Local Editorials

Thumbs-up, thumbs-down: Algonquin Township tiff leads to loss of useful services

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser looks at the crowd during a board meeting June 13 in Crystal Lake.
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser looks at the crowd during a board meeting June 13 in Crystal Lake.

Thumbs-down: To the Algonquin Township Highway Department for abandoning services including recycling and senior bussing. Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser listed services the highway department would no longer conduct in an Aug. 3 email addressed to Supervisor Charles Lutzow. Lutzow told the Northwest Herald recycling will be closed until the township and highway department come to an agreement. The disagreements between the two departments ultimately hurts the residents who use these services.

Thumbs-up: To a record year for donations. Leaders at the Crystal Lake Lions Club say they set a record this year by donating $67,000 to local organizations, including $17,000 for local eye care. Vision care has been the signature cause of Lions International since Hellen Keller challenged Lions to become "Knights of the Blind" in 1925. Local service clubs are filled with people who are engaged in and care about their communities, and it's great to see the Crystal Lake Lions have so much success in raising money and donating to important local causes. Anyone looking for a way to give back to their community should consider joining a service club in their community – it's a great way to make a difference.

Thumbs-down: To the continuing carnage in Chicago neighborhoods. Last weekend, at least 11 people were murdered and about 70 wounded. The victims ranged in age from 11 to 63. The shootings took place in highly public places, including on city streets, at a block party and at a funeral. Police blamed street gangs and illegal guns for the violence, politicians attempted to use the violence for political gain, while residents remain trapped in neighborhoods under siege, trapped between gang members they fear and police who many don’t trust. Among the dozens of shootings, police had not made any arrests. Now Chicago will flood these neighborhoods with police, which may save some lives. Unfortunately, if it follows the pattern we have seen before, the respite will be temporary.

Thumbs-up: To the lead pastor at South Barrington’s Willow Creek Community Church and the entire elder board stepping down. The announcement came Wednesday night, amid new sexual misconduct allegations leveled against church founder Bill Hybels. Pastor Heather Larson said the church needs a “fresh start,” and we agree. Hybels was accused of sexually harassing a congregant and woman he worked with over many years. We hope the new investigation into Hybels brings clarity to the church’s members and the new board helps prevent this from happening again within the church.

Thumbs-down: To the Algonquin Township Highway Department for abandoning a handful of services, including recycling and senior bus services. Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser listed services the highway department would no longer conduct in an Aug. 3 email addressed to Supervisor Charles Lutzow and sent to township trustees and highway department staff. Lutzow told the Northwest Herald recycling will be closed until the township and highway department come to an agreement. The disagreements between the two departments ultimately hurts the residents who use these services. We hope the townships can put politics aside, and do what’s best for the people of Algonquin Township.

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