ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP – Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser is known for a couple of things.
He’s a former McHenry County Board member. He unseated longtime road commissioner Bob Miller in an upset election last year.
He wears pink. Always.
Now he has a pink snowplow.
In 2017, Gasser signed a vehicle purchase order with a Wadsworth-based truck dealer for two Peterbilt Model 348 trucks – a package that cost the road district $175,570.72, according to billing records obtained by the Northwest Herald.
One truck sports yellow paint. The other plow is pink.
So what’s up with all the pink?
“It’s for breast cancer awareness,” Gasser told the Northwest Herald.
In 2004, Gasser met a friend in the Air Force diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease kills more than 40,000 women in the U.S. every year, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“I thought, ‘If I could use my station in life to promote that, I would,’” Gasser said. “That’s all it is.”
The road commissioner owns a pink tie, a pink hat, pink shirts and pink sweatshirts bearing the name of the Algonquin Township Highway Department.
Gasser stumbled onto the idea of a pink snowplow shortly after he took office in 2017. He attended an American Public Works Association conference, spotted a pink snowplow and thought: “I want one.”
So he got one.
Gasser said the pink paint job did not cost extra. Billing records do not include a line item for paint. However, the trucks have two different prices.
Yellow: $87,464.13. Pink: $87,724.59.
The truck should be in the highway department’s possession next week. It has already sparked competition among road district employees, Gasser said: “There’s a private arm wrestling match going on to see who gets to drive the pink truck next year.”