Those Who Didn’t Volunteer to Fill Out ALAW’s Conflict of Interest Form

It’s the day before the election and time to do some reviewing of issues that McHenry County Blog has covered on the county level.

McHenry County Board Map

Most attention was given to the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water’s conflict of interest questionnaire.  It is now under consideration by the county board. It has not been voted upon.

Nevertheless, most candidates on the ballot for county board have voluntarily completed it and sent it to ALAW for posting on its web site.

A couple of candidates own significant land in McHenry County and their filings make interesting reading.

One, Victor Narusis, proposes putting his real estate, except for his home “in a blind trust to be managed by an independent third party.”

I consider that a sincere attempt to deal with a problem that other land owners on the current board might follow. He would still know where the land he owned was located when he put  it in the trust, though, so it seems to me he shouldn’t vote on zoning matters concerning it. There may, of course, be other avenues for county board members to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, which I think is what the public expects.

Below are the candidates on the county primary ballot who have NOT voluntarily filled out the ALAW ethics form. Incumbents running for re-election are seen in bold face type.

McHenry County Sheriff

Sheriff Keith Nygren (R)

District 1 County Board Candidates

  • Anna May Miller (R)
  • Robert Nowak (R)

District 2 County Board Candidates

  • McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler (R)

District 3 County Board Candidates

  • None (all filed)

District 4 County Board Candidates

  • Pete Merkel (R)

District 5 County Board Candidates

  • Dave Frederick (R)
    Jim Kennedy (D)

District 6 County Board Candidates

  • Dan Ryan (R)

Again, those named above did not volunteer to fill out ALAW’s conflict of interest form.

One, Ken Koehler, seems to tacitly admit his land ownership is an election issue by buying a half-page ad in the Northwest Herald on Sunday.

Ad McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler put in the Northwest Herald two days before the election. Koehler is the only candidate in District 2 to refuse to fill out the ALAW conflict of interest questionnaire. All of his female opponents did so.

There is, of course, significant question as to whether Metra has selected the correct side of the tracks for the Ridgefield station, although I have never suggested that Koehler used his position to influence Metra’s decision.


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