Local Government

Former Cary School District 26 Board president nominated to fill McHenry County Board vacancy

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board will vote Thursday whether to fill its District 1 vacancy with a Cary certified public accountant, Army veteran and former school board president.

County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, has nominated Christopher Spoerl to succeed Andrew Gasser, who stepped down in May after his election as Algonquin Township highway commissioner.

Spoerl, a principal with Barrington-based Professional Business Management Inc., is a tax expert who earned a Master of Business Administration in finance and accounting, and a Master of Science in taxation. He also served four years as president of the Cary School District 26 Board and currently is a member of the Cary Police Pension Fund board.

Franks said Spoerl’s financial expertise and leadership skills – he was elected to the school board to help successfully close a large budget deficit – make him the best choice to replace Gasser.

“Reducing the property tax burden sustainably for years to come will require creative thinking, dedication to our constituents and the ability to collaborate with a diverse body of talented individuals,” Franks said. “Christopher Spoerl is the right person to join the board while we work to find savings for taxpayers and make this a reality.”

Spoerl, who is a Republican like Gasser, beat out five other GOP applicants for the nomination to represent District 1. The district covers eastern and southern Algonquin Township and southeastern Grafton Township, and includes all or parts of Cary, Fox River Grove, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Huntley, Trout Valley and Barrington Hills.

Spoerl said Monday that he was honored to get the nomination, and that learning from news stories that the county is losing population was a “call to arms” for him.

“I look forward, should I be chosen by the board, to lend whatever hand I can with my background and experience to hopefully lower property taxes and right-size the government, and make McHenry County a place where people want to actually come,” Spoerl said.

Spoerl served four years in the Army in intelligence with an emphasis on Soviet analysis after graduating college in 1981. He earned his MBA from Indiana University and his master’s degree in taxation from Northern Illinois University. He and his wife have two sons.

Should the County Board approve his nomination, Spoerl would serve the remaining 16 months of Gasser’s term. However, the 24-member County Board, all but one of whom are Republicans, cannot advance their own candidate should they reject Spoerl. It would be up to Franks to advance another at a later date.

The other five candidates Franks interviewed for the position were Ralph Sesso, David Stieper and Elaine Ramesh of Barrington Hills, and Kevin Kaplan and Charles Gahler of Cary. The McHenry County Republican Party nominated Sesso and Stieper as their picks to succeed Gasser after a vetting and interview process of their own.

Each candidate had to submit a résumé and fill out a lengthy questionnaire before being interviewed. Franks said he sought counsel after the interviews from former Republican board chairmen Mike Tryon and Ken Koehler.

The special meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. or immediately after the Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday, whichever comes later. The County Board meets at the county Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock.

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