ALAW Questionnaire for John Hammerand

I’m going to put up as many of the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water questionnaires as I can get to.

Endorsed candidates are

  • District 1: Andrew Gasser
  • District 2: Donna Kurtz
  • District 3: Nancy Gonsiorek
  • District 4: John Hammerand
  • District 5: John Jung Jr. and Zane Seipler
  • District 6: Ersel Schuster

ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: Primary Election March 18, 2014


1. What scenario would necessitate an increase in the county’s tax levy and what are your parameters for determining the magnitude of that increase?

John Hammerand sits in the back row at County Board meetings.

John Hammerand sits in the back row at County Board meetings.

There is no cause for increasing the Levy short of a major natural disaster.

2. Do you agree with the recently passed 2014 legislative agenda of the county including support for legislation that grants counties more permissive authority and the ability to expand non-property tax revenue sources? (Can be found in the January 21, county board meeting packet). Why or why not?

No – I spoke against it on the Floor and Voted against it. They are asking for more money and power. I also made a statement regarding this issue on We can save well over $100,000 by discontinuing the use of lobbyists.

3. Can you identify five specific areas of concern in the Unified Development Ordinance that are being discussed or have recently been discussed in the joint Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning and Development Committee meetings?

Generally I oppose the Unified Development Ordinance and its concept. We are throwing away 100 years of the County’s Zoning Experience for a “Cookbook” code.

4. What areas, if any, of County government could be more efficient and save taxpayers money?  If you believe there are services or functions that could be more efficient, how would you (or how have you, if incumbent) formally review County programs to ensure their necessity and improve their efficiency?

All areas of County Government can be more efficient and save taxpayers money.

Reviewing County Programs will only happen when there is a majority of conservative County Board Members. This is not the case right now.

Budget efficiency should be reviewed by compiling five years of prior budget/expenses attributed to that department. When that is done, the answers will be self-evident.


5. During past primary elections, candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Addendum to Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but filing it now with us is entirely voluntary. ALAW will not endorse any candidate who does not fill out the form. Will you fill out and file your form with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.)


6. Tell us why you do or do not think the county board chair should be popularly elected and if the referendum passes, how do you propose to protect the integrity of the election process from big money and special interests? 

I voted to put the referendum on the Ballot. It will make the Chair more responsive to all six districts of the County, instead of just the one in which they were elected. Right now the current system isolates the Chair from the public’s wishes.

Only with the people’s vigilance will we protect the integrity of the election process. We need concerned people willing to serve and people willing to elect them.

7. Have you accepted donations from any organization that does business with the County? If so, please provide details.


8. What have you done to prepare yourself for the office you seek? 

My experience in private industry, both for employers and myself, my experience as an elected Treasurer of a Fire District and my experience on the County Board has prepared me for the honor of serving in this office.


9. What do you foresee as a solution when the county population reaches a level that the aquifers can no longer support? Alternatively what do you see as a way to avoid this crisis?

One my first questions as an elected official was “what is the carrying capacity of the Aquifer of McHenry County per acre”. I have not had a good answer to this date.

Unless people want to drink rainwater and recycle sewerage, I would think that slowing population growth would be the only solution.

10. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity?


11. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater?


12. Do you agree with the proposition that new development should be located where infrastructure exists, to minimize the extension of new roads, utilities and services, protect farmland and water recharge areas, and minimize the concurrent tax increases for existing residents?

YES, but only if an adequate water supply exists.

13. Should transportation improvements be evaluated based upon their return on investment and prioritized according to this cost/benefit analysis (i.e. Randall Rd. and Rt. 62 intersection)?

For example, do you support the $115 million plan to fix 3½ miles of Randall Road, including the intersection at Route 62? How do you measure the benefit to the taxpayers of this proposed expenditure?

I support using a cost/benefit analysis AND Local Support when determining transportation improvements. The benefit should be to the taxpayers of McHenry County.

I did not support the Randall/Algonquin Road Project because traffic will bunch up at the next intersection and we will have to buy millions of dollars of private property and existing businesses using eminent domain.

Plus this project has $2,000,000 budgeted for public relations – it is out of line. If it costs that much to sell the project, maybe we shouldn’t do it.


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