. When an elected official takes advantage of his/her position and serves the people on a part time basis (that means getting caught taking care of personal business on taxpayer time) for a full time salary, it's just plain WRONG! Yes, according to the paper, Mr. Smouse did freeze the salaries for a couple of years which, I agree, is a good thing. But you will have to agree, those are pretty nice full time salaries when some only give part time work. That's called abuse so one would have to ask the question, "Do we really need townships!" But I'm not the only one complaining about townships, their jobs and their salaries. As the article said, "Township salaries are coming under increased scrutiny in Illinois, home to more taxing bodies than any other state." So maybe you are the one who needs to reread my post, not me, and this time try to get the point.
Antiochian

Des Plaines, IL

#13 Oct 19, 2012
The whole ideas of township government is open for a valid discussion. For those that live in unincorporated areas I would believe they are in favor of township govt while those that live in villages and cities would not be, but it would make for a great series of discussions.
OMG

Round Lake, IL

#14 Oct 19, 2012
Antiochian wrote:
The whole ideas of township government is open for a valid discussion. For those that live in unincorporated areas I would believe they are in favor of township govt while those that live in villages and cities would not be, but it would make for a great series of discussions.
Agreed!! Discussions and debates as to whether or not they are serving the purpose of the community efficiently and effectively or could they be eliminated altogether.
Save Our Tax Dollars

Mchenry, IL

#15 Oct 25, 2012
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121023/n ...
The Antioch Township Supervisor is president of the disgraced Antioch Rescue Squad. John Edgell was an Antioch Township trustee until recently. Should we be paying them to run our township?
Save Our Tax Dollars

Mchenry, IL

#16 Oct 25, 2012
Time for Change

Round Lake, IL

#17 Oct 25, 2012
Save Our Tax Dollars wrote:
http://www.dailyherald.com/art icle/20121023/n...
The Antioch Township Supervisor is president of the disgraced Antioch Rescue Squad. John Edgell was an Antioch Township trustee until recently. Should we be paying them to run our township?
NO!! NO!! and NO!! They're all as crooked as the day is long and the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill! I think anything associated with Smouse and Edgell should be investigated including the entire township government and I think the books should be made public. I'll bet we would be amazed based on the ARS findings. The township is made up of that "Good Ole' Boy Club and Associates" and who knows what they are covering up, who they are protecting, and what they are stealing from the taxpayers. We already know about the nepotism, preferential treatment, abuse of time spent on the job, one hand washing the other, abuse of expenses and on and on and on, it's what we don't know that's scary. Time for a check-up!
public employee

Vernon Hills, IL

#18 Nov 6, 2012
I have to ask, if you got rid of the antioch township government, who would do the public works jobs. How long are you willing to wait for service like snow removal, storm clean up or road repair? The money you save in the township tax will just go to the county, but you will have to wait for the service. But the up side is you all will have something new to complain about.
Idiot Watch

Round Lake, IL

#19 Nov 7, 2012
It's a cash cow. Just like the tollway system. Filled with political insiders and nepotism. Get rid of it.
Time for Change

Round Lake, IL

#21 Nov 14, 2012
public employee wrote:
I have to ask, if you got rid of the antioch township government, who would do the public works jobs. How long are you willing to wait for service like snow removal, storm clean up or road repair? The money you save in the township tax will just go to the county, but you will have to wait for the service. But the up side is you all will have something new to complain about.
Seriously??!! Are you kidding me? Do you really think Lake County is not fully equipped enough to take over what the townships claim to do? Believe me, for what the townships claim to do, the County could take over and save the taxpayers alot of money. Townships are just another avenue to steal from the taxpayers and if they were audited, it would all be exposed and the taxpayers would probably be livid at what they found. Townships are so obsolete and outdated and times have changed. Time to keep up with change and get rid of the excess fat (translated: Townships!!)

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