Response to Republican Distortions
“Get your FACTS first, and then you can DISTORT `em as much as you please.”
A recent mailer sent by the opposing party on this local election race was used to misinform the Makanda Township residents. Because our objective is to make Makanda a BETTER Township and one of our main values is transparency, we would like to start by identifying the distortions in the mailer and sharing with all residents the facts.
Please note that all quoted words are from the website/Facebook page/mailer of Republican Candidates for Makanda Township Government.
DISTORTION #1: “Improving this one-lane gravel and dirt road at the right has been halted because an incumbent Democrat candidate for trustee has blocked it for 7 years with numerous delays.”
FACT: The incumbent Democratic candidate mentioned above filed an
injunction case against the Republican Highway Commissioner to
stop the Commissioner from clear cutting trees that protect the property, without the property owners’ permission. The court ruled against the Highway Commissioner,
who then appealed the case to a higher court.
If you would like to know more about how this case developed click HERE
If you would like to read the court's decision please click HERE
DISTORTION #2: The “one-lane gravel and dirt road” is a major road in Makanda Township.
FACT: The one-lane gravel and dirt road is not even a road! It is a prescriptive right-of-way dead-ending in Union County. Only five families live permanently on the prescriptive right-of-way and one of those permanent homes lies in Union County. Also beyond the section of land in question are a summer cabin (in Jackson County) and a
seldom-used bed & breakfast (in Union County).
DISTORTION #3: There is a “state-mandated width of 40 feet” on Township roads.
FACT: There is no state mandate on Township roads. Townships roads do not
fall under state guidelines. The “one-lane gravel and dirt road” is a road with a
prescriptive right of way, which means that it cannot be widened without
the permission of the land owner(s) through which the road runs.
DISTORTION #4: The Democratic candidate is suing Makanda Township for more money.
FACT: The Democratic candidate is not suing for ANY money.
He sought an injunction (paying with his own money) against the Republican Highway Commissioner to stop him from taking his property to unnecessarily widen a road and won the injunction in the court. The Township is using your tax money to defend the road commissioner’s actions. The Republican Highway Commissioner refuses to accept a court decision.
DISTORTION#5: The Makanda Highway Commissioner reports to the Board of Trustees.
FACT: The Makanda Highway Commissioner reports to NO ONE.
The Road Commissioner is an independent entity, subject to supervision or
budget limitation by NO ONE. The Board of Trustees has no legal way to influence
whatever the Township Highway Commissioner wants to do. The only way that anyone (including the Board of Trustees) can influence what the Highway Commissioner does is
to involve the court system.
DISTORTION #6: “Republicans hire local workers for township jobs when possible.”
FACT: The Highway Commissioner hires one local worker to do most of
the roadwork. Makanda Township paid this worker over $100,000 last year alone.
The Republican Township Board also pays $60/hour to pay the
Road Commissioner’s son-in-law to patch the roads.
The Township roadwork is not offered for bids from local companies or workers.
DISTORTION #7: “REPUBLICANS have been excellent caretakers of your money.”
FACT: Most of the $55,000 spent by the Republicans in legal fees has been spent appealing an injunction against the Republican Highway Commissioner, who refused to accept a court decision against widening the road. The Republican members of the Township Board have budgeted $25,000 more to pay for legal expenses for FY 2021.
The Republican Board of Trustees has spent over $55,000 in legal fees,
in addition to thousands of dollars widening a prescriptive right-of-way, served by five homes (see Distortion#2), and paid more than $994,000 on NON-BID-CONTRACTS to a single local contractor in FY2013 through FY2020*.
Each year the Republican-controlled board of Trustees increases your real estate taxes to the maximum amount that it can.
There is now more than $70,000 in a General Assistance fund from which no general assistance (i.e., home relief) has been granted to Makanda Township residents
in the last 7 years; ZERO dollars as far back as records show.
*See a summary of amounts paid yearly to contractors for road work HERE
DISTORTION #8: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
FACT: But it IS broken! and we should fix it.
The EXPECT BETTER MAKANDA Democratic candidates will fix it, we would appreciate your vote for the ALL of the Democratic candidates:
The Democratic Highway Commissioner will work with the Board of Trustees.
Contracts for roadwork will be offered for bids.
Roads will be maintained to a reasonable level requested by Township residents.
The aforementioned lawsuit will end immediately, and
No more Township taxpayer money will be spent on frivolous lawsuits.