Yvonne Barnes: Candidate Profile

McHenry County Board District 1 (Republican)

Updated 10/13/2016 1:12 PM
  • Yvonne Barnes, running for McHenry County Board District 1

    Yvonne Barnes, running for McHenry County Board District 1

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Cary

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Office sought:

McHenry County Board District 1

Age: 55

Family: Bryan (24), Allison(23), Megan (23), Emily (21), Nikita (19), Daniel (17), Colleen (16)

Occupation: Barnes TechCom, Owner, Technical Communications, Business Analysis, and

Education: B.S. Business Admin/Marketing, Indiana University

Public & Environmental Affairs Indiana University

A.A.S. Systems Analysis, Triton College

Civic involvement: Sts. Peter and Paul Church; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; Youth Sports, Music Sponsor, School Improvement Committee; Older Adult Senior Advocacy and Assistance; Workforce Network and Housing Authority Liaison; Continuing Education Instructor; Friends of the Library, Youth Council Board Member; Professional Development and Career Planning Mentor

Elected offices held: McHenry County Board Vice Chair (2 years)

McHenry County Board Member (8 years)

Cary Village Trustee (12 years)

Questions & Answers

There were significant voting problems in the March primary. Are you confident sufficient steps have been taken to avoid a repeat in November? What role, if any, should the county board have in such matters?

I am confident that sufficient remedies are in place for an improved election experience. The County Board is responsible for all County departments, operations, and service deliveries. County Board members maintain professional working relationships with elected officials, administration, and staff. This ensures appropriate resources including personnel, equipment, software, and communication tools. County Board members were the first point of contact in many cases during the March election. It was and continues to be our job to provide solutions and direction regarding all areas of concern.

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?

I am a proven citizen advocate to decisions that directly affect McHenry County residents. I am dedicated to group and individual communication and participation for better decision making. I seek re-election to continue to provide financial protection for all our citizens. My schedule allows a full-time commitment and availability to all County Board information and activities. My goals for the next term include changes to the capital plan, additional budget cuts, and elimination of nonessential spending. The most important issue is a reduction in spending and debt. Cost savings and service efficiency accomplishes lower costs for our taxpayers.

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.

I support decreased spending and a reduction in the size and scope of government. I oppose efforts to increase revenues through taxation, debt service, or increased fees. The County must continue to eliminate unnecessary costs and programs which are not statutorily mandated. Some County departments are doing more with less. Other departments are doing less with less. This reorganization will continue and is a significant accomplishment. Current and future threats include problems with State finances, building and technology maintenance, and changing population demographics. A top priority must be a dedicated approach to multi-year project planning, benefit analysis, and strategic reorganization.

How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important.

Transparency and access to records is extremely important. I encourage continuous improvements and change in response to requests from the public. Response time, ease of use, and availability varies by topic. The County should provide video and audio recordings for all County meetings as well as improved search instructions and capabilities. Additional cross training and equipment costs are minimal to nonexistent. I have introduced a phone process for our residents who do not have internet access and/or transportation limitations.

Please list any elected office you've ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?

Village of Cary Trustee Elected 3 times, appointed twice

County Board Member Elected 2 times

County Board Vice Chair Elected to current term

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

All County Board issues relate to finances and consequences. My work on the Finance and Audit Committee is a priority. I focus on lowering resident costs through reductions in taxes and fees as well as complete analysis and recommendations for contracts, invoices, and projects. As most McHenry County residents struggle with rising costs for food, medical treatment, and education, we need County Board members who will stop unnecessary spending and provide services at a reduced cost. Each decision comes with a financial cost and I will continue evaluate and prioritize needs, alternatives, and consequences.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Pope Francis because of his intelligence,mercy, and compassion.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Learn all you can, live for today, learn from the past, and plan for the future.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I would spend more time with my parents when I was a teenager.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Math. There is always more than one way to solve a problem. Most of the time, common sense and logic are all that matter.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Learn all you can, live for today, learn from the past, and plan for the future.