Crystal Lake City Councilwoman Carolyn Schofield is running for the County Board in District 2. Below are her answers to the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water 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 brings to the County in taxes and that those extra costs are passed on to the existing taxpayers? Agree. New development contiguous to existing can be completed at developers’ expense rather than county.
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? Yes. Addressing preservation and conservation prior to consideration of distribution.
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. Governmental bodies can maximize taxpayer dollars through shared resources and coordinated efforts.
2. Do you support a county housing program where the county purchases, constructs, remodels, rents, sells homes throughout the county and in municipalities? No. Governmental bodies can maximize taxpayer dollars through shared resources and coordinated efforts.
3. Do you support a county bus program, where the county takes over responsibility for established service between select cities and townships? No. Governmental bodies can maximize taxpayer dollars through shared resources and coordinated efforts.
4. Should the county health department report to the county board as opposed to an independent board of directors? 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
4. Would you have voted to raise the county board members salaries? Yes. To equalize salaries among all members.
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.? No
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)
Collaboration and communication with agencies are essential to provide the community with the highest level of service. My area of concentration is in protection of our valuable resources. I look forward to working together with agencies such as MCCD and CMAP to set goals and strive to obtain them.
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)
Areas for long-term agricultural use should be clearly identified in the comprehensive plan and strictly adhered to. I will also encourage the use of conservation design and green infrastructure in the planning process to maintain natural areas and open space. Specific sensitive/recharge areas should be targeted to ensure protection.
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)
Bottom line, your investment is based on your return. If taxpayers are not benefiting from economic development programs through an increased tax base, increase in property values, and enhancements to infrastructure and quality of life then it is not a good investment.
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)
Expansive infrastructure improvements should be prioritized based on need for improvement, safety, and utilization. Factors such as resident concerns, preservation of character, and impact on natural resources should then be taken into consideration when determining the best course of action. Improvements can be made without disturbing character and natural beauty.
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)
Citizen opinions should be given the highest regard. As a city council member and planning commissioner I have always based my decisions on public input and the facts. At times, I have voted against my personal opinions to side with the best interest of the community.
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)
My engineering background and 10 years as a planning commissioner provide me with a technical mindset and logical approach to problem solving. My governmental experience as a Crystal Lake City Councilmember and technical skills will be highly valuable in making critical decisions on key issues such as land use and groundwater protection. Please visit www.cschofield.com.
*D4. To equalize salaries among all members