Time for Watchdogs to Run for Office against Cheerleaders

A letter for the editor of the Northwest Herald, reprinted here with permission of writer Stephen Willson of Lakewood:

Run for Office


Our government is supposed to be a system of checks and balances.

Locally, that means school boards and park boards are supposed to be a
check on the bureaucracy.

In other words, trustees should be watchdogs.

But in practice, local boards tend to be dominated by cheerleaders and people with vested interests.

Both types think making their little government bigger is always a good idea.

And that’s why our property taxes are so high.

There’s only one way to change this:

for people with common sense and a little skepticism to run for local boards.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in McHenry County often enough.

In recent elections, sometimes there weren’t even as many candidates as
there were openings!


elections are choices among those who choose to run.

If good people choose not to run, then the public loses.

It’s not that hard to run, it doesn’t take that much time to serve, and
it doesn’t take any special skills:

if you can balance your checkbook, you have what it takes.

So, if you think boards should make sure government services make sense and the public’s money is being well spent, contact me.

If you’re interested in serving the public and not the government, contact me.  [


I can show you how to run a campaign and how to be effective in office.

Now is the time to make a decision.

The other side is already preparing for local elections next spring.

Johnsburg School Board candidates Jerry Harker, Val Klos and Meghan Michel promoted their 2019 campaign at the Johnsburg Suagen und Spiel Parade.

If you wait, it will be too late.


Time for Watchdogs to Run for Office against Cheerleaders — 9 Comments

  1. Thank God for folks who find a way, any way, to be involved.

    Well done Steve.

    Motivate as many as you can to fight for The People over The State.

    It’s exhausting disappointing work but worth it when you see The People winning.

  2. Gene, are you implying that Steve is being unscrupulous by encouraging people to run for office even though he doesn’t want to run?

    Not everybody is charismatic and some people are better at doing other things.

    Not everybody who wants to change government needs to run for office.

    Some people get into content creation, some people knock on doors, some people advise campaigns, some do design, some people do fundraising and organize events, some people handle PR.

    We don’t need everybody with a political opinion running for office, especially if they don’t feel comfortable doing so.

    Also, if you’re doing watchdog work on multiple units of government, then running for office and focusing your attention on one unit of government takes away from keeping an eye on other units.

    And if you invest a lot in municipal bonds, maybe you want to avoid perceptions of impropriety.

    Other people are just busy — maybe they care about government but put in a lot of hours at a glass factory.

    Or they have a busy home life.

    If I remember correctly, you live in the same village as Steve, Gene.

    Have you ever sat down with him and talked? Steve has been saying the same thing about watchdogs and cheerleaders and encouraging citizens to run for office for several years.

  3. Been there, done that, Gene: I have served in office.

    At this point in my life, I think I’m more valuable on the outside: providing oversight of governments and encouraging good people to run.

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