The agenda for last Tuesday’s McHenry County Board meeting is below:
The room was pretty full for the fourth straight meeting. Here’s how County Board member John Hammerand saw the meeting:
The County Board Meeting Room was packed with citizens during the meetings of Aug 19, Sept 2, and Sept 16 (even after a lengthy presentation, many citizens stayed until 11 pm because the Agenda was marked for action) On Sept 23 the meeting started at 6:30 and there was an attempt by Chairman Tina Hill to delay Public Comment until the end, but on a Motion by Diane Evertsen the Board overturned her decision and let the people speak. They spoke on a number of issues but on that night primarily the RV and Horse Racing issues. They spoke for more than an hour. Prior to the start of the dismantling of the UDO’s restrictions on RV Parking, many spoke to the shortcomings of the UDO and the lack of civility and concern for neighbors that the Horse Racing Temporary Event causes and the disruption of peaceful neighborhoods. They were lobbying against the proposed amendments in the UDO regarding horse racing made by Nick Chirikos and Carolyn Schofield to allow horse racing in agricultural areas. I made a motion to amend the text of the proposed UDO to allow horse racing at the County Fairgrounds, but Chairman Hill ruled it out of order as it was a proposed amendment even though the proposed amendment called for horse racing in A-1 and that the County Fairgrounds are zoned A-1 and said that matter would be taken up later after the proposed amendments were dealt with. Using that logic, this UDO revision process will be a long and laborious task for many issues will be reopened so the people will have no assurance that their issues will be “put to bed” unless they attend until the final vote of the UDO. Personally, I would prefer the UDO be divided into Sections, each Section to be dealt with individually. Each Section could then be given adequate time for discussion and resolution of concerns prior to a vote of approval, after which each said Section would be reinstated back into the UDO. I sense a major misunderstanding amongst the public. The UDO is NOT law now – we are in the process of developing a NEW ordinance so any and all provisions are up for change and review. A vote on Tuesday night can be overridden at the next meeting on October 1st or any subsequent meetings. I certainly agree that 350 pages of an ordinance is cumbersome and should be broken down into its component parts. Again, the UDO IS NOT LAW and will not be law until it’s final passage.
Voting in favor of a motion to put Public Comment ahead of the action to be taken on the new zoning ordinance were
Alone in opposition was Nick Chirikos. Absent were Paula Yensen and Robert Nowak.