Elected to the McHenry County Board three years ago, Crystal Lake’s Mike Walkup announced today that he will challenge his 2012 District 3 running mate and current County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller in the at-large contest for the Republican nomination for Board Chairman in 2016.
Walkup was a strong supporter of Jim Heisler when Gottemoller won the Chairmanship in 2014.
A press release from McHenry County Walkup follows:
WALKUP ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR COUNTY BOARD CHAIRMAN
Michael J. Walkup announces his candidacy for the Republican Nomination for McHenry County Board Chairman, elected at large,in the Republican Primary on March 15, 2016
Walkup, who was born and raised in McHenry County, is a member of one of the original settler families that helped to found McHenry County in 1835.
Walkup attended Catholic University of America and Georgetown Law School and graduated in 1975 with a Juris Doctor degree, and has practiced law in Illinois and McHenry County.
In addition he is the owner of an organic farm on the original Walkup family property, which dates from 1856, just outside of Crystal Lake, and was built by his great, great grandfather.
He is a 1967 graduate of Crystal Lake Community High School.
Walkup has been a member of the McHenry County Board representing District 3, Nunda, Algonquin and McHenry Townships, since 2012 and prior to that was a Crystal Lake Park District Commissioner.
When asked why he is running for County Board Chairman, Walkup replied:
“I believe we need to set a vision for a prosperous and beautiful McHenry County as a legacy for the future of ourselves and our children and grandchildren.
“As a 6th generation family member I have a deep love for McHenry County and believe it is vital that our County builds economic prosperity while maintaining our natural resources of farms, history, open spaces, natural areas, rivers and streams.
“As McHenry County Board Chairman my goal will be to lead our County to economic growth and bright future for the 21st Century by creating smaller more efficient government that will require far fewer tax dollars to operate.”
Since joining the McHenry County Board just three years ago Walkup has achieved the following:
Walkup led the change to elect the County Board Chairman to an at large position elected directly by the voters to replace the insider selection process that had been conducted by the County Board.
Walkup spearheaded changes in the rules by which the County Board operates in order to democratize the daily workings of the Board for overseeing McHenry County government operations and budgets.
Along with County Board members, Donna Kurtz, and John Hammerand, Walkup helped reform the McHenry County Mental Health Board, in order to redirect millions in overhead expenses that permitted more tax dollars to be delivered for treatment by local service providers.
As a liaison member to the Valley High Nursing Home Operating Board, Walkup worked to reduce the annual tax levy for that institution.
Walkup made numerous contributions to the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) which governs zoning in the unincorporated areas of the county, as well as the new Stormwater Ordinance, to eliminate specific fees, and to remove intrusive restrictions unfairly impacting our local farmers.
Along with Board Members Diane Evertsen and others, Walkup fought against unnecessary major capital expenditures by the McHenry County Department of Transportation which included the $100 Million proposal for a controversial intersection design at Randall and Algonquin Roads. In addition, this design would have decreased access to local businesses. He also opposed the building / purchase of a $5 Million building to store road salt in the South East part of the County.
Walkup worked to reduce the size and complexity of local government and was instrumental in strengthening the ethical practices of the county and the Ethics Commission.
As a member of the Law & Justice Committee, Walkup worked to reduce costs at the County jail while supporting the new Sheriff in his cost reduction efforts to save millions of tax dollars. He is currently working to improve efficiencies at the court house in order to avoid costly new courthouse additions.
Walkup believes that County Government must be a leader in improving efficiencies and shrinking the footprint of government at the local level, in order to reduce taxes which are among the highest in the nation.
In closing, if elected, WaIkup promises to be a full time County Board Chairman representing all of the people of McHenry County–and not special interests.