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posted: 7/18/2012 5:54 PM

Koehler could have competition if all get re-elected

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  • Tina Hill

    Tina Hill

  • Ersel Schuster

    Ersel Schuster

  • Kenneth Koehler

    Kenneth Koehler


One McHenry County Board member wants to run for the chairmanship after the November election, and at least another one is interested in doing so.

Board members Tina Hill and Ersel Schuster, both Republicans, said they believe the county board needs a new leader. County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, also a Republican, has served on the board since 2000, and has served four consecutive, two-year terms as chairman.

The chairman is elected by a majority of county board members.

Hill intends to run for the post if re-elected in November.

"It's time for a change, that's the biggest thing," said Hill, 52, of Woodstock, who was first elected in 2002.

Hills said she believes many on the county board feel the same way.

"I don't think (Koehler) has the support (to run again). Time will tell," she said.

Koehler, 64, of Crystal Lake, did not respond to requests for comment.

If elected chairwoman, Hill said she'd want to focus on strategic planning, and determine if the structure of the county board's committees need updating.

Hill at the helm, however, wouldn't be a real change, said Schuster, who stopped short of throwing her hat in the ring during an interview on Wednesday.

"Until we get through the general election, I think it's a little bit presumptuous to be making any statements," she said.

Koehler has done a good job over the years, but it's time for "new eyes and new thoughts," said Schuster, 72, who lives outside Woodstock in unincorporated McHenry. Schuster served from 1986 to 1990 and from 1996 to 2000, and was re-elected in 2008.

"If Ms. Hill is actually going to be doing it, it would be more of the same," she said. "She and Mr. Koehler have worked very closely together on most of the issues that have been brought forward."

If elected chairwoman, Schuster said she would continue pushing for transparency. As chairwoman of the management services committee, Schuster helped enact the financial interest disclosure ordinance, which the county board approved in late 2010.

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