Mary McCann: Candidate Profile
McHenry County board District 6
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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: Bob, Husband
Occupation: Retired: Teacher, Project Manager/Organizational Development
Education: MAT in Chemistry: University of Chicago, 1976 BS Chemistry: Barat College, Lake Forest, Il 1967
Civic involvement: Farm Bureau Member D-200 Key Communicator Land Conservancy of McHenry County Member
Elected offices held: McHenry County Board 2006- current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Continuing use of a conservative fiscal management approach to the County?s budget.
Key Issue 2
Updating the Stormwater Ordinance for consistency,reasonable engineering requirements, and readability, in an effort to reduce the cost of compliance and achieve better understanding of the need for effective stormwater management throughout McHenry County.
Key Issue 3
Planning for the protection of groundwater supplies and strengthening of collaborative partnerships with communities throughout McHenry County in planning for long term sustainability of our groundwater supplies.
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?
Continuing efforts to educate all Board members, about the basic monthly and annual operating costs, as well as, debt payments due, are of primary importance and we have been working on improving this area. Secondly, a continuing vision of the future must be part of the budget planning process to ensure that the county?s vision and budget will be sustainable is needed. Additional, when considering any major capital project in the future, including any major software programs, a dedicated funding source has been identified before embarking on the project.
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.
The County?s Highway improvement plan has taken steps to implement suggestions from the public on road improvement needs, both in short term and long term plans. This is a good step toward improving the plan. All Board members should have a clear understanding of the planning process called Context Sensitive Solutions, for more effective communication with stakeholders in construction areas. I also suggested a Drainageway Management/Maintenance program be developed to best maintain the new bridge structures that handle water runoff differently than old bridges, and update the native planting program for additional cost effective maintenance that may help reduce highway mowing costs. I do not like the continuous flow intersection concept for Randall Road.
Does the county need to address its ethics policies? Why or why not? If so, how?
Additions were made to the ethics ordinance a year ago, so it may be too early to make more changes. The changes addressed areas some board members felt presented the potential for ethical violations. This provision has caused some members of Board Advisory Committees, who are not elected, to resign rather than disclose their total real estate holdings. It is imperative that new board members be educated on the ?conflict of interest? policy to avoid any issues from embarrassing an individual at a Board meeting.
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 a Water Resources Action plan and an extensive well monitoring system to continuously measure groundwater supplies. The Action Plan provides an excellent framework for collectively addressing many water supply issues. The well data is of immediate importance for local decision makers in our severe drought condition. There is a immediate next step is to educate public officials regarding the immediacy of the drought issues, and for consistent messages to the public regarding the extensiveness of this drought. A collaborative planning network among all public entities is vital to effectively use the data available to us, and for discussion of options with our county-wide staff of experts. I am actively working on developing this network. Effective use of the well monitoring system data and groundwater modeling data (due next year) in a collaborative planning /oversight/communication process are the keys to maintaining a sustainable groundwater supply for the future.
Assess how the county health department approached the whooping cough outbreak. What should have been done differently?
The Health Department?s role is public information. Its goal is to make the public aware of local outbreaks of pertussis, along with educational information on precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the disease, and identification of symptoms to watch for and action to take. In addition to the media information, the Health Dept works with the County?s schools to get the word directly to the parents. Since no school or other entity has suggested that information access needs to be improved, and based on the continued local media info, I think the Health Dept is doing a good job in addressing this issue.
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