New Algonquin highway boss targets taxes, nepotism, too much government
Andrew Gasser has a tough road ahead.
But maybe that's fitting for the newly elected Algonquin Township highway commissioner.
Gasser spoke with the McHenry Times about what he has planned for when he takes office on May 15, as well as what he wants to see happen in the township.
“One of my goals is to be fiscally responsible and bring limited government back to Algonquin Township,” Gasser said, stressing that promoting transparency is important in local government. “I remain optimistic that we are going to be able to accomplish these goals."
In a community of 88,000 people, he said, it's important that a lot of officials make tax relief a priority.
“Our taxes are way too high,” Gasser said. “It’s my goal to lower the taxes.”
Claiming that the municipality has the 29th highest property taxes in the country, Gasser said that if local government prioritizes tax reform, it should be possible to bring residents some form of relief.
In addition, he said, he wants to try to prevent the encroachment of nepotism into local politics.
“It's going to be a tough fight,” Gasser said.
In the recent election, Gasser edged out incumbent Bob Miller, who had held the role for more than 24 years.
The Chicago Tribune had reported on acrimony between the two candidates, including Gasser’s criticism of a situation involving relatives of Miller being on the municipal payroll and a video purporting to show improper actions by township road workers.
A Freedom of Information Act request obtained by the McHenry Times shows that the township has hired Gasser’s former challenger, Nicholas Chirikos, as an hourly “road maintenance” employee for $25 per hour.
Gasser and Chirikos ran for the McHenry County Board’s District 1 seat in 2014; Gasser ultimately won.
When asked about Chirikos’ hiring, Gasser declined to comment.
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