Gasser questions opponent's ethics in highway commissioner race
A retired Air Force air battle manager is running for Algonquin Township highway commissioner, vowing that transparency will remain one of his biggest concerns.
Andrew Gasser has expressed concern over the lack of transparency his opponent, incumbent Robert Miller, has displayed since taking office.
Illinois Revised Statutes Chapter 24 requires municipalities to prepare an annual treasurer's report, which is a statement of receipts and disbursements each fiscal year, to be filed with the State Treasurer’s Office.
The reports must include a list of all revenues received; a list of vendors who have received more than $1,000; the total amount disbursed to vendors who received less than $1,000; the compensation amount for all elected officials and employees; and a summary of operations for all funds.
"We’re in 2017: it's not too difficult that those bills are put online, and my opponent has not been doing that,” Gasser told the McHenry Times.
He went on to stress the importance of citizens having access to these reports.
“McHenry County is the 29th-highest property-taxed county, and we’re not seeing what we’re actually spending that money on,” Gasser explained.
A search of campaign donations to the Citizens to Re-Elect Bob Miller revealed many of the contributions to Miller's re-election committee have come from vendors who make hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and sometimes millions -- off roadwork contracts throughout McHenry County.
For example, Miller was given a contribution from Baxter & Woodman, a vendor that received a nearly $2 million contract for road work in the county. He also received funds from Geske & Sons, a vendor that acquired a contract for more than $2 million.
At least eight other examples of vendors giving contributions to Miller exist.
This fiscal year, Miller oversaw a nearly $5 million-dollar fund; several million of that went toward contracts with some of the above vendors.
Without the township’s treasurer's report, citizens could not determine how much campaign contributors benefited from contracts for roadwork in Algonquin.
Gasser was shocked to hear that his opponent was taking campaign contributions from vendors with whom he was likely doing business on behalf of the township.
“If that’s happening, that’s a freaking outrage,” he said.
Gasser is also upset with the nepotism his opponent has supported. Miller’s family has run the Algonquin Township Department for more than 50 years, he said.
Miller’s wife is his secretary. His two sons-in-law both work for him, as well.
Gasser believes he can make a difference with the corruption in the township.
“We can have good local government,” he said.
In addition, Gasser stressed that he would term limit himself and not take the “politician pension” or the “politician health care plan.”
“I’m going in there because it's the right thing to do,” Gasser said.
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