Michael Skala: 2022 candidate for McHenry County Board District 9


Party: Republican

Office sought: McHenry County Board District 9

City: Huntley

Age: 51

Occupation: CEO, Innovative Component Sales, Inc.

Previous offices held: McHenry County Board; District 158 School Board


Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.

A: The County has done a great job balancing our spending on the property tax portion of the revenues. The County is taxing less today than we did 10+ years ago and this reduction has not had major impacts on services. We will maintain this balance and only ask the residents for what we need each year. There are many threats, including: supply chain, workforce challenges, inflation, new state laws/mandates, and an inability to automate further. Supply chain issues have caused material to be in short supply which increases costs. Competition in the private sector has caused shortages of key personnel, and even after adjusting wages by over $2.8 million dollars, we still have employees leaving for better-paying jobs. With inflation at a 40-year high, everything is costing more than it did last year. Additionally, the state passed new laws that created unfunded mandates that added an additional $8+ million in expenses next year. Lastly, we saved money by implementing efficiencies.

Q: Is there a specific service or amenity that is lacking in the county? If so, how do you propose to provide and fund it?

A: The County is following all State and Federal requirements for services. The County may need to cut some of the extra services that we are providing so we can balance the budget next year due to added pressures the budget is facing. I do not recommend adding any new programs or services when we are not able to balance the budget with the services we already offer.

Q: Does there need to be more bipartisanship and cooperation on the county board? If yes, what would you do to help make that happen?

A: The McHenry County Board, for the most part, is very good at not injecting partisan politics into the decision-making process. There are some on the Board that make decisions that are based solely on party affiliation, but they are a small minority. I look at every decision and situation based on what I think is best for the County. I work with others to help get this accomplished regardless of their party affiliation. Most of the other board members value and respect me as an individual because my passion is for the topic being discussed and not the individual or party that brought it up. I will continue to respect each member that serves with me, even if I disagree with them, to make the best decisions for the County and the people who live here.

Q: The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?

A: The County, in collaboration with outside agencies that deliver mental health services, must be very proactive in providing help to those struggling with current conditions. This is one reason the County Sheriff's department has hired social workers to help the officers in situations where mental health is a part of an emergency call. The County needs to be a leader in providing resources through the Health Department and Advance McHenry County to those agencies that can provide this vital assistance. So many residents are struggling with the current new norm, and they need trained experts to talk with and help them cope with their struggles. The County's involvement is crucial, because without the County taking a leading role in mental health service delivery, these services would be present, but severely inefficient to meet current and future mental health needs.

Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?

A: Most of District 9, by land mass, is rural, except for western Lake in the Hills and Huntley- a growing, heavily residential community. The needs of Lake in the Hills and Huntley are vastly different than the more rural areas. The farming and rural areas need infrastructure support so our farmers and agricultural centers can safely bring the goods they are producing to market. This translates to bridges and roads that can structurally support farm equipment and heavy trucks. Lake in the Hills and Huntley are mostly served by municipalities, so in these more highly populated municipalities, I will work in partnership with village officials to provide the support they need so they can run their municipalities.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.