Endorsements: Jenner, Smith, Wilbeck for MCC Board of Trustees

When you have nine candidates vying for just three seats on a public body, you’ve either drawn the attention of the people or their ire. For McHenry County College, it’s both. A common theme among this trustee race’s seven newcomers is strong dissatisfaction with the current board, and in particular its plan for a $42 million health sciences center that would include a privately run health club. Critics point out that the college already has significant space for additional programs in existing buildings, and that the uncertain funding mechanism proposed could leave taxpayers footing a portion of the bill. Their concerns are well-founded, and considering the MCC board’s reputation for being unresponsive, they make a good case for replacing incumbents Carol Larson and Barbara Walters. While several of the challengers make clear arguments against the expansion, and for themselves as board members, the strongest come from Mike Smith, the president of the McHenry County College Foundation; Chris Jenner, a board member in Cary Elementary District 26 who has pulled out of his bid for re-election there; and Tom Wilbeck, a financial services consultant. They are endorsed. Fellow newcomers Molly Walsh and Arne Wiltmire also deserve consideration, but Smith, Jenner and Wilbeck represent the best combination for moving MCC in the right direction. Also on the ballot are William Alford and Erik Silvertsen.