Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Local Voices: Thornton Township’s proposed budget could be Tiffany Henyard’s biggest crime yet

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Submitted by Paul Robertz

I believe that each township is required to allow the public to ask questions about the budget, and that residents have the ability to amend the budget before it is put up to vote by the trustees.

If you look at page 15 of the professional looking proposed budget below, you will see the five month long process of involving the public in the budget. I don’t believe any of this happened.

I do read that the budget mentions that “Thornton Township is committed to realizing Supervisor Henyard’s vision” and goes on to propose salary increases of 37% over last year and an increase of 49.87% in the General Fund while forecasting lower tax revenue and proposing further cuts to the Assessor’s office.

Earlier this week I tried calling the clerk’s office. On my third attempt someone picked up the phone. I asked only for the time and location of the public forum to discuss the proposed 2025 township budget. The woman answering put me on hold while she asked a co-worker, and instead of answering my question, transferred me directly to finance director Robert Hunt. He was cordial, and acted helpful. The meeting is scheduled concurrently with the regularly scheduled board meeting on May 28, 6 p.m. at headquarters.

When I asked him if it would be in the large room downstairs or in the small boardroom upstairs, he replied that it depends on public turnout. I told him that I expected a low turnout, since nothing has been posted on the township’s website, in our mailboxes, or in The Lansing Journal. He told me a couple of times that he posted notice of the meeting in three newspapers as required by law (NW Indiana Times, Daily Southtown, and The Shopper) but could not tell me why he did not use The Lansing Journal or the clerk’s office.

When I told him that I appreciate his efforts to increase transparency in this administration, he agreed with me, but said that every trustee will be able to ask all the questions they have about the budget to him or the Supervisor. He did not guarantee the residents’ right to do the same. Perhaps someone can point to a specific Illinois law concerning the public’s rights to question a township budget.

Yes, I know that budgets are considered boring by most people. Tiffany Henyard gets increased spending money if no one knows about the proposed budget, passed by her three rubber stamp trustees doing business as usual in a small room. Public dissent is anathema to her vision, as we saw at the last Annual Township Meeting, when no one could view the budget they were asked to vote on.

I am submitting this because The Lansing Journal sticks to factual local reporting even when you could get attention by focusing on the sensational cars, houses, furniture, and sex lives of Henyard supporters, as so many media outlets do. However, I see this proposed budget as an impending crime bigger than much of what gets reported about Thornton Township these days. I trust that The Lansing Journal and its reporters will handle this appropriately.

Paul Robertz


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The proposed 2025 budget is a 62-page PDF, available for viewing or download by clicking on the link below:

Local Voices
Local Voiceshttps://thelansingjournal.com/category/lansing-voices/
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Robertz you produced a well written letter, I thank you. What I’d like to expand on from your letter are the proposed outrageous salary increases of 37% from the Supervisor who gets 2 salaries. Would you be outraged if our Governor or Lansing’s Mayor proposed this kind of salary increase? Who in this current economic climate is expecting that size of salary increase next year? Certainly not people on a fixed income, like me! Take note SENIORS. I know she has replaced many township employees with family & friends. Is this some sort of loyalty payback? Shame on them for taking us for suckers. On top of that, an almost 50% increase in the General Fund with projected LOWER TAX REVENUE. This is the fastest way to a budget deficit in the very near future should this go through. Could it be that the recent “FLYER” sent out from the Township bragging about the HUGE surplus, is Supervisor Henyards way of justifying such a HUGE salary & General Fund increase. Everybody who lives in this jurisdiction is struggling with this bad economy but they believe it’s “let’s cash in time”. The constituents & business owners of the Township are doing with less. At this time, the Township needs to be saving as much money as possible. I only hope that the voters remember this next year at the ballot box.
    Also, why the “further cuts to the Assessor’s Office”. Give us a reason! Cassandra is an elected official and one of a few people Tiffany can’t fire. Why is she doing this? Something is going on here and it is not good.
    Just something more to think about. Thanks again Paul.
    Scott

  2. This is insane, This mayor doese not deserve any increase, She is a thief and robber. Big and sneeky crook. She deserves prison.

    • Robert Hunt said in a 🥜 that they’re FOIA SYSTEM AT THE TOWNSHIP won’t mean anything UNLESS THE ADMINISTRATION*THERE* PROVIDES THE INFORMATION. SAME THING LIKE DOLTON

  3. how else will she be able to pay restitution for all the rooms for her entourage for all trips and pay all attorney fees. BEFORE SHE IS SETANCED. sue for all future income too, BUT vote on it to be fair

  4. Investigate all her family she hired as city employees. Are here over 10 family members 20 ? Who knows foia the info someone. check their expense accounts also.

  5. All townships should be abolished! They a Political-Tar-Pits of Corruption, Cronyism, Nepotism, Patronage and Tax Waste!

  6. Their budget proposal does not add up, they don’t seem to properly account for any and all outstanding loans / debts, FY2024 should show deficit estimate -1.8 million and 2025 -6.6 million. Goal indicated tax revenue shortfall but the SS Tiff shouted an increase. When will the Recall Appeal come out?

  7. I just wanna point out that I’ve never seen a Politician that likes to have their photo posted EVERYWHERE & on EVERYTHING as much as TAH!

    Just a very sad situation all the way around for what COULD HAVE BEEN a BEAUTIFUL STORY….

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