Longmeadow Parkway Statement

Friends,

Today in the Northwest Herald you can read an article about Mayor Schmitt of Algonquin and a picture he put up.  I was quoted in that article and I feel I need to formally make a few statements because we do not need rumor and innuendo.

  1. First – while some people called for Mayor Schmitt to resign – I did not.  In fact, while the mayor and I do not see eye to eye on everything, I do respect him and in fact I addressed him as “the honorable” in my statement.  He has been elected as the Mayor of Algonquin since 2002.  The people of Algonquin re-elected him and I look forward to working with the mayor on many road issues.
  2. My statement that was read did NOT attack the Village of Algonquin, the mayor, or any trustees.  While I did say that politicians were driving this decision I never belittled, humiliated, or other wise “attacked anyone.
  3. Forgive me, but my gosh it was a simple photoshop of a bee.  Have we, as a people, as a society of intellectuals, and as a community become so hyper sensitive that we cannot tolerate differing points of view?  While I personally would not have done that Mayor Schmitt’s actions did not violate anything.  It doesn’t violate anyone’s constitutional rights.  Perhaps he has now motivated some people to become more active in politics locally.

I have decided to post my statement which was read below so that everyone knows where I stand.  For the record I have never been for the Longmeadow Parkway.  There are very few capital projects that I have been “for”.  My statement is below:

April 25th, 2017
Andrew Gasser
McHenry County Board District 1
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner – Elect

RE:

To the honorable Mayor Schmitt, honorable members of the Village of Algonquin Board, and to fellow citizens:

I regret I cannot come before you to speak tonight as I have a meeting I cannot reschedule. I need to lend my voice to the most serious issue of the Longmeadow Parkway, which will impact all of us, whether we live in Kane or McHenry County.

Friends I cannot in good conscience support this project. While we all agree for the need of responsible growth and development it is my opinion that politicians have forced this project upon us. It is clear the public continues to send an entirely different and opposing message.

My opposition is three fold:

One: The use of eminent domain in McHenry County is wrong. As a McHenry County Board Member I have always voted against the use of eminent domain. Never have I personally supported a road project that has used eminent domain. Who are we to judge what is “fair market value”? Who are we to judge when we can deprive Americans of their liberty and property? Is there a need for eminent domain? Yes. Should we use eminent domain in this instance? No!

Two: I realize that most TEA Party Conservatives are often dismissed as against “the environment” – I am a TEA Party conservative and I am environmentally conscious. I am keenly aware of our responsibility and duty in regards to environmental impact.

This project:

• Literally paves over sensitive environmental wetlands and further endangers protected species
• Intrudes on the natural beauty of the Fox River
• and strips away invaluable water recharge areas in McHenry County.

As a former member of the Planning, Environment, and Development Committee on the McHenry County Board I have intimate knowledge of just how critical our water situation is. It is our duty as elected officials to protect our precious and limited resources. Every year, development chips away at aquifer recharge areas that provide water to over 88,000 people southeast McHenry County, in Algonquin Township, and the villages of Cary, Fox River Grove, Algonquin, and Barrington Hills. Barrington Hills, with its 5-acre minimum lot size, is boon for Algonquin, Fox River Grove, Cary, and Crystal Lake so why are we trying to diminish a scarce resource?

Three: We simply cannot afford another toll road in our area. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, McHenry County residents pay the 29th highest property taxes in the United States.

Don’t laugh Kane County… you are 32nd!

In a time when every single family I know is tightening our belts and doing more with less – grandiose road projects are being pushed forward. Sometimes the justification voiced is that “it’s not our money – its federal or state money”.

I cringe.

While McHenry County enjoys an AAA bond rating, the state of Illinois has declined to junk bond status, and our country is nearing $20 trillion dollars in debt.

What is done is done.

We cannot turn back what was completed in Kane County.
We CAN come together and protect McHenry County.

I strongly urge you all to NOT support this project any longer and I invite you to call me directly at (850) 866-0155 or email me at andrew@andrewgasser.com, should you wish to converse on this serious issue further.

Be Blessed,
Andrew Gasser
McHenry County Board District 1
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner – Elect

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In other news bee keeping in McHenry County is on the rise!  I hope to have a hive in my yard this year as a test run!

The McHenry County Transportation Committee, some highway commissioners, and residents had a great time on the McHenry County Transportation Committee tour of McHenry County’s Non-Dedicated Roads.  For the entire trip I sat along side Bob Miller, “Iron Mike” Lesperance, and Donna Kurtz.  We had a great chat and dialogue.  I cannot wait to hear the rumors on this one.  I do not run hate and bitterness and neither should anyone else.  I refuse to.

-Thank You “R”.