To the Editor:
I’m thrilled that a majority of the McHenry Township Board had the good sense to reject Bob Anderson’s flawed motion to eliminate the position of township Highway Commissioner.
The township Highway Commissioner is like God. It is a one-person show. No one is standing over their shoulder providing any check or balance. They can hire and fire at will.
They can hire relatives, decide what equipment to buy or sell, with or without a bidding process, what projects get tackled, what non-dedicated roads get accepted into their system and everything else, all with no oversight. No accountability. Simply get elected and then for four years have free rein to do whatever they want.
Bob Anderson’s proposal would have left all of those flaws in place with the difference being that the town supervisor would now be the one-man show. At least with the present system, in McHenry Township, the one-man show knows what he’s doing. Anderson’s proposal to transfer those duties to the supervisor still had it being a one-man show, but with the one man, the supervisor, stating that he didn’t know how to run a road district.
Giving another person those same duties, again with no oversight, does not solve the problem. I hope that the wiser majority of our township board brings forth a proposal that will give the voters an opportunity to vote to eliminate the position of Highway Commissioner and transfer those duties to the township board, a board of elected officials, not a single individual.
The town board would run the road district. They could hire the current commissioner for the same dollars that he’s now getting and we still would have a better system than we now have because now we would have some oversight.
Hopefully, when it’s certain that the issue will be on the ballot, a factual study, vetted by the press, will tell us what we could expect to evolve and whether it’s better or worse than what we currently have. It is time for the county board to step up and conduct their promised study.