ALAW Questionnaire for Michael Rein

I’m going to put up as many of the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water questionnaires as I can get to.

Endorsed candidates are

  • District 1: Andrew Gasser
  • District 2: Donna Kurtz
  • District 3: Nancy
  • District 4: John Hammerand
  • District 5: John Jung Jr. and Zane Seipler
  • District 6: Ersel Schuster

ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: Primary Election March 18, 2014


1.What scenario would necessitate an increase in the county’s tax levy and what are your parameters for determining the magnitude of that increase?

Michael Rein

Michael Rein

–The determination in my mind would be when our tax money brought in does not meet our budget going out. However, before that, we must always find ways to make sure that McHenry County is doing its diligence for effective and efficient government. Making sure that we don’t overlap services that can add waste to our taxpayers.

2. Do you agree with the recently passed 2014 legislative agenda of the county including support for legislation that grants counties more permissive authority and the ability to expand non-property tax revenue sources? (Can be found in the January 21, county board meeting packet). Why or why not?

–I do not agree with the that McHenry County should get more permissive authority of the bill. I think that this becomes a way to increase fees when they deem necessary. This to me just seems like a way to increase taxes.

3. Can you identify five specific areas of concern in the Unified Development Ordinance that are being discussed or have recently been discussed in the joint Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning and Development Committee meetings?

I understand that there is a new version of the UDO coming out in the near future so I do not want to speculate what may or may not be in that new version. One of the areas of concern is the large illuminated lighted billboards. I do not feel that those should be able to be built within county property. Some others are the home operated business which does not specify what this constitutes. I think that the farmstand issue should be farms that are in the county should be able to sell there product on farmstands however you should not be able to ship in products from just anywhere to sell at farmstands.

4. What areas, if any, of County government could be more efficient and save taxpayers money? If you believe there are services or functions that could be more efficient, how would you (or how have you, if incumbent) formally review County programs to ensure their necessity and improve their efficiency?

–One of the bigger issues right now is related to the ACA. There will be a lot of questions/issues when the ACA becomes fully implemented. This could not only cost employees coverages but also cost taxpayers more money than it should. With my current background in healthcare I will be there to make sure this does not happen.


5. During past primary elections, candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Addendum to Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but filing it now with us is entirely voluntary. ALAW will not endorse any candidate who does not fill out the form. Will you fill out and file your form with us now?

(Form attached with mailing instructions.) Yes

6. Tell us why you do or do not think the county board chair should be popularly elected and if the referendum passes, how do you propose to protect the integrity of the election process from big money and special interests?

I am against the County Board Chairmanship being elected at large. Just as the last election voting County Board Chairmanship with executive powers was defeated almost 2 to 1. I feel that choosing a County Board Chairmanship by the existing board members is still the right decision. Under the current process the County Board Chairmanship is only a 2 yr term. A County Board Chair typically at most sits for up to 4-6 yrs. I feel that if the County Board Chair was elected at large that outside influences would be coming in to help dictate what goes on in McHenry County. I also don’t think that adding another layer of government in McHenry County or the State of Illinois is the answer.

7. Have you accepted donations from any organization that does business with the County? If so, please provide details.


8. What have you done to prepare yourself for the office you seek?

–I am in the community a lot whether it be working on non profit organizations, running in 5k races or doing projects to help our community. I talk to many people and find out what their concerns are  with our county. I feel that I am connected to our community and will bring those issues to our county board to make our county going forward effective and efficient.


9. What do you foresee as a solution when the county population reaches a level that the aquifers can no longer support? Alternatively what do you see as a way to avoid this crisis?

–If we reach those levels that aquifers can no longer support our population than we have done a bad job of preparing for that future. I think that working with federal/state organizations to find ways to conserve our water supplies is optimal. Las Vegas is a example that recycles over 90% of its water. Those are systems that McHenry County should be looking at now instead of when it is to late.

10. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity?


11. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater?


12. Do you agree with the proposition that new development should be located where infrastructure exists, to minimize the extension of new roads, utilities and services, protect farmland and water recharge areas, and minimize the concurrent tax increases for existing residents?

–In my opinion that would be determined by what kind of business that you are talking about.  Someone that would like to put in a strip mall of some sort I would advise them going into a municipality where the infrastructure is better suited for that. If you are talking about someone that would like to start a vineyard I think that business is more suitable within the agriculture community.

13. Should transportation improvements be evaluated based upon their return on investment and prioritized according to this cost/benefit analysis (i.e. Randall Rd. and Rt. 62 intersection)? For example, do you support the $115 million plan to fix 3½ miles of Randall Road, including the intersection at Route 62? How do you measure the benefit to the taxpayers of this proposed expenditure?

–I am against the $115 million project referred to as the CFI. I also think that it is a waste of taypayers money to even be having the study done on that type of intersection. I think that the most viable option is putting in a double turn lane at that intersection. The growth in that area in the long term is not going to be that large. There are only a few places of land that is able to be built upon in that area so there will be very little increase of congestion. I also believe that the money that is being spent on the CFI could be used elsewhere than on a study that is going to be rejected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *