Here’s where you can read the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water Questionnaire answers from District 5 Green Party candidate Frank Wedig.
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? 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? YES
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. I am a huge fan of public transportation. Cities and Townships are too small to effectively manage public transportation issues. County Government has the scale and scope to optimize those decisions.
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 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? NO
5. Would you have voted to increase the real estate tax levy by 1.5% thus increasing the NO
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)
All liaison activities should be open and totally transparent.
The County Government should engage any local organization that is of sufficient size and has local support. The Board should be receptive to all community involvement. The local agency should have publicly stated goals and be in the public interest.
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 would use zoning laws to keep agricultural land available for agriculture. Development should be encouraged within municipal boundaries where infrastructure already exists. If development occurs on agricultural land, I would make sure that all infrastructure and related costs are paid by the developers.
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)
Adding administrative departments and bureaucracy is rarely a good investment of taxpayer money. I support having sufficient staff to effectively handle inquires by firms interested in doing business in the County. We do not need a separate commission as, private consultants already advise companies about where to locate.
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)
No, absolutely not. There are enough roads in the County that need repairs within their existing
footprints. The “build it, build anything and they will come” attitude has to stop. It is wasteful both economically and environmentally and is unsustainable.
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)
Public comment should be encouraged and be recorded (tabulated) in an open and transparent manner. Meetings regarding zoning decisions should be highly publicized well in advance. I would weigh the opinions of citizens heavily when making my decisions.
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 detail oriented and will consider economic and environmental sustainability of decisions made by the Board. My focus would be on total transparency and disclosure as advocated by the Illinois Policy Institute. I would lead by example: I’d work to reduce both the size of the Board and its compensation before requiring other County Departments to become more efficient. I favor single member districts.