Letter from Kurt Prenzler, Chairman, Madison County, Ilinois
Posted by Bluangel on July 6, 2022, 4:24 pm
At noon Friday, I received a notice that twelve members of the county board called a special meeting for 5pm, Wednesday, July 6, to consider a resolution that would transfer most of the powers of the elected Madison County Board Chairman to another elected official yet to be chosen. |
The special meeting was called by the following board members:
John “Eric” Foster (R - Granite City)
Chris Hankins (D - Pontoon Beach)
Chris Guy (R - Maryville)
Denise Wienhardt (R - Granite City)
Nick Petrillo (D – Granite City)
Gussie Glasper (D – Madison)
Mike Walters (R – Godfrey)
Bobby Ross (R – St. Jacob)
Stacey Pace (R – Troy)
James Goggin (R – Edwardsville)
Mick Madison (R – Bethalto)
Terry Eaker (R – Bethalto)
I saw this resolution for the first time Friday. I have many questions, and I’m sure voters do also.
The Board reorganizes every ten years. That happened 6 months ago. At that time this board re-endorsed the 2004 decision to elect the Madison County Chairman by the voters. You may ask ... well, what changed?
An election cycle came and went. I endorsed several Republican County board candidates who were not incumbents. Most of these candidates won.
But these candidates did not win because I endorsed them. They won because these candidates had one thing in common: they were all pro-taxpayer choice.
The non-incumbent winning candidates all support a public vote on PTELL tax caps. PTELL limits most taxing districts’ levy increase to the lesser of the CPI (inflation rate) or 5 percent.
But PTELL cannot be put on the ballot by petition. Only the county board can authorize a public vote. In 2018 and 2020 I asked the county board to put this referendum on the ballot, but both times the county board refused.
To be fair, in 2020 six Republicans voted to put PTELL on the ballot, but other Republicans voted with the Democrats to keep the tax cap referendum off the ballot.
Yes, you read that right ... “Republican” elected officials blocked your ability to vote on your taxation.
PTELL also gets rid of the hated backdoor referendum, a tricky way for taxing districts to raise your taxes without a public vote.
And PTELL was designed to protect property taxpayers in times of inflation, and all of a sudden, we now have inflation again, perhaps worse than the late 1970s.
Here’s how it works: inflation causes your home’s assessed valuation to increase, and taxing districts take full advantage. PTELL was designed to protect you from this.
I know that taxing districts don’t like PTELL. They don’t like anything that limits their ability to tax. And I know that these taxing districts lobby county board members.
I know there are technical aspects of PTELL that are confusing. But again – let the voters decide.
What is leadership in our form of government? Leadership is not reacting to election results but accepting the will of the people.
More than 70,000 Madison County citizens chose me over my pro-tax opponent precisely because I’m pro-taxpayer. And I’m not going to change my position after the election just because I have opposition.
I will not back down to those who want to change our county's form of government without a referendum - back to the good ole days – when one board member was elected by other board members – to divvy up the spoils. To back down would disenfranchise the 70,000 voters who elected me.
To sum it up, I will remain pro-taxpayer and also defend the concept of public vote, the foundation of democracy.
"Life only comes from life" ~ Louis Pasteur (Law of Biogenesis)