Thumbs-down: To the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District. Attempting to buy land in another county at taxpayer expense to avoid consolidation is shameless. Rather than help the district avoid being taken over, it may end up making the case for consolidation. In the meantime, we'll be waiting for an explanation as to why the district wanted to buy 13.88 acres in Kane County, at an estimated cost of $950,780, according to court records. We hope this was done in the best interests of the taxpayers the district serves, but at first glance, it's a parcel in the middle of nowhere, more than a mile away from the district's existing boundaries. If it turns out to be political "shenanigans" – as McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks has claimed – it likely is time for one less taxing body in McHenry County. Regardless of what happens, the legal fight that is brewing on either side of this issue is likely to cost taxpayers too much. It's time to do the right thing.
Thumps-up: To Lake in the Hills resident Stewart McVicar for raising more than $163,000 for locals in need through fundraisers in his Cubs-themed basement. The village recently asked McVicar to make several changes to improve his organization, Club 400, which now is a registered 501c3. Club 400 features a bar, extensive collection of Cubs memorabilia – including items from McVicar’s childhood – gaming areas, movie theater-style seating and multiple TVs to watch Cubs games on. When people buy tickets to his events, which are always attended by players or people associated with the Cubs, the money goes directly to people in need. The next fundraiser will benefit Marengo teen Logan Vallee, who recently underwent a heart transplant.
Thumbs-up: To MCYSA. The youth baseball tournament is preparing for its 25th anniversary with opening ceremonies scheduled for July 21 at Lippold Park. The tournament still is running strong with teams from around the world joining local teams in the field across multiple age groups. The tournament is made possible by countless volunteers who help with every aspect of the event, including many families which open up their homes to international players. Not only does the tournament contain plenty of quality baseball, but it also provides a welcome boost to the local economy.
Thumbs-up: To the communities and volunteers who provided safe and exuberant Fourth of July celebrations this past week. Through their efforts and planning, McHenry County residents had their pick of patriotic festivals, fireworks, bands and parades to choose from to celebrate the holiday.