County Board Defeats April Referendum on Voter Elected County Board Chairman

The roll call was 11-9 with four McHenry County Board members absent when the vote was taken on whether voters should be allowed to determine they should be allowed to elect the County Board Chairman starting with the 2014 election.

You can see the roll call below:

The roll call on whether a referendum would be held in April to allow voters to decide if they wanted to elect the 2014 McHenry County Board Chairman at the ballot box.

The January 18, 2013, roll call on whether a referendum would be held in April to allow voters to decide if they wanted to elect the 2014 McHenry County Board Chairman at the ballot box.

The nine voting in favor were

  1. Joe Gottemoller
  2. Michele Aavang
  3. Yvonne Barnes
  4. John Jung
  5. Donna Kurtz
  6. Nick Provenzano
  7. Sandy Salgado
  8. Mike Skala
  9. Mike Walkup

The eleven opposed were

  1. Nick Chirikos
  2. Sue Draffkorn
  3. Diane Evertsen
  4. Jim Heisler
  5. Tina Hill
  6. Ken Koehler
  7. Robert Martens
  8. Anna May Miller
  9. Robert Nowak
  10. Carolyn Schofield
  11. Ersel Schuster

Right before the old Board was replaced by the folks whose names are seen above, it voted 20-3 to put a “377” tax hike referendum on the ballot in April.

You can read the article and why I am going to vote against the referendum here.

Not only did the Board vote to put the referendum on the ballot, but the resolution seems to endorse it. Read the specific paragraph I reference below:

Need for Tax: It is necessary and in the best interests of McHenry County, in order to provide sufficient funds for the provision of facilities and/or services for the developmentally disabled, that the County levy and collect a tax not to exceed .1% of the value as equalized or assessed by the Department of Revenue of all taxable property in the County for said purpose.”

As Northwest Herald reporter Kevin Craver wrote on his blog, Opening Doors,

• LACK OF FOCUS: More than one Management Services Committee member on Monday suggested that community outreach, focus groups and the like were needed to gauge the community’s mood on whether to make the chairmanship popularly elected.

“The idea might rear its head again Friday.

“But speaking of that ‘377 Board’ referendum we’ll be facing in April, I don’t remember any County Board member suggesting that they first go out into the community to gauge support for a new taxing body and a new property tax to finance it.

“The nobility of the agencies’ cause aside, would any focus group or meeting of regular voters have come back in this state’s economic climate asking the County Board for a tax increase referendum?”

In any event, some might be interested in comparing who voted to put a tax hike on the ballot at the lowest turnout day in the election cycle with who voted not to allow citizens decide whether their County Board Chairman should be elected by those who cast ballots.

The members of the McHenry County Board when the tax hike referendum was approved.

The members of the McHenry County Board when the tax hike referendum was approved.

Those who voted to put the '377" tax hike question on the ballot.

Those who voted to put the ‘377″ tax hike question on the ballot.

Comparison time for the roll calls, anyone?


Comments

County Board Defeats April Referendum on Voter Elected County Board Chairman — 3 Comments

  1. They sure do like to keep the statue quo.

    I know who I won’t be voting for next time around.

  2. Disappointing to say the least.

    First, kudos to Board Member Nick Provenzano for bringing the at-large chairman’s election referendum to the table and having 20 of the 24 board members ‘on the record’ for allowing voters to decide if they want to elect their county board chairman.

    While an April, 2013, referendum approval would have meant an at-large election in the 2014 election cycle, several of the votes against the April referendum said they would want to eventually allow the voters to make this decision.

    Therefore, a year from now, McHenry County Board members should vote to place this question on the November 2014 ballot, which will allow a higher turnout electorate to make this decision, since now the 2016 election cycle would be the earliest opportunity to implement an at-large elected county board chairmanship.

    Contested primary elections will keep the half of the current board members honest to make sure voters eventually have a say on this important question.

    Hopefully, this will be happening a year from now.

    Great that some, like true champions like Cal Skinner and Nick Provenzano will not be going away.

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