Local Election

McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller announces election campaign

McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller officially is asking the voters, who will now decide who gets the office, to give him four more years on the job.

Gottemoller, a Republican, announced Wednesday at a fundraiser he is running for the office, which starting next year will be elected by the people and not the 24-member board itself.

The Crystal Lake attorney said he wants to build on successes he said he has achieved in the short time since his 2012 election to the County Board. If elected, he said he wants to continue to work to promote job and economic growth, fight unnecessary tax increases and improve government efficiency.

“I have more to do. I’ve only had the job a few months, and the county has plenty of things to work on,” Gottemoller said Thursday morning.

Gottemoller’s election to the chairmanship in December was the last time the board got to choose its top leader – he replaced former chairwoman Tina Hill, R-Woodstock, who decided not to seek a second two-year term. Voters in the March 2014 primary approved a referendum to give them the power to elect the chairman to four-year terms.

He highlighted several achievements in his announcement, the most significant of which was the approval of a Unified Development Ordinance, which he helped shepherd as chairman of the board’s Planning and Development Committee. The ordinance updated all of the county’s development-related ordinances and combined them into one document. Gottemoller also touted a change that puts a 10-year limit for how far back the county can issue fines for zoning violations.

A popularly elected chairman will be a 25th member who calls meetings and can only vote to break a tie, but has little added authority under state law. Last year’s successful referendum leaves Lake County as the sole remaining collar county in which the county board’s top leader is chosen by the board and not the voters.

Several other county officials have announced their aspirations for re-election or higher office. Incumbent Republican State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi announced earlier this month he would seek a fourth term, and Hill announced Tuesday she is running for county recorder. Incumbent Republican recorder Phyllis Walters, who has held the office for more than 30 years, has not yet decided whether to seek re-election.

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