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Guest Column: MacKay’s response to County Board Chairman Christiansen

July 1, 1993

I was disturbed and offended by the insulting, non-accurate diatribe (supposedly written by Scott Christiansen) that appeared in The Rock River Times April 19-25 issue and was in response to your editorial in TRRT March 15-21 issue. Mr. Christiansen’s comparison of TRRT to “supermarket tabloids” such as the National Enquirer, etc. is about as credible as that of an illiterate comparing pornography to Roget’s Thesaurus.

Mr. Christiansen’s “explanation” of the county’s involvement in the assessment and taxation process contains inaccuracies, half-truths and is fraught with omissions.

After re-reading the editorial he contests, I am moved to recommend that everyone re-read it, and especially the section headed “Winnebago County Board has rot,” which begins with the sentence “Rotten, rotten, rotten, have been many of the recent actions of the Winnebago County Board,” and goes on to describe what some people refer to as “the Christiansen-Syverson Mafia.” As taxpayers, we are in deep trouble unless we do something about it, and that starts with defeating those who support this “rot,” and they are largely incumbent Republicans.

I am a lifelong conservative Republican. I am the senior (since 1978) member of the County Board, and I have the best County Board attendance in the known history of the County Board. I have always represented my constituents well, and they, not political interests, are the reason I am on the County Board.

Mr. Christiansen’s back-room wheeling and dealing has not been in the best interest of many Winnebago County taxpayers. I believe there have been many violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The tampering with the Zoning Board of Appeals and its schedule have been misused in the unfortunate ethanol matter, and hundreds of taxpayers are going to lose their property values if this debacle comes to fruition. Mr. Christiansen has interfered with the zoning process, and a lot of people who pay a lot of taxes are going to be badly hurt.

Mr. Christiansen is, ultimately, more than anyone else, responsible for what we have, for he is the architect of the bigger government and higher taxes, which we have. He was the originator of the failed “Elected County Administrator” proposal (which the public defeated 2-1). He was the motivating force in reducing the County Board in 1992 to twenty (20) single-member districts, which, he crowed, “would guarantee the election of 15-17 Republicans.” Fortunately, the Democrats (and myself) sued, won, and preserved our 28-member County Board.

He was the architect of the “Elected County Board Chairman,” which the board narrowly created in 1992. That has resulted in county spending and taxation rising by almost 400 percent since then. That’s right—nearly 400 percent. There was recently support to eliminate that office, but most of the opposition was lobbied away by the Syverson Mafia when Mr. Christiansen announced he would run for the position.

In short, if Mr. Christiansen is offended by the truth (and there is a lot more), I have lots of good reasons to be offended by him, his actions and his words. He has created a rotten apocalyptic situation for our taxpayers, and for the worst County Board I have ever seen. As an open-door conservative Republican, I am ashamed, as should every national, statewide and local Republican. You know what you can do about it. Do it.

From the April 26-May 2, 2006, issue

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