Republican incumbents Anna May Miller, Robert Bless and Robert Nowak are seeking re-election. Joining them is former board member Yvonne Barnes, a Republican, and Democrat Nick Chirikos, a political newcomer. Miller is an effective voice on transportation issues, and Barnes has strong ideas on cutting costs without reducing services. Though he lacks experience, Chirikos offers insight on transportation issues and is an advocate for transparency. Bless has been a capable board member, but a pending ethics investigation by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission gives us pause.Miller, Barnes and Chirikos are endorsed.
Republican County Board Chairman Kenneth Koehler is among four incumbents seeking re-election, including Republicans Donna Kurtz and Jim Heisler and Democrat Jim Kennedy. Crystal Lake City Council member Carolyn Schofield, a Republican, and businessman Jim Roden, a Democrat, round out the field. Kurtz is the most impressive candidate, knowledgeable on all issues and pushing for responsible spending. Koehler has guided a county that remains solidly in the black. Schofield lends a passion for protecting the county's water resources. Kennedy remains an earnest public servant. While we'd like to see Koehler retained, it might be time to give someone else the reins as chairman. Kurtz, Koehler, Schofield and Kennedy are endorsed.
An impressive field of candidates includes incumbents Republican Nick Provenzano and Democrat Kathleen Bergan Schmidt, and three Republican attorneys with extensive experience in county government: Joseph Gottemoller, Mary McClellan and Michael Walkup. Provenzano and Bergan Schmidt are thoughtful and engaging board members. Gottemoller has served on the McHenry County Conservation District and Planning and Zoning Ad Hoc Committee, and has significant background in development issues. Provenzano, Bergan Schmidt, Gottemoller and Walkup are endorsed.
Republicans Sue Draffkorn and Sandra Salgado have proved to be engaged and informed board members. Republican John Hammerand's attention to detail and cautious deliberation is laudable, but he needs to guard against being obstructionist. That leaves Democrat Mary Margaret Maule and Republican Bob Martens Sr. Maule is experienced in politics and displays a good grasp of the issues. We give the nod to Martens for the depth of his community experience. Draffkorn, Salgado, Hammerand and Martens are endorsed.
Republicans Tina Hill and John Jung and Democrat Paula Yensen -- all incumbents -- deserve another term. Hill shows an impressive grasp of development issues, while Jung and Yensen are knowledgeable about budget issues. Of the other three candidates, Republicans Michael Skala and Michael Rein would both bring good business experience to the board, but Skala's school board experience gives him the edge. Hill, Jung, Yensen and Skala are endorsed.
Incumbent Republicans Mary McCann, Ersel Schuster and Diane Evertsen have the experience and knowledge to represent the district's varied -- and sometimes competing -- interests. Former McHenry County College Trustee Scott Summers, a Democrat, offers creative solutions to several problems. We endorse McCann, Schuster, Evertsen and Summers.