The county reached a settlement last year with Kristen Poshard, former administrator of the county's Community Development Department, who had who filed a federal lawsuit accusing the county of wrongfully terminating her after she alleged that a former county board member sexually harassed her.
"The idea of additional Board oversight and involvement in County Administration has been rumored for a while, especially since Prenzler's most recent defeat last spring when the former Community Development Director's lawsuit for sexual harassment and wrongful termination ended up costing the county over $1.3 million," the Republican officials said in their statement. "Since then we all have seen the continued revolving door of department heads, misguided appointments and personnel decisions, and a County Chairman who maintained an ongoing professional relationship with two fired former administrators even while these same fired employees were filing and litigating scores of lawsuits against the County."
Prenzler said that since he became chairman, the county has been able to reduce county property taxes for residents.
He says the board members who oppose his administration include those who did not get his support in the June 28 primary. He supported candidates who backed a proposed Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, which gives voters the chance to decide tax changes and limits amounts the county can collect.
Under this system, "Increases in property tax extensions are limited to the lesser of 5 percent or the increase in the consumer price index for the year preceding the levy year. The limitation for a taxing district can be increased with voter approval," according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
The statement from McRae, Michael, Haine, Slusser and Werden states that property tax law changes are not the reason they want to change Prenzler's duties.
"...The fact that Mr. Prenzler apparently thinks these changes are about PTELL just shows that he apparently has no idea what is happening inside the County government," their statement says.
Prenzler released a statement Tuesday night in response to the other GOP officials.
"It was unfortunate that other Republican officeholders weighed in and continue to interfere in county board business. I'm in the oversight business. That's how I got here," Prenzler said in a statement Tuesday night in response to McRae, Michael, Haine, Slusser, and Werden.
"In 2011, 2017 and 2018, I led the fight to defeat a proposed county-wide 1 percent sales tax. In 2016, I led an effort to collect 10,000 signatures to put a tax cut referendum on the ballot, which passed 4 to 1," Prenzler.
Dwight Kay, a former Republican state representative from Madison County who has started a group called the Madison County Conservative Caucus, released a statement on Monday in support of Prenzler.
"The charges are unsupported by facts, data or evidence rendering the charges and Special Meeting akin to a high tech lynching by a small group of Republicans against a two-time elected Chairman, who is also a Republican," Kay said in his statement.
Kay said in an interview Tuesday that the board members opposed to Prenzler include members who lost GOP primary races last month to candidates supported by the Madison County Conservative Caucus.
In response to the statement released by the five countywide leaders on Tuesday, Kay criticized McRae, Michael, Haine, Slusser and Werden for citing the Poshard lawsuit.
"That had nothing to do with Kurt Prenzler," Kay said of the lawsuit.
This story was originally published July 5, 2022 5:00 PM.
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