What Happened to the County Board Candidates Who Did Not Fill Out ALAW’s Conflict of Interest Forms

There were only seven McHenry County Board candidates who did not complete the ethics questionnaire proposed by the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water.

Leading up the list is

  • District 2’s representative and McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, who published a defensive half-page ad in the Northwest Herald Sunday entitled,

“This is the worst possible time to sell property, but…”

Ken Koehler's half-page Sunday Northwest Herald ad.

Someone called it the “starving orphan” ad. I didn’t understand when I heard the characterization. I was told it meant that Koehler was selling the land to feed starving orphans.

He said he was selling the land to settle the estate of his deceased partner Gary Seigmeier, who “left behind a wife, three children and several grandkids.”

In the ad, Koehler mentions the desire by Metra to purchase land he partially owns. (The documents say he owns half interest.)

Below are the lesser known county board members who did not complete the form:

  • District 1’s Anna May Miller
  • District 4’s Pete Merkel
  • District 5’s Jim Kennedy
  • District 6’s Dan Ryan

Miller was opposed by challenger Robert Nowak, who also did not reveal his potential conflicts of interest.  To the best of my knowledge, Nowak made no mailing.  His two female, incumbent opponents did.

Merkel and Kennedy were unopposed in their primaries, so will be on the ballot this fall.


Running in District 5 was challenger Dave Frederick, who did not fill out the form.

The First Electric Newspaper has some comments from a couple of those who did not file ALAW’s form.

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