Where Do County Board Candidates Stand on Water Policy

McHenry County is not destined to get water from Lake Michigan, so what county board members do on water policy is an important issue.

Some forces want to take water from the rural parts of the county (mainly District 6) and pipe it to areas that have grown or want to grow beyond their underlying aquifers ability to provide water. Carpentersville has actually investigated drilling a well in the Harvard area and piping it southeast.

The McHenry County Defenders and the Alliance for Land, Water and Agriculture (A-LAW) put together questions for county board candidates. So far, only six have responded. Maybe more will do so before the fall elections.

Here are the answers of four Republicans and two Democrats to the following questions:

By protecting agricultural lands and soil resources, groundwater and its natural recharge can also be protected. What will you do to provide that protection?

Sue Draffkorn, D-4, Republican: I would like to see developers take it upon themselves to create subdivision plats that protect our natural resources. McHenry County is developing a conservation design ordinance that will require developers to incorporate the preservation and protection of natural resources.

Jeff Thirtyacre, D-4, Democrat: We need a water filtration plant to collect rain water and filter it to have for when water is lacking so not to waste ground water quantities. And to aid in land preservation for farmers. Established water banks can take the overload when water levels are low.

Virginia Peschke, D-5, Republican: I am currently on the Agricultural Preservation Committee and a Board Member of The Land Conservancy (TLC). I have spoken with municipal leaders regarding inter-governmental agreements that facilitate transfer of development rights, yielding income to farmers while preserving ag use. The success of TLC is proof that farmers do want to preserve agriculture.

Ersel Schuster, D-6, Republican: I am convinced that we need an independent water authority in the areas where the greatest recharge of our groundwater occurs. I plan to help fellow board members see the wisdom in that concept and will work to secure their assistance to see that it happens while we can still realize the benefits of having done so.

Harry Alten, Jr., D-6, Republican: Again, we need a viable Agricultural Land preservation plan and hold to that commitment.

Andrew “Drew” Georgi, Jr., D-6, Democrat:
First we need to protect the water and make sure those that are contaminating it stop and clean it up. Second, we need to make sure that we do not let the existing water be over used by approving too many new building projects. And last we need to add reservoirs to both new building projects and to our conservation areas.

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Again, I unfortunately do not have Harry Alten’s photograph. I should have also taken a picture of Jeff Thirtyacre looking left so the spacing would have been better.

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