Friday, September 28, 2012
Candidate Forum Previews UDO Fight To Come
Thursday's event by the McHenry County League of Women Voters, Crystal Lake Jaycees and AAUW and MCC featured candidates from Districts Four, Five, including parts of LITH and Huntley and Six, west of Route 47. All three districts include a lot of unincorporated land, Six especially, so there was lots of criticism for UDO which is supposed to integrate the County's rules in unincorporated areas about zoning, subdivisions, water management and businesses.
District Six incumbent (and businesswoman) Mary McCann, Woodstock, set the tone for one area of opposition. "I fear we may be making policies much more complex than they need to be," she said.
Six incumbent Ersel Schuster outlined the other. "They're blowing the west half of McHenry County open to development," she said.
Six Democratic challenger Scott Summers, Harvard, tried to describe "an urban/rural dynamic" to somehow reconcile things but couldn't begin to do it within the one-minute time period for answers.
Six Democratic challenger Ryan Heuser, Marengo, was pro-development. "Let's bring something in so we don't have to work somewhere else, go shopping somewhere else.
District Five challenger Mike Skala, Huntley, favored the UDO. "(It) was something that was very badly needed and it can be user-friendly."
But District Four incumbent John Hammerand, Wonder Lake, was it as a completely different document. "If you want to see a lot of regulation, push that UDO through."
About 50 people turned out for Thursday's forum, nearly twice the number for candidates from Districts One through Three. They submitted 27 questions but there was only time for 7 of them. Even so, somebody's hobbyhorse about McHenry County's old Title X family planning program was one of them. At 30 seconds to read, the question was so tendentious that Skala asked to have it repeated so he could figure out what it was asking. District Five incumbent Tina Hill disposed of it most succinctly saying that even though the Board rejected federal money in 1997, "We still found ways to fund it", just for adults only or minors with parental consent.
District Five Green Party challenger Frank Wedig, Woodstock, said he'd support Title X again if it ever came up, though. So did Summers and District Six Democratic challenger Jay Kadakia, Huntley. District Five incumbent Paula Yensen said the program was important to fight sexually transmitted diseases and breast cancer, too.
In the pic: Missing from Thursday's County Board forum were District Four incumbent Sandy Salgado and challenger Robert Martens, Sr. So, too, were District Five hopeful Michael Rein and District Six challengers Michele Aavang and Larry Smith.