John Jung Jr.
Small Business Owner, Shur Pak, Inc.
Married, Josie Jung
On The Record
Why are you running for county board?
I’m running for office because I believe that I can continue to be the voice of my constituents, an instrument of positive change, and to ensure that the County Board stays on its path of fiscal strength and responsibility. There are two issues that I think are of particular importance. The first is the protection of our groundwater and the second is initiatives that create and foster sustainable economic growth. McHenry County must continue to communicate and foster a spirit of cooperation between itself, business, and municipalities within its borders. My experience as a business owner provides me with a strong understanding of the importance of sound fiscal policies and responsibility. It has also taught me to make tough decisions – decisions that are based on the long-term result not the immediacy of short term success.
What is your top legislative priority if you are elected?
I’d like to see the County adopt a new Unified Development Ordinance and implement a new Storm Water Ordinance. I think the continued lobbying of the state and federal governments for funds to mitigate flood damage, to protect our ground water, and to improve the County’s infrastructure are essential legislative activities. The County Board is diligently working to expand broad band and fiber optic capabilities throughout the entire county.
Where do you stand on the upcoming March referendum to make the County Board chairmanship popularly elected by the voters?
I am in favor of a referendum to make the County Board chairmanship a popularly elected position. I do not support the idea of an election at large for a four year County Board position. The county board vote for chairman takes place every two years which, in essence, is a term limit. If the individuals in these positions are not performing, the county board can vote to replace them. It costs approximately $50,000 to $100,000 for an individual to run a county wide campaign. An important question is does raising this amount of money cause an individual to become beholden to large donors and/or special interest groups.
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?
When I was chairman of Human Resources, I initiated conversations with the Mental Health Board that resulted in the implementation of personnel policies that were aligned with the County’s policies which effectively reigned in the wild fluctuations of the Mental Health Board’s policies. The County Board has no real control over the Mental Health Board since it is a separate taxing body and creates its own budget and tax levy.
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?
Between the Valley Hi tax levy and the changes made by the County Board to control expenses and enhance revenue, Valley Hi is in a strong financial position. It is no longer a drain on the County’s budget. I believe the county should continue to run Valley Hi since it was voted that authority through a referendum by the constituents of the county.
What issues would you like to see addressed in the upcoming Unified Development Ordinance?
The Unified Development ordinance (UDO) should promote and ensure the protection of the County’s agriculture industry and the County’s groundwater. The UDO should also address ag-tourism. I believe that ag-tourism should have two classifications: light impact ag-tourism which could be granted with conditional use permits, and heavy impact venues such as concerts, horse racing, and large produce cannons (e.g. pumpkin or watermelon cannons) which would be allowed with a limited number of temporary use permits. These temporary use permits would have very stringent conditions that must be met. There should be a streamlined process for renewing conditional use permits for applicants who have no substantial changes to their property.
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?
Yes, the County should continue to keep its tax levy frozen. Given the current economic times, the County should take the lead in stabilizing the tax burden of its citizens. Through good stewardship, the county has been able to keep the levy flat while still providing services to its residents.