December 08, 2021
Local News

Referendum results: Residents vote to keep McHenry, Nunda Townships, Oakwood Hills; restructure ROE

McHenry County voters resoundingly said they wanted to keep the governments of McHenry Township, Nunda Township and Oakwood Hills in Tuesday's primary election.

All three measures to eliminate those governments failed by considerable margins.

In a binding referendum, McHenry Township residents voted to keep the township, with more than 7,000 voters (79%) voting to save it, and less than 2,000 voting to dissolve it, a major win for residents who depend on township services.

The township — which was set to be dissolved on June 21 if the measure passed — will continue to manage road district property, assets, personnel, obligations and liabilities instead of transferring them to McHenry County.

A township is mandated to provide a general assistance program, property tax assessments and maintenance of the road district’s roads and bridges.

In an advisory referendum, of township residents, 85% of township residents voted to keep the senior bus service running.

McHenry Township Board of Trustees will further decide if they want to continue funding, operating, and managing the senior and disabled bus service for all McHenry Township Senior and disabled residents.

Nunda Township residents also voted, in a binding referendum, to keep the township with 64% of residents voting to keep the township while 36% voting to dissolve it.

The township was initially set to be dissolved on May 18, 2037, 17 years in the future.

Governor JB Pritzker signed a law in August allowing McHenry County voters to dissolve the area's 17 townships through referendum. The townships road districts' officials questioned whether the law was constitutional, and in January filed a lawsuit against McHenry County and Pritzker.

The Village of Oakwood Hills was also on the ballot asking residents whether the municipality should be dissolved. Following the trend from the night, 83% of village residents voted not to dissolve the municipality of Oakwood Hills, while 17% voted to dissolve it.

In McHenry County, 53% voted to pursue a new structure of the office of McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools, or enter into an agreement with another Regional Office of Education to share its services.

Country Board President Jack Franks said residents made the right move as he deems the office "unnecessary."

"I see this as a mandate to go to Springfield and ask the legislature to eliminate the Regional Office of Education in McHenry County and to combine it with another regional office and save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver. And you're still deliver the same service, we can still keep an office here, doesn't need to have an elected official with a huge budget," Franks said.

The office recently came under fire because of multiple repeated errors in its financial reporting, including a lack of employees actively preventing and detecting misstatements and omitted materials in a timely manner, fund balances that were not correctly rolled over from the previous year, incorrectly reported grant funding and failing to provide completed financial statements in an appropriate format by the annual deadline.