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The township ladder

Published: Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Elected township officials spurn term limits. Their concerns are personal and self-serving. Public concerns are secondary. Once in office, township officials hold that office for many years, sometimes for decades. Or, if someone becomes ill or dies, officials will move up the township ladder by appointment, to a position of increased salary and benefits. Many township officials get their foot in the door by an appointment coming from a core of insiders. Township appointment business is performed out of the public’s eyes.

McHenry Township is a great example of how township government works for those feeding at the public trough.

The township advantage, at its worst, would be when 16-year Clerk Bruce Novak bowed out last April after he was just elected for another four-year term. Novak resigned within a few days after the election. Moving quickly, township officers quietly appointed longtime Trustee Marsha Nelson to take over for Novak. Prior to becoming clerk, Novak was a township trustee for 21 years. Novak became the clerk by appointment. All together, Novak was on the township payroll for 37 years.

There was another appointment to fill a vacancy, and again, out of the eyes of the public, insiders appointed Jim Condon as trustee to replace Nelson.

There are other township officials who were appointed officers. McHenry Township Supervisor Donna Schaefer owes her supervisor position to the township appointment system. Township Assessor Carol Perschke also benefited by appointment. She became assessor after being a longtime trustee.

Get rid of township appointments. Abolish townships.

Bob Anderson

Wonder Lake

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