Who has the biggest conflict of interest seemed to be the largest contention when McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller and would-be County Board Chairman Mike Walkup took the McHenry County College stage Thursday night.
Appearing at a League of Women Voters Forum, Walkup charged Gottemoller had represented developers, real estate interests, townships, special interests (more were in his list) which put Gottemoller in conflict with his public duties.
He pointed specifically to Gottemoller’s representation of the Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant developer when his constituents there strongly opposed the project.
Walkup also chastised Gottemoller for voting against putting township consolidation referendums on the ballot while he was serving as Grafton Township’s attorney.
Gottemoller said that he had withdrawn himself from consideration “when there was an issue.”Walkup
Gottemoller, on the other hand, said Walkup had a conflict of interest because he represented township opponent Bob Anderson in court in the 1990’s, but still voted on the township consolidation referendum question on the County Board.
Walkup said he would phase out his disability and Social Security law practice to be a full-time Chairman, if elected, while Gottemoller planned to be a part-time chairman, continuing his law practice.
Gottemoller pointed to economic growth encourage with county incentives to ease the property tax burden, while Walkup asked whether people wanted McHenry County to end up looking like DuPage County and Schaumburg.
Concerning county roads, Walkup told of having briefly being able to stop a roundabout south of Island Lake, but having seen the decision reversed and having helped kill the Continuous Flow Intersection the County Highway Department had advocated for the intersection of Randall and Algonquin Roads.
“Right now traffic is stable,” Walkup said.
Gottemoller touted working with local, state and Federal officials to expand State Routes 31 and 47 to four lanes.
“Both should have been done a generation ago.”
He also supports building an interchange with the Tollway at Route 32 south of Marengo.
McHenry County is “the biggest county without an interstate interchange,” he pointed out.