More than a dozen protesters stood along the busy road in front of Bob Anderson’s barbershop Sunday in Wonder Lake advising passersby to boycott the McHenry Township trustee’s business.
Anderson owns Bob’s Countryside Barber Shop, 7125 Barnard Mill Road. He recently voted to eliminate the township’s senior bus program, which sparked outrage among residents in the township and beyond.
Sunday’s protest was organized by Our Revolution – McHenry County, formerly known as McHenry County Progressives.
“Bob is the ringleader here,” said Mike Tauler of Our Revolution. “If he is going to impact people’s lives, people should know where his business is. ... This associates his name with it.”
The barbershop was closed Sunday, but Tauler said the date was chosen because there would be a lot of people out because of the recent July Fourth holiday. The group hopes to put pressure on the board, he said.
“They signed it. They can reverse it,” he said. “That is the hope. That they undo it. That they see the light.”
The township buses provide door-to-door transportation for township residents who are seniors or have disabilities. The total cost to run the program is $248,972. Revenues of $59,243 offset part of the cost and include grants and rider fares, according to township documents.
Anderson and trustees Steve Verr and Mike Rakestraw voted to shut the program down, effective Nov. 30. Township supervisor Craig Adams and Trustee Stan Wojewski voted to keep the program.
McHenry resident Lynne Sweig attended the protest. Sweig is in a wheelchair and frequently uses the service. She also gets help from her three daughters but not everyone has family support, she said.
“There are people in need of this bus,” she said. “Honest to God need. They need to get to the doctor. They need to get to the grocery store so they can eat. There are so many reasons the bus is needed.”
She said that the need should outweigh the cost factor.
“It is very important that we have that care,” she said.
Brian Russell came to the protest from Alden in support of township veterans who need the service.
“They gave a lot for us. We shouldn’t take this away from them,” he said. “For the amount of money it costs, it doesn’t make sense to take it away from them.”