A new Political Action Committee organized by Nunda Township Republican Central Committee Chairman and Waste Management employee Brent Smith held its second meeting Wednesday night at American Community Bank in McHenry.
Registered with the State Board of Elections on November 30, 2011, the committee’s listed officers are Smith as Chairman and Mark Daniel as Treasurer.
The declared purpose of the McHenry County Business Committee is “to support local, state and federal pro-business political candidates, ballot initiatives and initiatives that supports economic growth throughout McHenry County and Illinois.” It’s party affiliation, according to the filing is the Republican Party.
Such statements in filings are pretty boiler plate stuff. The mission statement and by-laws are still works in progress, Smith explained to those gathered.
“We’re sensing anecdotally that there’s an anti-business climate. We really need to educate ourselves first,” Attorney Dan Regna explained.
Interests ranged widely among the attendees.
There were complaints about Crystal Lake’s continuing to be difficult for people wanting to open business to deal with.
“Go the Crystal Lake officials,” said attorney Jim Bishop. “They don’t want to believe you.
“And there’s no businessman willing to stand up,” he added.
Attorney and District 3 County Board candidate Joe Gottemoller, for instance, told of being only one of two people (the other being archetect Mark Elmore) at the Crystal Lake City Council meeting when a new fire code was passed.
Anything with more than one square foot with walls requires a sprinkler system now. He contended a post box fell under the requirement.
He also took off on the unfriendliness of County zoning rules for home businesses.
“You cannot actually run a home occupation,” he contended, citing three unworkable restrictions:
- You can have more than one outside employee, even it if they are outside salesmen
- You can’t use any building on your property but your resident, not even a machine shed
- If you have a room with an exterior door, you can’t use it.
“If you use a basement and don’t have an outside entrance, you’ve violated the building code,” he added.
“There’s dozens and dozens and dozens of restraints in this wonderful Republican County we live in,” Bishop added.
Gottemoller remembered getting a call from the head of construction for McDonald’s about the restaurant being built at the corner of Routes 14 and 176.
“The worst one to work with is McHenry County,” he remembered the man telling him. “The worst in the world.”
Later McHenry County Board member and former Lakewood Village President Scott Breeden, who was the main speaker and about whose speech another article will be written, observed, “Crystal Lake is well known as the worst place to build a building.”
Some in the room had less parochial concerns.
JA Frate President Joe Alger’s 108-employee business is located in Lake in the Hills north of Rakow Road right next to the Crystal Lake city boundary on Pyott Road.
While discussing his plan to buy the property next door he said besides having to “build a berm and plant a forest” between the property and Coventry, his dealings with the city had been fine.
He was more interested in how Obamacare was going to affect his company’s $500,000+ health care coverage. He certainly did not want government taking it over and he was livid at Obama’s recent attack on the Catholic Church.
Alger also questioned the connection of Smith to Local 150 of the Operating Engineers, citing the union’s activity in Indiana against the recently enacted Right-to-Work law.
“You’re not a 150 BA (Business Agent)? You’re an operator with Waste Management. I don’t know why you started it (the PAC).
“Unions are a major issue,” Alger said.
“This has nothing to do with 150,” Smith replied.
The group set the next meeting for March 14th at The Living Room, which is located where Porter’s Oyster Bar used to be. Social hour from 6:30-7 with a meeting to follow.