Letter to the Taxpayers of Pontoon Beach
by Mike Macek


It finally happened, the years of irresponsible spending, mismanagement and the
concessions to the “warehouses” has caught up with the elected officials of Pontoon
Beach, just 6 months after the election.  Now they proposed a 74% property tax increase.  
I have these questions to the elected officials of the Village.

Has Nameoki Township ever reimbursed the Village for their portion of the street and
drainage improvements made to Virginia Avenue which should come to approximately
$60,000?  

Why was recent major remodeling done to the Village Hall to build a new office for the
Mayor with personal rest room facilities done?

What was the total cost of this improvement?

Was it a "no bid" contract in violation of State Statues as it wasn't advertised for bids?  

Why wasn’t any of this authorized in a open formal meeting of the Village Board?  

Why if the Village is in such financial crisis did the officials create the position of
“Community Standards Officer” with a salary of I believe $25,000 per year?  

Since it’s a full time position he is entitled to health insurance coverage, which for a family
could cost the Village $10,000 per year, plus I am sure the Village makes payments
towards a pension.  This position could easily cost the taxpayers $35,000 per year.  

Why if the Village is in such financial crisis were pay raises given?  In business if the
books don’t balance out raises can’t be given.  

Why did the Police Chief receive such a large increase?  
How does his salary compare to other municipalities in the area with a similar
population?   
Did the chairman of the finance committee even check?  

My guess is that he is with-in the top 3 in salary in both Madison and St. Clair Counties.  

Why did 3 trustees and the Economic Development Director attend the Municipal League
Convention with a budget of $1,200 per person?

Is the position and salary of the Economic Development Director justified?  
That’s about $50,000 per year with all considered.  Next to no development is taking place
in the Village and the new motel under construction can’t be credited to him.  

Remember the election promises?  
Where is the
interest money going from the “drug bust” money?  General fund I hope.



To me the answer is fairly simple, you must live within your means.  The Village must live
within its means.  The residents can’t afford a tax increase especially one that is due to
mismanagement. Working people in the Village have been suffering with wage reductions,
no raises, concessions to their benefits, having to pay more out of pocket to subsidize
health insurance, some have lost their jobs, and now we are faced with the possibility of
having to purchase flood insurance.  I know for a fact that some residents have had to sell
their homes because of high taxes that weren’t anticipated when they purchased their
home. The spending practices of the Village has to stop.  

The officials should immediately demand payment from Nameoki Township for the
Virginia Ave improvement.  

The new position of “Community Standards Officer” should be immediately abolished or
reduced to part time with no benefits.

We have several building inspectors that should be doing that work just as is done in
other communities, the police departments in other communities also get involved, so can
ours.  With the financial situation of the Village this position should have never been
created.  

The salary of the Police Chief should never have been raised under the situation and
should be immediately rescinded, and they should look into setting his salary comparable
to other chiefs in the area with the same population, after all some of us have had to
accept cuts in pay.

Abolish the Plumbing Inspectors position and have the state make the inspections as other
Municipalities do.  

Make the position of Economic Development Director/Tourism Director part time with no
benefits or abolish the position all together.  

Abolish the position of Zoning Hearing Officer and go back to having the Zoning Board
vote on the changes after all the Village is still paying them even though they have not had
a hearing in over a year.

Review all spending especially the bills from the Village Attorney which are totally out of
line especially compared to neighboring communities such as Glen Carbon & Collinsville
which both have as much if not more development going on.  

Why hasn’t the Village held a special census in the areas where major new residential
development has taken place? That could result in a substantial gain in taxes received
from the State.  

None of the Village Officials appear to be innovative enough to come up with other
sources of revenue, anyone can raise taxes!  

As I said before, I know how to eliminate the Villages portion of your property taxes and
receive 3 times as much revenue as those taxes produced.  Why can’t the current
administration come up with such a plan?  When you drive by the “warehouses” just
remember you are paying more taxes to make up for the taxes the Village should be
receiving from them.  And now they want to tax you even more, not the warehouses but
you the homeowner.  

The Village needs to collect the money due from Nameoki Township, rescind pay raises
officials received, put a immediate freeze of future raises.  Abolish some recently created
positions and evaluate others for reduction or elimination.  Its all part of business and the
Village is a business.

I am asking that all Village Property Taxpayers attend the public hearing on the proposed
increase on
Tuesday November 27
at
6:00pm at the Village Hall.  

Don’t forget to call the Village Clerk Susan Daugherty if you wish to speak at 931-6100

Once again it appears they are trying to keep public participation down by not allowing
you to speak if you don’t call the Clerk.

If anyone is wondering according to the Madison County Treasurers website it appears
our mayor paid a total of $437.84 in property taxes with $28.26 of that going to the Village,
so his taxes would go up about $20.00, no wonder he is for the increase as it hardly
affects him.  

If you don’t fight back now, taxes will be increased, and will be increased every year, as
that’s the history of the Denham administration.



Mike Macek