The race for McHenry County District 4 includes three incumbents and two challengers vying for the four open seats representing the northeastern-most part of the county.
Here's a look at what candidates consider their top priorities.
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• Republican incumbent Sue Draffkorn, 56, of Wonder Lake, who was first elected to the board in 2002, is a bookkeeper who says maintaining a balanced budget during the current economic climate is essential.
Draffkorn says the past budgeting policies have served McHenry County well. Withdrawing money out of the county's reserves to balance the budget is not a direction McHenry County should embark on. Draffkorn said that going forward various departments need to reduce expenses. Families across McHenry County have had to live within their means when income is reduced. McHenry County needs to do the same, she said.
• John Hammerand, 60. a Republican incumbent from Wonder Lake, is a small-business owner who wants to curb excessive government spending.
The county needs to cut expenses on items such as funding a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and instead look out for residents by reducing the county's costs and, thus, taxes. Hammerand also said he would rather the county reduce its debt load instead of increasing its reserve fund.
• For Democratic challenger, Margaret Maule, the number one campaign issue is economic development.
The 48-year-old business consultant and adjunct instructor at McHenry County College said 75 percent of the jobs in America are created by small business. As the director of the Small Business Development Center, Maule said she saw firsthand how jobs could be created with collaboration and the engaged partnership of public and private resources. The county needs to play an active role in attracting new companies, as well as retaining the jobs already in the community, she said.
• Republican incumbent Sandra Fay Salgado, 37, of McHenry, said the quality of life in McHenry County must remain high without raising taxes. The county's infrastructure is also a key concern for Salgado who said upgrading and maintaining roads is a priority to ensure safe commuting and assist in economic growth. The current transportation plan was designed with input from all corners of the county, Salgado said.
• Republican challenger Robert Martens did not return calls for comment Thursday or complete a candidate questionnaire.