Below you can read Mike Walkup’s answers to the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water Questionnaire for McHenry County Board candidates. Walkup is running in District 2.
ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: 2012 Primary Election
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? Yes
2. If elected, willI you support permanent protection of agricultural land and the agricultural industry in the County? Yes
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? Agree
B. Water Resources
1. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity? Yes
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? Yes
3. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater? No
4. In your opinion, will McHenry County be able to get Lake Michigan water? No
C. The Role pf 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? Yes
2. Do you support a county housing program where the county purchases, constructs, remodels, rents, sells homes throughout the county and in municipalities? Not sure
3. Do you support a county bus program, where the county takes over responsibility for established service between select cities and townships? Not sure
4. Should the county health department report to the county board as opposed to an independent board of directors? Yes
5. Do you think county government should increase expenditures and the scope of its activities, which will increase taxes to its residents? No
D. Transparency and Commitment
1. County board records indicate that the average number of meetings necessary for attendance for a County Board Member is 8. This includes two full board meetings a month and tvo 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? Yes
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 al file yours with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.) Yes
3. Do you age that all scheduled county meeting agendas and minutes, including committee a44 sub-committees, should be posted on the County web site? Yes
4. Would you have voted to raise the county board members salaries? No
5. Would you have voted to increase the real estate tax levy by 1.5% thus increasing the amount of reai estate tax collected by the county by $1.1 ml.? No
E. Short Answer. Only the number of words indicated will be published in the response report. (p1eaee 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 liason, please tell us what agency you are assigned and how you accomplish effective two-way communication. (50 words)
We should liaison with everyone possible. This should be the primary responsibility of the County Chairman. He/she should be doing this instead of reproducing work already being done by the Executive Director. There is a duplication of function as it now stands.
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)
I was one of the authors of the 2020 land use plan which was rejected by the County Board and which would have protected agricultural lands by requiring that all new development be contiguous with already developed areas.
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 ten) to create development in the county outside of municipalities. Is this a good investment of taxpayer money? (50 words)
I don’t think if is appropriate for the county to pay to subsidize a private group. I also don’t think we should have much development on unincorporated land as there is no infrastructure to support it. See my pçevious answer on the 2020 Plan.
4. Do you think Fleming Road, Alden Road and other county roads that do not serve highly developed compmercial areas, need to be widened and “improved” at this time? (50 words)
No. There is no need to widen Fleming which is a picturesque semi rural road serving primarily private residçpces. Alden Road only has about 3000 cars per day which does not even come close to the state’s criteria for adding a third lane.
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)
This should certainly be a factor but the main thing is to adhere to the 2030 Land Use Plan. The County Board departed from the 2010 Land Use plan 75% of the time according to a Northwest Herald study. If you don’t consistently follow the Plan, your decisions will not hold up in court.
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)
I am an attorney and 6th generation McHenry County and Board District 3 resident. I was a Commissioner to the County Regional Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission. I also served on the Nunda Township Planning Commission and the Crystal Lake Historic Presçrvation Commission. I am currently an elected Park District Commissioner in Crystal Lake pd served as Treasurer to the Park Board so I am familiar working with government budgets.
I believe that in these difficult economic times, we need to try to operate government more efficiently to avoid having to raise taxes as the current Board did.