“I grew up here. I came back here after college and I was in the military and I was with a unit in Rockford. I was a [National] Guard and reserve member for 13 years.

“It makes me sad to think there’s a possibility that I might not want to live here.

“I liked having my roots in one spot. I like being able to give my kids that feeling of being comfortable in one spot. We have a solid 8-10 years to really want to remain here for those reasons… I’m telling my kids ‘do not go to [college] in Illinois. Let’s find you a nice place in another state.’

“If we could pick our house up and move somewhere else, I would do it. Because I’m mad at Illinois.

“People aren’t stupid. People can do math. People pay their own bills. People understand finances apparently better than some people down in Springfield. Politicians say they’re doing the best they can, and yet we have this kind of debt. What do you mean we can’t try to change and do some [government] consolidation and try to get more efficiency and have term limits.

“I don’t see how people could have time to investigate local government or any other government besides the news clips. When you do start looking into it, it makes you absolutely sick.

“Something that really got me fired up was when I started looking into the Township Officials of Illinois. What do these people make? [Township officials] up here in McHenry, Nunda, Grafton townships… you have people making upwards of $100,000. To me these would be clerical positions.

“Who has time to pay attention to what their road commissioner is doing? People barely have time to follow what’s going on at the national level. And you know what, people shouldn’t have to. That’s the part that makes me the most angry. [Elected officials] should just be expected to do the right thing.

“People used to be more honest. More reasonable and there was maybe more civic community. You felt like you were doing a duty. Yes, you should get something for [government service]. You should be paid. But when it’s benefitting you personally more than it is the taxpayer, that’s where you gotta draw the line there.

“I believe people need to approach government service more like military people, that are willing to sacrifice more. They shouldn’t be walking away filling their pockets with money and taking retirement and taking benefits that other people aren’t getting. That’s not right.

“There needs to be me and 50,000 other people in Illinois saying the same thing. We can’t sit back and wait for our government to take care of us, because they’re not.”

Jamie Grubich
McHenry Illinois