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updated: 11/6/2012 11:31 PM

McHenry County voters say no in 2 referendums

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With nearly all votes cast Tuesday in McHenry County counted, voters have overwhelmingly defeat two ballot measures related to elected offices in the county.

With 100 percent of Tuesday's ballots tallied, voters by a 2 to 1 ratio said no to a ballot measure that seeks to create an executive form of county government. Early voting had yet to be rolled in at presstime.

The second ballot question, which asked voters if an elected official should be able to hold two elected positions at one time, was dismissed by an even wider margin with about 90 percent voting no. That was an advisory referendum.

Under the executive form of government, the county executive runs the day-to-day operations of the county including the hiring and firing of employees and will also have the power to veto county board decisions.

Supporters of the ballot question said the impetus was Ken Koehler, who has spent eight of his 12 years on the board as McHenry County Board Chairman. The county executive, supporters said, would add transparency and accountability to county government, and allow for a stronger county board that would be focused solely on legislative matters

But opponents of the change said the county executive form of government would give the county executive too much power and would be the equivalent to the state and federal systems that opponents argued were not working. At least one county board members equated the county board executive to a "czar."

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