3720 Buckhorn Drive, Crystal Lake
CPA, Business Owner
On The Record
Why are you running for county board?
My husband and I have lived in District 3 for nineteen years; we’ve raised our two children here and we appreciate the quality of life. I have a long record of public service and I will champion a County that is beautiful, and support the vibrant economic growth necessary to provide jobs and services in our community. Diversity is important to every board and my financial expertise will be an asset. I am a CPA with 25 years of experience as a trusted business advisor. I fill a void on the County Board – currently there are no accountants on the Board. Voters will appreciate my proven leadership experience. I have served two terms on the District 47 Board of Education. We oversee an 85 million dollar budget for 12 elementary schools. I have served as Chair of the Finance Committee and my colleagues twice elected me as Board Vice President. We have a proven record of working together for the benefit of our taxpayers and to provide an excellent education for 8,000 students annually. I am ready to bring my skillset to the County Board; work as part of the team; and stay connected to the community.
What is your top legislative priority if you are elected?
Farmland protection is very important. We need to protect our precious farmland while respecting the rights of individual property owners. Farming has to be recognized as an important business in McHenry County especially as the demand for local, sustainably-grown food increases. Although not truly a legislative issue, I would like to see a more unified approach to sustainability. Sustainability is becoming a part of our economy. We have a conservation district (albeit a separate taxing body) and a natural resources committee. The water resources director position has seen some marked changes in the past year or so and the department handling solid waste provides great resources for the community. Grant money is available to promote renewable energy. I would entertain the idea of having a director of sustainability, working within the IGEN (Illinois Green Economy Network) to connect these efforts with the potential funding, collaborate with the EDC, and help to grow our business community.
Where do you stand on the upcoming March referendum to make the County Board chairmanship popularly elected by the voters?
I favor the referendum as it is important for voters to decide. That being said, I will personally vote against a popularly elected Chairman. A Chairman is not the chief operating executive of the county, that job is held by the County Administrator. The number one duty of the Chairman is to manage the board and run the board meetings. Most voters have never attended a County Board meeting and may not have an opinion regarding those specific leadership capabilities. In my opinion, the 24 board members should determine who is best suited for that job. Additionally, a popularly-elected chairmanship would increase, not decrease, the political stakes for the job. Anyone interested in the job would have to raise a substantial amount of money. I would expect such a campaign to cost more than $100,000. Talk about political patronage and being beholden to special interests – I fear these problems would increase if the Chairman was popularly elected. Lastly, I believe that a popularly-elected Chairman would become a stagnant position. As much as voters complain about politicians staying in office too long, they re-elect the incumbent. Once in, the Chairman would likely be re-elected year after year.
Do you believe that the County Board – before 2013 – kept an adequate eye on the finances and spending of the McHenry County Mental Health Board? Why or why not?
I applaud the County Board for holding the line on property tax increases. A budget is a living document and I am sure that cost-cutting must continue.
Do you believe the county should continue to run Valley Hi Nursing Home, or would you like to see it sold to a private entity?
I recall that taxpayers approved a referendum for the new Valley Hi facility, so our community favored this county-run institution. I believe that past problems with management of the operation have been resolved and it is currently run in an efficient manner. It is important to have such facilities especially with our aging population. At the current time, I support the continuation of Valley Hi as a county-run institution.
What issues would you like to see addressed in the upcoming Unified Development Ordinance?
The Stormwater Ordinance has been very challenging for some homeowners and businesses with respect to time and expense. Agri-tourism can be a win-win for our business climate but will require special consideration. Home businesses are becoming more prevalent and also will require special consideration. I applaud much of the common-sense approach that has been taken by the current P&D committee.
Do you believe county government should continue to keep its tax levy frozen? Why or why not? And if not, what expenses would you cut to ease the burden on taxpayers?
While the board must carefully consider all circumstances, I would like to see the levy frozen until property values begin to increase. One place the board can cut is to cease providing benefits such as insurance and pensions to County Board Members. While not a huge piece of the budget by any means, it is a good faith step by the board to show dedication to saving taxpayer dollars.