What follows are District 2 candidate Jim Heisler’s answers to the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water’s Questionnaire.
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, will 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 bring to the County in Taxes and that those extra costs are
passed on to the existing taxpayers? YES
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 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? No
2. Do you support a county housing program where the county purchases, constructs, remodels, rents, sells homes throughout the county and in municipalities? No
3. Do you support a county bus program, where the county takes over responsibility for established service between select cities and townships? Yes
4. Should the county health department report to the county board as opposed to an independent board of directors? D-3 No
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 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? 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 and file yours with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.) Yes
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? Yes. This will help a lot. Mental Health, Conservation Dis.t too.
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 real estate tax collected by the county by $1.1 ml.? Yes. Union negotiations with the solid threat of arbitration outcome would have cost the co. a larger levy increase. We were too far down the path to retreat. This will change!!
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)
I liaison to the CDBG, the VCB and the VHOB. I attend the meetings and report to the overseeing Co Bd. Committee. Post on the Co. website all meeting agenda and minutes report that also to the Co. Bd. Committees.
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)
It’s simple-Groundwater is finite. Vote to allow mother nature to sustain us. In m mind there is no compromise – Without water there is no life here.
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)
Most municipalities focus on retail. MCEDC mostly on industrial and manufacturing. This organization works hard at retaining existing businesses and facilitating new – for the whole count, not just rural areas. lt’s the lead group for the business of our citizens. l have personally used them and consider their mission absolutely necessary.
4. Do you think Fleming Road, Alden Road and other county roads that do not serve highly developed commercial areas, need to he widened and “improved” at this time? (50 words)
NO – don’t spend time and money on “improving” the beauty of our rural roads. Maintenance and safety is where any money spent should go.
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)
We should follow the rules established and then consider fairly any exceptions that would affect the neighbors. Common sense and historical knowledge of any precedence must be weighed. Listen, listen, listen!
6. What in your background qualiñes 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’ve been on the County Board many years. There is a lot of value in demonstrated experience and consistency–lots of trust, honesty and transparency.
I listen; I care a lot about my neighbors (& customers). I’m on my hands and knees every day of the week available-extremely easy to find. I have lots of business background… 3rd generation 104 year old Heis1er’s Bootery/Redwing Shoes in Crystal Lake.
This term, if elected Í want to focus on water management and jobs. Both absolutely critical to sustaining life here in McHenry County.