Our View: County ready for winter

The Northwest Herald editorial board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:

Thumbs up: To Mark DeVries, maintenance supervisor for the McHenry County Division of Transportation. DeVries already has county crews ready to take on the winter roads. People love to complain about government employees, but plenty such as DeVries do their jobs quite well. DeVries doesn’t just do it well, he’s recognized around the world for his innovations in mixing solutions to keep county roads safe during winter and for working hard to do it in an environmentally conscious way.

Thumbs down: To the ongoing disaster that is the Affordable Care Act. The website where millions of uninsured Americans were supposed to be able to shop for affordable insurance doesn’t work. Millions of Americans with insurance are having their policies dropped because of the act, something President Barack Obama promised wouldn’t happen. And hundreds of businesses are considering whether they can continue with their employer health care plans because of the overall cost. The legislation itself wasn’t ready when Congress approved it during Obama’s first term. And the poor implementation of the reform measures is a disgrace.

Thumbs up: To the McHenry County Department of Health, for seeking and receiving a grant to hire and train support counselors to educate local residents on questions related to the Affordable Care Act. Public presentations are available throughout the county, including six next week. To schedule a one-on-one appointment, call 815-334-4510 or visit www.mcdh.info.

Thumbs down: To Illinois’ Department of Central Management Services, which keeps track of all Illinois state property. A review by Auditor General William Holland shows the department does a poor job and that its inventory included only a fraction of what the state controls. The review also said the department has made little progress in developing a computerized list required by state law. On the bright side, the audit did find that CMS reduced state lease costs by $55 million a year since 2009.