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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: McHenry County board District 6
Family: Married to Angela for 13 years; two daughters- Rachel and Emily.
Occupation: Police Sergeant
Education: Bachelors Degree in Criminology from Northern Illinois University
Civic involvement: Republican Precinct Committeeman; former member and president of the CSD158 Board of Education; Patriots United
Elected offices held: CSD 158 Board of Education Member 2005-2010 (Board President 2007-2010)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Making sure the county spends within its means. County revenues belong to the taxpayers- government officials must always keep that at the forefront of their thought processes when it comes time for budget planning.
Key Issue 2
Transparency. The public must have unfettered access to actions taken by the county board, and board members must always be aware that on the organizational chart, they are beneath the residents and business owners of the county.
Key Issue 3
The role of government, at any level, should be limited; government cannot be all things to all people, nor should it try to be.
McHenry County has managed the recession without a budgetary crisis like those in other counties. How do you ensure the county continues on that path and that reserves aren't depleted? Are there specific budget areas that need more attention?
Maintaining reserves is simple- spend within our means. Three specific areas I will address if elected are lobbyists, board member pay, and overtime expenses.
Lobbyists: the county currently spends between 80 and 100 thousand dollars every year on lobbyists. I would call for an immediate end to this practice, and rely instead on the relationships that I and some current board members have already fostered with state and federal officials.
Board member pay: The total combined salary costs for the 24 county board members exceed a half million dollars per year. That does not include benefits and expense reimbursements. By law, these costs are fixed for two more years; if elected, I will call for a major overhaul of board member compensation when the issue comes up again in 2013. I believe board members should be compensated, but at a responsible rate. I will propose a salary based on minimum wage and part-time hours, with no benefits or expense reimbursements. In the meantime, I plan to donate at least 25% of my salary to local charitable organizations and will refuse any fringe benefits or expense reimbursements.
Overtime expenditures: the county pays about 1.3 million dollars yearly for employee overtime. It is impossible to eliminate 100% of overtime costs, but there is always room to streamline and reduce waste. I will call on all department heads to evaluate their overtime expenditures and submit cost-cutting proposals to the board.
Does the McHenry County Board have a good transportation improvement plan? Please be specific and suggest whether you think anything is missing or should be scrapped.
With a five year plan, a 2020 plan, and a 2040 plan, MCDOT has done a good job preparing for the future.
I am not sold on the county's expansion of PACE bus services. All too often I see these busses traveling the streets of McHenry County completely empty.
As a way to prolong the lifespan of county roadways, MCDOT should work with the Sheriff's Office and local municipalities to step-up overweight truck enforcement.
My biggest suggestion is to listen to the public. The Fleming Road saga was an example of how government officials sometimes forget who they work for.
Does the county need to address its ethics policies' Why or why not? If so, how?
It's nearly impossible to legislate good behavior on the part of elected officials. If a board member is behaving unethically, it is up to the other board members to hold him or her accountable. Ultimately, it is up to the voters to put a stop to unethical behavior by voting bad actors out of office. I can state without hesitation, that my integrity and ethics are unimpeachable and I have no conflicts of interest whatsoever.
Assess McHenry County's efforts thus far in terms of groundwater preservation and protection. What needs to be done now and in the future?
The county has been proactive regarding this issue. The economic downturn and housing slump has taken this subject out of the spotlight somewhat, but we must not ignore it. The county board must continue to insist on responsible growth, and listen to the experts.
Assess how the county health department approached the whooping cough outbreak. What should have been done differently?
This issue was handled very well. Timely and accurate information was given to the public, but it was done so as not to sensationalize or cause a panic.