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!