Miller endorsed by all McHenry County highway commissioners
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller recently announced his endorsement by every McHenry County highway commissioner.
Miller will face fellow Republican Andrew Gasser in the Feb. 28 Republican primary.
"I am endorsed by every other highway commissioner in McHenry County including Nunda Township's "Iron Mike" Lesperance, who was kind enough to share this letter to the editor," Miller posted to social media on Jan. 30.
Lesperance's letter was published in the Northwest Herald last month. He praised Miller for his well-run agency and generosity in sharing his secrets of success as a township highway commissioner. Lesperance also expressed his gratitude for Miller's guidance and training while the new highway commissioner learned the details of running the Nunda Township Highway Department.
"Your road district does everything from recycling to plowing and you do it as good or better than anyone else," Lesperance told the Northwest Herald editor. "As a new township highway commissioner, I have explored your Algonquin facility and sought advice from your highway commissioner, Bob Miller, on more than one occasion to ensure that Nunda is as successful and runs as smoothly as Algonquin."
In addition to Lesperance's endorsement, Miller received the endorsement of every Algonquin Township mayor and village president plus the highway commissioners. Miller also received endorsements from a wide range of public officials and community leaders, including McHenry County Sheriff William "Bill" Prim, state Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and state Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake).
As head of the Algonquin Township Highway Department, Miller is responsible for the budget as well as the department's functions. The highway department builds and maintains the 68.5 miles of township roads that are outside of the 10 municipalities' boundaries. Maintenance is handled by nine highway department employees. Their duties include street sweeping, patching, signage, township facilities and snow and ice control.
The highway department also handles the Algonquin Township free recycling programs and the Senior Bus, which provides transportation for disabled and elderly residents.
During his tenure as highway commissioner, Miller has kept the levy stable for five years. The Algonquin Township Road District levy is shared with the township's 10 municipalities, limiting Miller's ability to cut the district levy.
"By law, half of the other half belongs to Algonquin Township's 10 municipalities," Miller said. "Until the General Assembly changes the statute, I can't cut the rest of the levy without wrecking their budgets."
While Miller has held levies at the same rate and cut half of last year's levy by 10 percent, he has faced charges that the highway district levied more taxes than the law allowed.
The district's attorney, Jim Kelly, said that the tax objectors added the value of assets, restricted funds and monies from other taxing districts. He also pointed out that the Road District was following the law by saving money to pay for a scheduled 2019 road project.
The excess assets case was dismissed three times in 2016, but the judge allowed it to continue after the objectors' attorney made changes to the case. A decision is expected in March.
Miller began his career with the Algonquin Township Road District in 1972 as a laborer. He worked his way up to foreman before being elected as highway commissioner in 1993.
"I am proud of my service to Algonquin Township," Miller posted on his Facebook page. "I started at entry level -- as a laborer -- and worked here in every capacity until my election as highway commissioner in 1993. I can and have operated every piece of equipment that we own."
Miller currently serves as president of several organizations – the Township Officials of Illinois, the Northern Illinois Township Highway Commissioners Association and the McHenry County Township Highway Commissioners Association. He is also chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
He has a long history of service to the community, including the Crystal Lake Lion's Club, Crystal Lake and Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chambers of Commerce, 22 years as an elected Republican precinct committeeman, from 1980 to 2002, and another eight years as an appointed committeeman after 2002. Miller also spent 22 years as firefighter, EMT and paramedic for the Cary Fire Protection District. His final rank at the fire district was assistant chief.
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