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updated: 9/21/2012 4:39 PM

James Kennedy: Candidate Profile

McHenry County board District 2 (Democrat)

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  • James Kennedy, running for McHenry County board District 2

    James Kennedy, running for McHenry County board District 2




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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Lake in the Hills

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: McHenry County board District 2

Age: 57

Family: Married = Three Children Lynnette Kennedy - Wife Paul Kennedy - Son Stephen Kennedy - Son Elizabeth Kennedy - Daughter

Occupation: Police Sergeant - Elk Grove Village Police Department

Education: Lewis University-Bachelor's Degree Criminal Social Justice; Triton Community College Associate Degree Police Science Administration and Certificate in Police Science Corrections; North Park University-18 Months Work in Master's in Education Degree

Civic involvement: Valley-Hi Nursing Home Operating Board Elk Grove Fraternal Order of Police lodge #35 Former Lake in the Hills Village Trustee Committee Member Lake in the Hills Boy Scout Troop 369 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church Knights of Columbus Former Cubmaster of Cub Scout Packs in Crystal Lake and Elk Grove Village Former Member of West Elementary School Parent Organization Former Member Crystal Lake South High School Parent Booster Club

Elected offices held: Lake in the Hills Village Trustee McHenry County Board - Assigned to Liquor Commission; Law and Justice Committee; Valley-Hi Nursing Home Committee/Operating Board

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My number one campaign issue is to maintain a balanced budget with the County Board. I would accomplish this by maintaining tight control over county expenses and employee costs by not filling open employee positions unless necessary, use of technology to make operations more efficient, applying for government and private grants, encourage greater intergovernmental cooperation and use of resources, encourage greater public-private partnerships,continue the Domestic Violence, Drug and Mental Health Court, continue use of Mchenry County Sheriff's Office Prisoner Work program, and continue use of volunteers such as in the Adopt-A-Highway program.

Key Issue 2

My number two campaign issue is to ascertain transperency in our county government operations by strictly adhering to state law in the Open Meetings Act, keeping information current on the county web site, streaming of meetings on the Internet, future broadcast of meetings on cable television, and encouraging attendance of the public at our meetings.

Key Issue 3

My number three campaign issue is to work more closely with the other governmental entities and businesses in the county in order to make the most efficient use of all our joint resources and finances. Until the economy improves and revenues return to previous levels, by working together we can better serve our constituencies presently and in the future.

Questions & Answers

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?

The County Board must maintain strict vigilance over county expenses and revenues at all times. The County Board has done a good job by maintaning a balanced budget by reviewing the budget in a timely manner, using technology to improve operations, being judicius in filling employee vacancies only as needed, use of volunteers and Sheriff's work programs, maintaining an excellent bond rating to obtain lower interest costs; payong off the Valley-Hi Nursing Home Bonds early; and maintaining a one year and five Strategic Plan. The County Board must continue to closely monitor the budget in this way from now and into the future. The County Board must only initaite programs that can afford and not go into a deficit as other counties in Illinois have had to do in order to maintain operations.

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.

Mchenry County has approved a future transportation improvement program in greater flow of traffic through our county. The County Board has worked in obtaining federal and state funding to complete roadway improvement programs. The County Board must continue to find ways to increase public transportation in order to decrease traffic on our roadways such as Dial-A-Ride both through Metra and the townships. The transportation must be reviewed on an annual basis and revenus checked in order to plan on transportation improvements and in executing those improvements. Due to past planning the county has done a good job in soon to be improved Rakow Road Lane Widening Project and starting the long delayed Route 31/Algonquin Road Western Bypass Project. The county worked cooperatively with Federal Government, State of Illinois and Kane County in starting the Route 47/I-90 Interchange Expansion Project which will improve traffic flow and efficiency for both Kane and Mchenry Counties. The most important project the county must accomplish is another bridge and transportation corridor acrooss the Fox River.

Does the county need to address its ethics policies? Why or why not? If so, how?

The county must always maintain a strong perception of ethical conduct at all times. It must strictly follow the Open Meetings Act in order to be sure county policies and operations are well known by the public. The ethics statements should be reviewed annually to be sure that the all proper content is asked for to maintain adherence to ethics stasndards and conduct by all of our elected officials and appointed Board and Commission members.

Assess McHenry County?s efforts thus far in terms of groundwater preservation and protection. What needs to be done now and in the future?

McHenry County has taken a leadership role in addressing groundwater preservation throughout our county by working with other governmental entities to establish water conservation programs. The county must work with engineering companies as improvements are developed to improve use of our water resources. One idea that should be researched is use of mined out quarries for future storage and use of rainwater and stormwater runoff. Improvements in water filtering and purification in the future will make use of this collected water available for water use by our residents and businesses. Ideas for resident and business water conservation such as rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable paving, and outdoor watering conservation ordinances have been established and must increase to save precious groundwater resources in our county.

Assess how the county health department approached the whooping cough outbreak. What should have been done differently?

The County Health Department appears to have done an excellent job in its approach the Whooping Cough outbreak in McHenry County. It used a an educational approach through contacting medical officials, school officials and by excellent use of notifying media outlets such as the Daily Herald in getting the public educated in the symptoms of Whooping Cough and in encouraging the public in getting medical treatment for possible symptoms of Whooping Cough, and in obtaining vaccinations to help prevent Whooping Cough.