Pat Kennedy, President of the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water announced her group’s 2012 questionnaire for County Board candidates this week. ALAW’s 2010 questionnaire led to the current expanding income and asset disclosure form that elected and appointed county officials must file.
Dear County Board Candidates:
We respectfully submit the attached questions for your consideration. Our purpose in doing so is to gain information for our membership and supporters about your position on issues that are central to our mission.
We know this is a very busy time for you and have tried to keep the survey in simple yes/no format as much as possible. We will appreciate receiving your responses by February 10, 2012. The compiled results of all respondents will be posted on our web site https://sites.google.com/site/
Please respond by email if you can.
If you cannot email, you can mail to ALAW, P.O. Box 1021, Woodstock, IL 60098. The last pickup for the survey at that box will be February 11, 2012.
Please keep your answers brief. In fairness to all, we will print only the number of words allotted to each question.
The document is attached in both Word and .pdf formats. If you have any questions, feel free to email or telephone at the number listed below.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.
Patricia Kennedy, President, 815-943-7223
ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: 2012 Primary Election
Please, indicate yes/no or agree/disagree in the box to the right of the question.
A. Land Use
1. Do you agree that new development should be located where infrastructure exists, to minimize the extension of new roads, utilities and services, and protect farmland and water recharge areas?
2. If elected, will you support permanent protection of agricultural land and the agricultural industry in the County?
3. Do you agree or disagree that new rural development costs more for the extension of infrastructure (roads, water, sewer and services) than it brings to the County in taxes and that those extra costs are passed on to the existing taxpayers?
B. Water Resources
1. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity?
2. If elected will you enforce use of the SARA – Sensitive Aquifer Recharge Areas map developed by the County Water Resources Department, as a determining factor in every land use change decision?
3. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater?
4. In your opinion, will McHenry County be able to get Lake Michigan water?
C. The Role of County Government
1. Should the county provide support services to municipal governments, for example issuing and enforcing municipal building permits, administering and enforcing the Storm Water ordinance?
2. Do you support a county housing program where the county purchases, constructs, remodels, rents, sells homes throughout the county and in municipalities?
3. Do you support a county bus program, where the county takes over responsibility for established service between select cities and townships?
4. Should the county health department report to the county board as opposed to an independent board of directors?
5. Do you think county government should increase expenditures and the scope of its activities, which will increase taxes to its residents?
D. Transparency and Commitment
1. County board records indicate that the average number of meetings necessary for attendance by a County Board Member is 8. This includes two full board meetings a month and two meetings a month for each committee (generally three) the member is assigned. Are you able and willing to make the commitment to represent your constituents to this extent?
2. During the last primary election 32 candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but we need to know before we elect you. Will you follow suit and file yours with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.)
3. Do you agree that all scheduled county meeting agendas and minutes, including committee and sub-committees, should be posted on the County web site?
4. Would you have voted to raise the county board members salaries?
5. Would you have voted to increase the real estate tax levy by 1.5% thus increasing the amount of real estate tax collected by the county by $1.1 ml.?
E. Short Answer. Only the number of words indicated will be published in the response report. (please add a page if you need more room, but remember that we can only print the number of words indicated and reserve the right to edit your response for that reason. Thank you.)
1. If you are elected to serve the residents of McHenry County, what external state and local agencies do you think are important for the county to liaison with and how would you make sure that information is flowing both ways with that agency? If you are currently serving and are an appointed liaison, please tell us what agency you are assigned and how you accomplish effective two-way communication. (50 words)
2. By protecting agricultural lands and soil resources, groundwater and its natural recharge can also be protected. What will you do to provide that protection? (50 words)
3. Most municipalities in the county have their own economic development commissions or committees. Economic development has to occur where there is existing infrastructure. The county funds the private McHenry County Economic Development Corporation ($635,985. for the 2009-2012 term) to create development in the county outside of municipalities. Is this a good investment of taxpayer money? (50 words)
4. Do you think Fleming Road, Alden Road and other county roads that do not serve highly developed commercial areas, need to be widened and “improved” at this time? (50 words)
5. What weight should you as a county board member give the opinions of citizens affected by zoning decisions, special use permits and road projects? (50 words)
6. What in your background qualifies you to serve the public as a county board representative and what do you intend to accomplish if elected to the County Board. You may also use this space to provide additional information regarding any of the “yes / no” answers given above. (100 words)