Letter: Important vote in Nunda Township primary

To the Editor:

Timing for a critical local election couldn’t be worse. Voters are often apathetic, but today, most are sick of politics and cannot discern the import of a township primary anyway.

A snowbird in my 70s, I contacted the McHenry County Clerk’s Office requesting an absentee ballot for the consolidated primary election on Feb. 23.

Address? Check. I’ve owned my Nunda Township home since 1973. Promised an application, they advised that the “real” election is in April.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. In McHenry County, township elections don’t typically draw bipartisan competition, so whoever wins the primary becomes your elected official – whether you voted or not.

I know because I was the editor of Star Newspapers when the battle against townships began. Now, as then, I write to preserve rural lifestyle and defend rights of those living in unincorporated areas.

Why? Because unincorporated needs are quite different from those of residents living within city limits, enjoying city services.

Certainly, changes have taken place. I remember the day that change knocked on my door in the person of “Iron Mike” Lesperance. I didn’t know him; he didn’t know me. But I was impressed by what he said and encouraged others, eventually including my son Justin Franzke, now an incumbent trustee, to support him.

In two terms as our Nunda Township highway commissioner, Lesperance has demonstrated fiscal responsibility and a keen ability to identify and address priorities. He reduced our tax levy, updated equipment within the lower budget, increased service capabilities and improved roads without hiring outside contractors or using county services.

A humanitarian leader, his crew was hands-on sandbagging floodwaters in 2017 and serves with smiles despite below-freezing temperatures and heavy snow on winter holidays.

I’m tired of fact-checking, yet it’s essential. When candidates boast “teamwork,” are they individually qualified?

Is experience both applicable and adequate? Will trustees represent multiple neighborhoods? Should one family occupy multiple seats on a four-member board of trustees?

Please think, and then vote, on Feb. 23.

Gail Franzke-Blanchard