Nick Chirikos: Candidate Profile
McHenry County board District 1
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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 1
Family: Married. I have two daughters from my previous marriage, and three grandchildren.
Occupation: I represent a line of green building products by Logix Insulated Concrete Forms.
Education: Graduate of the University of Denver, 1970. Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Civic involvement: Chairman of the McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission, past Vice President of the McHenry County Barn Preservation Association
Elected offices held: I have never held an elected position in public service.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The most important issue in the campaign is the questionable integrity of certain incumbent members. Ongoing investigations and backroom politics need to be brought to the light of day, so the voting public can make informed choices about who will represent them. It is time for the voters of District 1 to hold their elected representatives to a higher standard of ethics and responsibility. Our community deserves committed, well informed and articulate people who will serve honestly and enthusiastically. I am such a person.
Key Issue 2
Reassessment of the structure and balance of the County Board. This would provide more weight to minority party positions and allow for discussion on the possibility of term limits on the County Board Chair and holding firm on salary increases for the Board in general. This discussion is critical to educating the voters prior to the November election, in light of a referendum to change the form of government to the "County Executive" form.
Key Issue 3
A thorough re-examination of all expenditures by County Government with a focus on holding property taxes at current levels or reducing taxes. This would include all administrative salaries, software purchases and maintenance costs, and expenditures for lobbying. No government's right to tax is absolute. There are limits to the amount of money taxpayers are able to pay. Many I have spoken with tell me we have reached or exceeded those limits.
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's budget reserves vary from month to month, as our County Administrator has recently reported. The County's finances are in good hands and the process is guided by fiscally responsible people who have always had the County's best financial interests in mind. That said, constant vigilance is required to be mindful of the many complexities of the budget process. No department wishes to experience cuts, and citizens do not want reductions in services. Any "budgetary crisis" McHenry County experiences in the future may evolve from the chronic loss of jobs, exodus of businesses and displacement of citizens through foreclosure and excessive taxation. Hence, the "supply side" of the budget, the ability of our citizens to pay taxes which support the budget, is the area that needs attention.
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's Transportation Plan is adequate insofar as it addresses road and signalization improvements. There is much room for improvement. Coordination of road construction to accommodate the needs of people to actually get where they want to go, is an ongoing issue. In District 1, the proposal of a "Continuous Flow Intersection" (CFI) is particularly concerning to many. My research (I actually visited the Loveland, Colorado site at my own expense) showed me that this is not a good solution for Randall Rd and Route 62. I DO NOT support the use of Red Light Cameras, presently in use by some local jurisdictions. Another major issue with me is the current dangerous and frustrating mix of bicycle and vehicular traffic. My involvement with the recent Fleming Road Community Advisory Group (CAG) has shown that the adoption of the CSS (Context Sensitive Solutions) Process used to involve local citizens there, has great benefit in a wider context throughout our community.
Does the county need to address its ethics policies? Why or why not? If so, how?
The County has serious ethical challenges which need to be addressed. There are ongoing legal and ethical problems that certain County Board members are involved in, which embarrass and compromise the high ethical standards of the board as a whole. Our citizens must not tolerate abuse of the public trust, nor be kept from the full knowledge of these situations, and deserve nothing less than full disclosure of the truth, in order to make informed voting decisions in November.
Assess McHenry County?s efforts thus far in terms of groundwater preservation and protection. What needs to be done now and in the future?
See previous answer to this question
Assess how the county health department approached the whooping cough outbreak. What should have been done differently?
See previous answer to this question
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