Fiscal restraint is a common theme in the platforms presented by the Republican candidates running for McHenry County District 4, which includes most of McHenry Township and all of Richmond and Burton townships. Also running is Democrat Mary Margaret Maule.
Here is a look at the six candidates, two of whom will be weeded out after the March 20 Republican primary.
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• Board member Sue Draffkorn, 55, of Wonder Lake, was first elected in 2002. She serves on the human resources, law and justice, and planning and development committees. She works as a bookkeeper and is also a McHenry Township committee woman. She believes county departments must reduce their expenses in the future in order to avoid dipping into the county's reserves. She also wants to ensure that the county's groundwater reserves are protected, as wells as it agricultural base.
• Board member John Hammerand, 60, of Wonder Lake, was first elected in 1998. He chairs the liquor and license committee, and sits on the building projects and finance and audit committees. He is a small-business owner. He believes in fiscal restraint and reducing the county's debt. He also wants to find a way to assess property values in ways that reflect market values. He also believes county employees in decision-making capacities should not have employment or leadership positions in outside agencies or associations to avoid conflicts of interest.
• Linda Kvidera Murphy, 57, lives in unincorporated McHenry County. She is a small-business owner and part-time business manager. She has served as a precinct committeeman and volunteers for Centegra Hospital in McHenry. She wants to support existing businesses and pave the way for new ones by working with the McHenry County Economic Development Corp. and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. She also wants to help protect the county's rural areas by maintaining groundwater resources and improve roads without jeopardizing the environment.
• Robert Martens Sr., 69, of Spring Grove, recently retired as CEO of behavioral health care agency. He served as Spring Grove village president for 12 years, and currently serves on the county board's ethics and community development block grant commissions. He wants to maintain a balanced budget by eliminating any wasted resources, and help improve suburb-to-suburb public transportation and improve roads such as Routes 173 and 12. He always wants to meet the needs of the county's diverse residents in terms of age and ethnicity.
• Board member Sandra Salgado, 37, of McHenry, was first elected in 2000. She works as director of human resources for a nonprofit agency. She believes in maintaining a balanced budget with more internal belt-tightening and without imposing property tax increases. She wants to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful expenses, and put a cap to the growth of the county's reserves. She also believes investing in transportation is crucial to the county's economic growth.
• Edward Varga, 45, of Richmond, works as an engineer. He served on the McHenry County Board of Health from 1999 to 2011. He wants to reduce the tax burden on residential homeowners, and improve the county's infrastructure and provide more transportation alternatives to foster business growth. He also wants to work toward mandating more availability and choice of high-speed Internet service providers throughout the county.