The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this weeks thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To Randall Ho and Daniel Hibbeler. When we drive past a crash on the roadway, too often the instinct is to get by as quickly as possible. On Wednesday morning, one person’s life was likely saved by a pair of men who didn’t sit back and watch. Ho and Hibbeler heard or saw the aftermath of a crash in an unincorporated area near Woodstock. They were able to free Deborah Furstenau from the vehicle she was trapped in minutes before her vehicle was engulfed in flames. For that, we commend their initiative and bravery.
Thumbs down: To the 171,107 registered voters in McHenry County who decided to stick their heads in the sand rather than take a few minutes of their time to decide who should lead their municipalities, school boards, townships, etc. Only 32,955 of McHenry County’s 204,062 registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s Consolidated Municipal Election, a pathetic 16 percent turnout rate. That nonvoting number doesn’t count the thousands more who haven’t bothered to register. These folks shouldn’t complain when their local government does something they don’t like.
Thumbs up: To the United Way of Greater McHenry County for working for nine years to bring 2-1-1 services to the county. The 24/7, nonemergency number connects callers with basic needs such as food, shelter, rent and utility assistance. It also provides information on Medicare and Medicaid, medical information, and other physical and mental health resources, as well as for job support and for people with disabilities. The number became available Thursday, and we hope residents take advantage of having this service.
Thumbs down: To the six-month jail sentence for former and now disgraced McHenry police officer Dale Hojnacki, who admitted to stealing more than $3,700 from drug evidence and stealing painkillers and marijuana from evidence bags. Hojnacki will lose his police pension, as he should, but he deserved prison for breathtakingly stupid actions that jeopardized the integrity of McHenry’s criminal investigations. McHenry County Judge Sharon’s Prather’s sentence of a few months in jail and restitution does not send much of a message, nor does the punishment fit the crime.
Thumbs up: To school boards across northern Illinois, including District 300, for rejecting a request from Illinois Virtual Learning Solutions to establish online charter school with taxpayer money. The company that would provide administration and curriculum – K12 – has a troubling track record. Our tax dollars should not be used to fund an out-of-state company that’s under investigation in Florida and has a substandard record of reaching education benchmarks.