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May 18, 2024

People – Why our local government is failing

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 13, 2017

Algonquin (ECWd) –

Leadership.  It starts at the top and few are worthy of ever being called leaders, as holding the position does not make you a leader. Leaders follow the law; they are honest, motivators, problem solvers.  They are protectors of their community and its resources, as in tax dollars. Note I said protector, not an abuser.

Although there are many other traits that make up a real leader, I think most would agree with those basic traits we listed.

Former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Robert Miller was elevated to a leadership position numerous times in his life. He was the former President of the Township Officials of Illinois, served on the TOI Board of Directors for several years and then became a TOI officer, formerly serving Secretary, Treasurer, 2nd Vice President, and 1st Vice President. He had also served a term as President of the Highway Commissioners Division, as well as the McHenry County Highway Commissioners and the Northern Illinois Highway Commissioners. (See TOI announcement at this link).

With all those titles many assume he is a leader. Such an assumption is the first problem we have as citizens.  We fail to take the deep dive into facts to support our assumptions and sadly, we end up with what we have in this state because of that.

After the recent Northwest Herald article we found the Facebook post from the Algonquin Township Clerk as saying Robert Miller did not do anything illegal.  That caught our attention, so we wrote this article, then this one.

What did the Township Officials of Illinois praise Miller for?

“I want you to personally say “thank you” to Bob Miller for his untiring efforts to make a difference in keeping township government and keeping it strong!”

Notice the praise had nothing to do with representing the people, being a good steward of tax dollars, better service etc.  No, instead it focused on keeping township government and keeping it strong.  Having been a past Township Supervisor it became clear to me; most Associations were not about doing what the people of Illinois needed but were more about keeping their organization alive and lobbying to expand it at every chance, which strengthens the association as they need as much government in place as possible.

What did a Background Paper for the Committee of 50 to Re-examine the Illinois Constitution have to say about Township Government? (See page 10) :

 “Townships, in short, are no longer needed in most areas, yet it is unlikely that any action can be taken to eliminate them. Although one proposal was offered to the local government committee to eliminate townships in the 1970 Constitution, there was no significant support for such a proposal. Despite the fact that townships had been made more politically vulnerable by state legislation in 1969 by removing township supervisors from membership on the ·County board, there has been almost no reduction in the number of townships since 1967. (See Table 1) The absence of grassroots support for the elimination of townships, together with the resistance of township officials to the elimination of their positions, appears to assure the continued existence of this level of government for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether a new constitutional convention is held or not.”

Right about now we have an entire group screaming we are against Township Government based on posting the above information.  Sadly, they will miss the point we are going to make.

All units of government in Illinois are only effective if they have the proper leadership as well as accountability to the people and our laws. Accountability comes from the people, ultimately, as they elect those who have the power to enforce our laws in the form of prosecutions. When we fail to truly evaluate actions of those we elect and re-elect, we are the heart of the failed system.

Sadly we find our system has been turned upside down and the leadership is not coming from the grassroots, but instead from publicly funded Associations that claim to be all about educating our officials.  One need look no further than the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.  The former College of DuPage trustees spent hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to become “educated” on their duties, and it proved to be a total waste of money.  With Federal and State Criminal investigations ongoing it’s clear the system of depending on Associations for leadership failed.

Looking at Robert Miller, former President of the Township Officials of Illinois Association and Highway Commissioner of Algonquin Township we can better understand why Township Government is in such a mess.

Miller’s own statements as President of the TOI association sums up his focus, all while his behind the scenes actions point in an entire different direction.

 “As a unified group we have pooled our intellectual resources to preserve and protect Illinois’ small local governments,” said Miller

“I share his ardent commitment to Township government and will do my best to provide strong and effective leadership.” . (Miller quotes from McHenry County Blog)

So Miller will do his best to provide strong and effective leadership?

  • Would that be from buying women’s clothing on the Township Credit card and claiming it was protective equipment?
  • Disneyland tickets that had NOTHING to do with a conference he attended?
  • Sirius XM radio subscriptions?
  • Hundreds of dollars in gift card purchases?
  • Regular charging of meals to the taxpayers from Taco Bell to Ruth Chris Steak House?
  • Making the taxpayers cover his meals for meetings with the Township Officials of Illinois?
  • Maybe leadership comes from buying Cardigan Sweaters?
  • Most certainly it comes from a $1,100 food fest at Kojacks in Cary, Illinois?
  • Or $188.43 food bill, as in Sunday Brunch?
  • Ignore the Hooters bill from Wisconsin as we all know that surely does not indicate a strong and effective leader. (Covered in this article)

Would anyone honestly call the actions listed above, all with taxpayer dollars, representative of strong and effective leadership?

While many of the Bob Miller supporters came rushing to bash us for our reporting on his spending, it once again showed the unwillingness or possibly the inability for people to properly evaluate facts placed right in front of their own eyes.  Their focus was to attack the new Highway Commissioner who had nothing to do with this spending. A common problem we see all the time with elected officials and their supporters.  Deflection!  Justify bad acts of one by finding something wrong with another, and by all means, ignore the reality in front of their own eyes.

The matters we discovered were worthy of a formal criminal complaint that was filed today with the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.  We will post all the credit card expenditures and other records in a future article and we are confident, most people will realize real quick how little leadership could be found in Algonquin township during this spending spree.

I say little leadership because those responsible are not just the one doing the spending but those approving of it, as in the past Township Board.  Each and every yes vote on these expenditures points to total disregard for our laws, and proves once again the most basic form of government is only as good as those you elect.  In this example, Algonquin Township gets a big fat “F” for failure!


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  • J. Madison
    Posted at 14:54h, 13 November

    Most Townships are of no value whatsoever. Townships cost more tax dollars than the benefits they provide. Most Townships have large bank accounts and brand new trucks that are driven around occasionally. What a waste and a fleecing of the taxpayer. Get rid of all of them.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 21:49h, 13 November

    Your comments regarding leadership are appreciated. Great work!The supporters of Robert Miller, as well as fellow government officials probably don’t know how to look up Illinois Statues on line, and if they did, they wouldn’t take the time; hence they can claim ignorance.(

    We know, good buds rarely speak against each other when it isn’t politically correct for them to do so for fear of becoming an outcast. They lack even the smallest about of integrity and leadership whilst forgetting about their country, their duty, or their fellow American. They are arrogant and believe tax dollars are their dollars.

    We also know, those that have been filling their pockets; or those of their friends; or just violating Illinois Law because they can….. don’t want their actions brought to light. Hence they fight the truth at every possible step to protect themselves. It takes time and perseverance to hold officials accountable. It does happen and will happen here.

    AND, so much for the unlikely possibility there is an innocent and ignorant side to this. There remains the only real possibility that some of these supporters are partners in crime. Partners in a way that benefits their self inflated egos and that provides financial gain, unwarranted benefit and protection from exposure of the truth. That’s what I’m talking about, criminal behavior, of……….. criminals.

    • Lisa Thompson
      Posted at 09:43h, 16 November

      It feels like I could have written this article. We live in Fulton county and have been trying to get Buckheart Township to follow the law and incorporate our platted street into the Township for maintenance for nearly a year. The good ole boy system puts up road blocks every where we turn. The State’s Attorney refused to talk to me about it. The Attorney General’s Office is working with us on the FOIA review but my hope is diminishing. How do you make public officials follow the law without spending a fortune in attorney fees?

  • danni smith
    Posted at 11:33h, 16 November

    In answer to Lisa, at this time in my life, my experience and accumulated knowledge generates a bleak answer to her question-that it is seldom possible even with the attorney as they are greatly entwined in the criminal judicial system. The problem is endemic in the state-my answer for myself-as I am tired of fighting Illinois-get out of Dodge-not original as 1 of us is doing the gettin’ every five minutes, down from 1 every 11 minutes in 2008. Then, in answer to this report, I think the “supporters” of this criminal have received some type of remuneration. You have to be crazy to support the person who shoplifting from your store, stealing from your house, taking your stuff from your car. Seriously, supporters of Bob Miller, do you really think we don’t know the motives behind your insane support? Feel free to answer here-we would like to know why taxpayer theft is agreeable with your standards and morals.

  • R U Sure
    Posted at 23:32h, 18 November

    While I do appreciate the contributions of townships, there are so many in Illinois they can violate the law, even if unintentionally, in plain sight! This site has documented that time and time again! Nye County Nevada has no incorporated cities and uses citizens advisory committees to advise / recommend to the County Board. Rural townships could be abolished, duties and taxing authority given to the County, and the townships could be converted to citizens advisory committees.

  • Lisa Thompson
    Posted at 13:49h, 19 November

    I wish I knew how to make that all happen because I think it sounds like a good plan!