County Board Candidates Give Growth Views to A-LAW Questionnaire

Below are the answers to the A-LAW and McHenry County Defendeers’ McHenry County Board questionnaire. Although the questions of the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water and the Defenders are good ones, only six of the candidates took the time to answer them.

A-LAW, you may remember proposed and campaign unsuccessfully for a water authority for the more unpopulated part of the county. The proposal covered much of county board District 6, where a number of the candidates providing answers seek to serve.

The McHenry County Defenders organization needs no introduction.

That’s really a loss.

Perhaps this fall when it is Republicans versus Democrats more candidates will conclude that sharing their visions of McHenry County’s future is in their best interest, not to mention the best interest of allowing a better informed electorate.

Below is the first installment:

How would you characterize the growth of McHenry County over the last 25 years and what trends do you see for the future? What concerns do you have? What would you like to see?

Sue Draffkorn, D-4, Republican:
It appears that municipalities and the county were not pro-active in regards to the growth that has occurred over the past 25 years. We are now dealing with crowded roads, crowded schools and housing that is becoming unaffordable. The state of Illinois has failed to help McHenry County with transportation and education expenses. We are a donor county; we do not receive the same considerations from the state as other counties. Our citizens pay more in taxes and get little in return. I would like to see more environmentally friendly subdivision ordinances that take into account groundwater and natural resources in McHenry County.

Jeff Thirtyacre, D-4, Democrat:
Growth in McHenry County has been moderate at most due to the lack of Public Transportation. The Southern part of McHenry has had a boom in growth while the rest has little to none. My concerns are that because of the growth levels, we are going to see problems with jobs being lost. Water supply will decline because new water protection plans haven’t been developed. I would like to see development plans put into place. Including Business Promotions to get jobs to McHenry County.

Virginia Peschke, D-5, Republican:
Growth has been out-of-control for the last 20 years due to the lower purchase price of homes and lack of planning by County and municipalities. The County, even with limited power to control growth had neither the will, nor the expertise, to exercise leadership in promoting “smart growth” principles. It will take effort and public pressure to force elected officials to rein in growth and promote sensible, sustainable development. The growing shortage of water resources may be a wake-up call. I would like to see the public elect representatives who would protect the quality of life we enjoy in McHenry County.

Ersel Schuster, D-6, Republican:
For the most part, I see growth in McHenry County being openly encouraged by village and municipal governments. From all indications I believe that process will continue at break-neck-speed; far outstripping the necessary infrastructure and ability for residents to pay the costs associated with that development. Idealistically, I would like to see greater restraint on the part of county and municipal leaders in promoting growth and development. I would envision stricter zoning laws and adherence to those laws thus curbing out of control development the public can ill afford.

Harry Alten, Jr., D-6, Republican
: Random. Sometimes leap frogging. Misuse of productive Ag land. I would like the purchase of development rights of Ag Land to sustain our Agricultural Industry in McHenry County.

Andrew “Drew” Georgi, Jr., D-6, Democrat:
Large growth of the population and expensive housing projects that our people can not afford with the jobs available inside our county causing them to work outside the county making our transportation system over burdened. We need to approve only housing projects that our people can afford, bring in more jobs to the county, improve both our roads by having bypasses around the congested areas and improve the public transportation system.

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Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of Harry Alten. And there are two stories today where he is featured.

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