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
THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT
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?
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?
User fees are appropriate in many instances if they are fair and reasonable and they go hand in hand with a reduction in the property tax levy.
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 believe it is a sort of handbook of zoning ordinances which address issues regarding site development, signage, proper drainage, water mitigation, and building and zoning requirements. As a former village trustee I worked in the Plan commission on our comprehensive plan which needed to be reviewed after a 10 year period. This is an important function and needs to be addressed by a county which is developing in many spheres from agricultural to commercial applications.
4. What areas, if any, of County government could be more efficient and save taxpayers money?
I think the best area to start is to review how the structure of the County is setup and determine which tasks are “necessary functions of our county government.” There are over 7,000 local governments in the state of Illinois and consolidation of these functions needs to be examined. I would like to work on a taskforce setup by the next governor made up of local, township, county and state officials to see where we overlap in service delivery. Once identified we should implement changes that will benefit the taxpayer. The County needs to look at the government like a business to determine what it does best and most efficiently and deliver the services to the community in a cost effect manner.
TRANSPARENCY AND COMMITTMENT
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 f orm with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.)
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?
The County Board Chairperson should be elected by the people of McHenry not just the 24 member board. DuPage County elects its Chairperson from the residents and it works just fine.
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 have met with various county board members and chairpersons and discussed the issues of concern. I also have spoken with members of my district. This is why I have such a high concern over increasing property taxes and how I will help curtail and reduce them for the future. The financing of our government should not lye primarily on the homeowner and property owner.
WATER RESOURCES AND /LAND USE
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?
I am in favor of using ground water to mitigate water issues and in favor of using ‘green techniques’ to capture water and use it for irrigation on our farms and in our personal lawns.
10. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity?
Not sure at this point.
11. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater?
Yes as long as it remains in the county.
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?
I think new development should go where development is permitted by zoning period. The time to determine that is in the Zoning process. Once business has made a decision to develop land based on existing zoning laws the county should not be an impediment after it has set criteria for new development. We need to have a good Land Use Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan which provides path for businesses to follow to grow and develop our county. The best way to protect our farmland and agri-business and water recharge areas is to address these areas in the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
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)?
No, I don’t think a $115B curb cut which negatively impacts our businesses is not the best use of our motor fuel tax. Even if it positively impacts business we need to make sure that the economic as well as the agricultural impact is a net positive. Other areas of the county can use those dollars for improving existing roads. Have you seen the condition of our roads since this past winter? When a municipality “objects” to a major road “improvement” we need to listen maybe there is a better answer.