McHenry Township referendum leads to political litter

Destroyed signs, broken bottles tossed outside Anderson’s barber shop

Bob Anderson was at a local school board meeting Tuesday night when he got a phone call with some bad news:

Someone had tossed beer bottles in front of his Wonder Lake barber shop, along with political signs and postcards that were either shredded to pieces or scrawled with derogatory remarks.

“This is another act of township political sleaze threatening the public,” Anderson told the Northwest Herald.

A tenant renting a two-bedroom apartment attached to Bob’s Countryside Barber Shop in the 7100 block of Barnard Mill Road had called police, and a short time later a McHenry County sheriff’s deputy showed up. 

The Northwest Herald reached out to the sheriff’s office and learned no report was filed for the incident but confirmed deputies found broken bottles and destroyed signs.

The signs are tied to Citizens For Consolidation, a grassroots group angling to get residents to vote in favor of a referendum on the November ballot that has the power to abolish the McHenry Township Highway Department with a majority “yes.”

At a special meeting in February, Trustees Mike Rakestraw, Anderson and Bill Cunningham voted to include the referendum on the November ballot. Trustee Stan Wojewski and Supervisor Craig Adams voted against it.

The group has been planting signs and passing out postcards stuffed inside plastic baggies with a Tootsie Roll and a rock to keep the package from blowing away.

But the group on the other side of the issue contends those packages have been delivered in a reckless manner.

“It looks like litter,” said Tina Hill, the former McHenry County Board chairwoman now leading Citizens for Facts First, another grassroots group arguing there should be a study that proves cost savings before residents get the power to abolish governments. 

Several pictures have surfaced on social media showing the plastic bag stuffed with pro-consolidation materials littered around Citizens for Facts First signs.

The McHenry Township Highway Department has received numerous calls about the packages littered in the road, said Adam Vick, a road district operations manager who has answered many of the calls himself.

“There’s got to be a better campaign strategy than chucking these things out the window,” said Vick, a road district employee since 2003. “It’s basically littering.”

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