By Kathryn Potter
“I kid you not, as I sat there listening to him, I cringed at each statement he made. I almost begged him to just stop talking.”
The Algonquin Township Board gathered Wednesday evening for their regular monthly approval of funds. It was only after Township Supervisor Charles “Chuck” Lutzow allowed for a sufficient amount of bizarre babble, bluster, and bravado from members of the board did they adjourn into executive session around 8:45 PM.
Appearing just slightly more confident in his role Wednesday evening, Lutzow made attempts at maintaining order despite tension between board members.
Lutzow is an experienced member of the Board; he previously served as Algonquin Township Clerk before taking the oath as Supervisor in May. As Clerk, he publicly joked that he didn’t ‘do anything’ and I believe him. Lutzow visibly struggled with board rules and had difficulty applying himself during his first meetings as Supervisor, but has shown patience with the process and people.
The Supervisor demonstrated his patience Wednesday evening by allowing the Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner to subject the audience to a 40-minute briefing. During his report, Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser touched on several topics but failed to bring up his multiple ongoing lawsuits and the costs associated with them.
The taxpayers of Algonquin Township are footing the bill for legal services. I really don’t like that. One case involves the Operating Engineers Local 150 due to Gasser’s assertion that he shouldn’t have to honor the collective bargaining agreement signed by the previous lame-duck Highway Commissioner, Robert Miller, andwith a separate case against Miller, it’s looking like Gasser’s legal costs will total far more than what he has accused the former Commissioner of wrongfully spending. What is the point in that?
In my opinion, Gasser should get his buddy David McSweeney to change the laws, rather than beating a dead horse. Of course, that’s what I’d do if I were him (after I punched myself in the face).
Despite our current legal challenges, Gasser doubled down on his recent controversial and very public declaration that fecal matter was draining into Lake Killarney and on Wednesday evening when he added dead birds for effect. I kid you not, as I sat there listening to him, I cringed at each statement he made. I almost begged him to just stop talking.
Future legal disputes will likely occur between Gasser and the Lake Killarney HOA Board who stated that the Health Department investigated and found neither threats to public safety nor any evidence to support his “erroneous,” “sensationalized,” and “altogether inappropriate” declaration regarding their private lake. Gasser offered to get his friends with Ph.D.’s to certify that crap.
Residents of the Lake Killarney subdivision are concerned about their home values following several videos Gasser posted on social media where he is allegedly following up on complaints received regarding a terrible odor coming from the area. Not only did he say he would never let his own children swim in the lake; he said the smell alone would scare away any home buyers.
I understand Gasser felt the need to inform the public immediately of the imminent danger he felt was present based on his life experiences with fecal matter, but I would have preferred he not continue to post videos and double down on statements after knowing the appropriate agencies reported the water to be safe. Supervisor Lutzow tried to redirect Gasser and keep him focused.
In other news, Gasser claims to have “dramatically improved” the Road Districts award winning recycling program. He’s considering entering into an IGA with MCCD for specialized recycling events at the township which has alleviated traffic backups on Rt. 14. He noted that specialized paint recycling will return this month with a few changes. Paint recycling is now privatized and the service will include a small fee.
The Road District has teamed up with the McHenry County Environmental Defenders to begin recycling Styrofoam! This is a really big deal because very few places accept and recycle Styrofoam. The Environmental Defenders will run that program and the Road District provided them with the space. It’s a no brainier! Residents can now recycle clean Styrofoam weekdays at the Township at no cost. Thanks!
Gasser reiterated Wednesday evening that he is doing great things and has many ideas, stating, “we are going to be very green!” I really hope our community continues to show support for, defend, and grow these services. It’s important we remain a positive example on this front and I look forward to hearing Gasser’s ideas.
The remainder of the meeting was filled with pockets of arrogant showboating and rowdy in-fighting between board members. All of which could have been avoided had it been discussed and worked out prior to the meeting and not on social media. Trustee Dave Chapman pleaded with board members to discuss items and raise issues to Supervisor Lutzow beforehand.
Algonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor requested the childish antics of the board stop. She said the antics are, “making us look like a circus act,” and, “making us look like a joke.” Victor also requested less verbal and more written communication happen at the Township. I believe everyone agreed communication could use improvement. I agree.
Supervisor Lutzow needs to step-up and lead this group, maintain order and have clear expectations for those representing the township and allow everyone to do their jobs. The focus should be on serving the people of Algonquin Township and not on destroying each other.
People are relying on you. Charles, You’re in-charge!