The Truth Behind the McManamon Lies:
**Wayne Township Highway Commissioner Martin McManamon pictured**
TRUTH: The Township’s highest requested levy ever was 3.5%, The Highway Commissioner requested levy increases of 4.9% five years in a row. On average the annual increase of property tax per household for the township was $3.
TRUTH: The Highway Commissioner refused to plow the new parking lot, stating he believed he would be blamed for any damage. We put out the R.F.P and received two responses. The winner was a local business in the township. The township placed $50,000 in the line item to ensure the service would be fully funded in the event of a severe winter. The township ended up only spending $15,000 on snow removal, which included plowing and salting the township parking lot, shoveling and salting the sidewalks, and removing snow at the township cemetery (something the highway commissioner never did).
TRUTH: We did work every year and most of our work was done through grants at no cost to taxpayers. By law, bids are required for projects costing more than $20,000. When project costs were under $20,000, we received proposals for the work and chose the least expensive.
TRUTH: Bids were put out for the work on the Senior Center with no responses. We were told the jobs were too small. We received a few proposals and used the least expensive for concrete and construction. Most of the inside purchases were done through a buying cooperative which is already bid and complies with state law. McManamon lied to his union buddies to get them to put up the rat, and he stood out there with them. When the Supervisor spoke to the Union Reps and explained everything to them, they were embarrassed and took the rat down.
TRUTH: At the annual town meeting in 2015, under a previous administration, the people approved a $3 million expenditure for the expansion of the food pantry and redesign of the senior center. Ultimately, the previous administration was not able to secure a loan that large, but they had to borrow the funds to get the water attachment from Carol Stream when the township building was annexed into the village. They also had paid expenses to the architect for this proposed expansion; about $400,000 was borrowed. When the current administration came in, we downsized the plan, borrowing $1.5 million to do the projects and refinancing the original loan at a better rate. The project came in under budget due to the $335,000 grant for the food pantry and a $25,000 grant for the walk-in cooler and freezer. The Director of General Assistance at the Township, Juanita Martinez, worked very hard on this and made it happen. We refinanced the loan again recently to get an even lower rate and save more money for taxpayers.
TRUTH: The budget was amended to reflect the costs for COVID related expenditures. We were required to provide receipts to get reimbursed from DuPage County and these expenditures were not included in the original budget. Wayne Township received $235,000 in CARES Act funds and all of our COVID-related costs were covered.
TRUTH: 4 years ago, salaries for all Township officials for the current term were cut or held flat by the previous administration. At that time benefits were also reduced for the Assessor and Highway Commissioner, and benefits were removed for the Supervisor. This year the Assessor position received a $10,000 raise with benefits reestablished, the Supervisor received a $6,500 raise with no benefits, the trustees received a $1500 raise with no benefits and the Clerk received a $1000 raise with no benefits. We are all the lowest paid township officials in DuPage County, except for the Highway Commissioner. The Highway Commissioner salary will remain at $99,883.83, but the position will have its full benefits restored for the next term. Wayne Township has also lost 14 miles of roads due to annexation into villages, and the Highway Commissioner did not budget any increase in his budget for a pay increase. The Road District budget pays half of the Highway Commissioner salary, the other half is paid by the Township. The board believed that because the responsibilities of the job are decreasing, a salary increase is not warranted. Finally, the statute provides that township officials are paid once a month, and therefore the highway commissioner is paid once a month.
TRUTH: The board reviews all bills and asks appropriate questions during each meeting. Budget discussions and levy discussions take place at separate meetings held before the meetings on which they are voted. The board is efficient in their work and are informed of the progress and needs of various projects.
TRUTH: The doors to the food pantry were closed as was the rest of the township building for two weeks when the COVID pandemic started. We then opened on Saturdays for distribution of food and supplies to residents in need. We followed the protocols set by the Governor. We served thousands of families and distributed over 300,000 pounds of food last year. We were the second busiest Township Food Pantry in DuPage County.
TRUTH: We posted two photos with elected officials, County Board members Rutledge and Zay. Otherwise, the pictures posted were of people from local businesses giving donations or volunteering at the pantry.
TRUTH: The fundraiser for our slate was held at a local, popular restaurant in Bartlett which is on the border but in Cook County. We agree that it is important to support our local small businesses whenever we can. Unfortunately, within Wayne Township, there was not a facility available to host our event that night. The other side decided to not have an event at all to support a local business, it was a virtual event that was lightly attended