Ed Varga’s replies to the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water McHenry County Board Questionnaireollows:
ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: 2012 Primary Election
A. Land Use
1. Do you agree that new development should be located where infrastructure exists, to minimize the extension of new roads, utilities and services, and protect farmland and water recharge areas? yes
2. If elected, will you support permanent protection of agricultural land and the agricultural industry in the County? no
3. Do you agree or disagree that new rural development costs more for the extension of infrastructure (roads, water, sewer and services) than it brings to the County in taxes and that those extra costs are passed on to the existing taxpayers? disagree
B. Water Resources
1. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity? yes
2. If elected will you enforce use of the SARA – Sensitive Aquifer Recharge Areas map developed by the County Water Resources Department, as a determining factor in every land use change decision? yes
3. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater? no
4. In your opinion, will McHenry County be able to get Lake Michigan water? no
C. The Role of County Government
1. Should the county provide support services to municipal governments, for example issuing and enforcing municipal building permits, administering and enforcing the Storm Water ordinance? yes
2. Do you support a county housing program where the county purchases, constructs, remodels, rents, sells homes throughout the county and in municipalities? no
3. Do you support a county bus program, where the county takes over responsibility for established service between select cities and townships? no
4. Should the county health department report to the county board as opposed to an independent board of directors? no
5. Do you think county government should increase expenditures and the scope of its activities, which will increase taxes to its residents? no
D. Transparency and Commitment
1. County board records indicate that the average number of meetings necessary for attendance by a County Board Member is 8. This includes two full board meetings a month and two meetings a month for each committee (generally three) the member is assigned. Are you able and willing to make the commitment to represent your constituents to this extent? yes
2. During the last primary election 32 candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but we need to know before we elect you. Will you follow suit and file yours with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.) yes
3. Do you agree that all scheduled county meeting agendas and minutes, including committee and sub-committees, should be posted on the County web site? yes
4. Would you have voted to raise the county board members salaries? no
5. Would you have voted to increase the real estate tax levy by 1.5% thus increasing the amount of real estate tax collected by the county by $1.1 ml.? no
E. Short Answer. Only the number of words indicated will be published in the response report. (please add a page if you need more room, but remember that we can only print the number of words indicated and reserve the right to edit your response for that reason. Thank you.)
1.If you are elected to serve the residents of McHenry County, what external state and local agencies do you think are important for the county to liaison with and how would you make sure that information is flowing both ways with that agency? If you are currently serving and are an appointed liaison, please tell us what agency you are assigned and how you accomplish effective two-way communication. (50 words)
State funded, planned, and promised transportation infrastructure is crucial to the viability of the county with regards to jobs and breaking the reliance on property taxes to support county funded services. Accordingly I see the need for greater action on the part of IDOT within our county.
2. By protecting agricultural lands and soil resources, groundwater and its natural recharge can also be protected. What will you do to provide that protection? (50 words)
Active means of protection, such as reducing the practice of drawing water from deep municipal wells and discharging to rivers and streams, need to be explored. More needs to be done to apply the water to the soil locally to allow it to recharge our aquifers.
3. Most municipalities in the county have their own economic development commissions or committees. Economic development has to occur where there is existing infrastructure. The county funds the private McHenry County Economic Development Corporation ($635,985. for the 2009-2012 term) to create development in the county outside of municipalities. Is this a good investment of taxpayer money? (50 words)
Improve our access to the interstate highway system and the need for an EDC disappears. Concentrate high-density corporate development along the eastern and southern edges of the county and the threat to agricultural land to the west and north is reduced.
4. Do you think Fleming Road, Alden Road and other county roads that do not serve highly developed commercial areas, need to be widened and “improved” at this time? (50 words)
No, I do not support the adverse impacts on residential neighborhoods that widened existing roads yield. Instead I propose the McDOT develop a comprehensive transportation plan that avoids existing residential communities while providing safe and efficient capacity for the future.
5. What weight should you as a county board member give the opinions of citizens affected by zoning decisions, special use permits and road projects? (50 words)
A key aspect of being a county board representative is to actually represent the concerns of their constituency. I support a return to representative government and politicians being held accountable for their actions. Posting voting records on line should be required.
6. What in your background qualifies you to serve the public as a county board representative and what do you intend to accomplish if elected to the County Board. You may also use this space to provide additional information regarding any of the “yes / no” answers given above. (100 words)
Having just completed 12 years representing the interests of McHenry County residents on the Board of Health, I would like to continue my service to my community on the County Board.
The circumstances and situations which County Board Members render decisions on are never clear cut, black and white issues. However, those decisions require consideration of the interests of the people represented along with a vision for establishing McHenry County as self reliant, able to provide homes, jobs, and recreation opportunities. These are the decisions I am prepared to make and this is the vision I have for McHenry County.
Answers to Economic Interests Statement
Candidate County Board D4
Q1 a) b) c)
04-11-100-009, personal residence, sole ownership, 3800 IL Route 173, Richmond, IL 60071
04-10-200-014, vacant property (CRP program), land trust, Hawks Point Trail, Richmond, IL 60071
04-11-100-015, cell tower property, land trust, Route 173, Richmond, IL 60071
04-11-100-013, tree nursery property, land trust, Lakeview Road, Richmond, IL 60071
No, not currently
No, not currently
I am employed by the firm of Varga & Associates which is under the ownership of my father Ernest Varga, specializing in civil and structural consulting engineering services. From time to time the firm provides services to municipal clients. At this time there are no such projects within McHenry County.