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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 5
Family: Married to Maria Josefina (Josie), 2 daughters - Annie & Lisa 2 grandsons - John & Alexander
Occupation: Business Owner - wholesale distrubutor of onions
Education: BS in political science - minor economics, St. Mary's University. San Antonio, 1970
Civic involvement: ? Member of the McHenry County Farm Bureau Member of the McHenry County? Defenders Member of Woodstock, Crystal Lake and Huntley Chamber of? Commerce Past member of the Marian Central Father?s Club? Past? President of the Woodstock Lion?s Club Co-founder and President of? Communities Against Gangs (CAG) Volunteer for McHenry County Police? Charities Supporter of Woodstock VFW? Supporter of New Horizons Veteran? Services Board of Directors The Land Conservancy of McHenry County? ? Introduced Youth Peer Jury System to the County Board
Elected offices held: ? McHenry County Board, Vice-Chairman (2004 ? 2008, 2010-2012) ? Former Committeeman for Precinct Richmond 3 ? Current Committeeman for Precinct Dorr 11 ? Chairman Dorr Township Republican Party
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Transportation and Economic Growth. It is imperative to improve and maintain our transportation infrastructure. Without an efficient transportation system McHenry County will be unable to attract industry and commerce. McHenry County must continue to communicate and foster a spirit of cooperation between itself, business, and municipalities within its borders. In recent years, the McHenry County has worked with its various municipalities and neighboring counties in order to lobby for more federal dollars to improve our County?s infrastructure. This cooperation and regional approach has proven successful in obtaining federal dollars. As more veterans are returning from service, it is imperative that McHenry County factors in services and opportunities for this evergrowing population which can make huge contributions to the county's economic stability.
Key Issue 2
Groundwater Protection. The County?s groundwater study has shown that there will eventually be a deficit in the quantity and quality of the County?s groundwater. This shortage of water will reduce not only economic growth but it will also reduce our drinking water supply. The County received federal funding for this study and is currently working on a groundwater ordinance to protect our water supply.
Key Issue 3
Preservation of farmland and open space. As McHenry County continues to grow it is imperative that we preserve our prime farmland for its economic benefits and for its use as water recharge areas. The County is currently working on a farmland preservation ordinance that will allow farmers to sell their developmental rights and continue using the land for agriculture. The preservation of open space protects our natural wetlands and native habitats. These natural resources help to protect and improve not just the quality of our water but its quantity as well. The County?s Land First Initiative will require developers to protect environmentally sensitive areas forcing protection and conservation of our most sensitive wetlands and water recharge areas.
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?
To reduce costs of running county government I would: 1. Reduce personnel costs through the effective and efficient use of technology 2. Continue to eliminate positions that are vacant for 90 days unless the position requires specific expertise 3. Ensure that the County continues to operate with a balanced budget and maintain strict financial and human resource policy controls by continually monitoring insurance and personnel costs 4. Encourage the County to adopt an audit policy to make sure that County owned vehicles are being used for government work and not for personal or commuting purpose 5. Continue to advocate a transparent budget process, strategic planning, and financial modeling. As Human Resource Chairman, I initiated many of the cost reducing and monitoring policies that are currently in place which have saved the County over a million dollars in insurance costs alone.
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 has been very responsive to its residents? transportation demands, especially concerning traffic congestion and safety. We have widened Algonquin Road; extended Ackman Road; dedicated $30 million to continue to improve Rakow Road; and installed flashing stop signs at Ackman and Lakewood Roads. We have committed to upgrading selected bridges in McHenry County, established a transportation task force, and dedicated $180,000 to a senior service grant to develop a coordinated response system for public transit. County leadership changed its transportation policy from ?pay as you go? to ?pay as use? and passed a resolution to use its portion of the state?s mass transit sales tax (approximately $9 Million) to help fund necessary transportation initiatives. The county borrowed $50 Million to move ahead on road improvements and to complete other projects ahead of schedule. High priority projects include the extension of the Algonquin Road, the widening/improvement of Rakow and Randall Roads, the construction of the western Algonquin bypass, and the construction of a 4-way interchange at I-90 and Route 47. As Vice-Chairman, I will continue to personally meet with state and federal elected officials to lobby transportation funds. The county will continue to work with local officials to help lobby for more federal and state dollars. This cooperation on a regional approach has proven successful in obtaining federal monies. The one project that has been ?scrapped? is the original Fleming Road reconstruction project. Due to the designation of Fleming Road as a scenic route, and its unique characteristics, Fleming Road will be repaired and left in its original footprint.
Does the county need to address its ethics policies? Why or why not? If so, how?
The County has an Ethics Commission in place to address any ethical questions that may arise from any actions taken by County employees and elected officials. Accessibility of the attendance records of county board members, and the newly instituted policy of disclosure of economic interests of county board members, goes a long way in protecting the public trust by bringing transparency to county government.
Assess McHenry County?s efforts thus far in terms of groundwater preservation and protection. What needs to be done now and in the future?
In 2007, the county hired a Water Resources Manager and established a Groundwater Task Force to lead appropriate groundwater studies and develop a groundwater preservation plan. The County?s groundwater study has shown that there will eventually be a deficit in the quantity and quality of the County?s groundwater. We need to continue to increase our knowledge about recharge and sustainable aquifer yields. The county should not only continue to dedicate funds to studying and implementing policies that protect our groundwater, but also continue to reach out to its residents and educate them on the importance of preserving our finite supply of groundwater.
Assess how the county health department approached the whooping cough outbreak. What should have been done differently?
In a situation where a community feels at risk, such as with the whooping cough, there should be constant communication between the Health Department, the community, and the County Board. I feel that the Health Department's proactive approach continually educated and informed the community about the issue assisted in the containment of the problem.