Dissolving McHenry Township would eliminate many valuable services
To the Editor:
Township dissolution is not consolidation. The Northwest Herald and the few other proponents of McHenry Township dissolution reveal the weakness of their case when they persist in misrepresenting the referendum in McHenry Township as "consolidation." It is not. The referendum asks for dissolution.
The public needs to understand the distinction between the two.
Consolidation – combining two or more townships into one – might actually make sense, especially for some townships that could see more effective and efficient services.
Dissolution, on the other hand, is just that. In this referendum, McHenry Township goes away. All its services go away.
The road district, township assessor, and general and emergency assistance goes away. The senior and disabled bus service, senior services program and parks go away. The community buildings and senior center go away. The 50% revenue sharing of roads and bridges and motor fuel taxes with the municipalities go away. Disaster and emergency response go away.
While McHenry County would be tasked to take on the township roads, it has already acknowledged it cannot care for them as well and it would have to expand facilities, equipment and staff. The county assessor's office does not assess properties and would have to acquire the personnel, equipment, systems, and skill set to take over the job. And it would cost more.
The county’s bus program does not offer services comparable to nor as extensive as the township senior and disabled bus program. The county does not share its motor fuel tax and roads and bridges tax revenue with municipalities and the nondedicated subdivision roads. City and village dwellers will see their taxes rise.
True, most homeowners would save $100-400 on their tax bill with this township elimination, and for one year they would save 10% of their county tax levy specifically and only for the services subsumed from the township. After a year, the county is not limited and obviously would need to hike taxes to cover the added costs.
It's not consolidation. It's dissolution. Even in its online polling the NW Herald misleads by misusing this term, rendering those polls meaningless.
Robert F. Beltran