James Heisler




Crystal Lake

Shoe retailer, Self


On the Record

Why are you running for McHenry County Board, and what qualifications do you bring to the office?

I am running for County Board to finish a job not quite done. I’d like to help get our county through this Great Recession by continuing to be a voice and a vote for sound fiscal managemanet, supporting whatever it takes to produce more jobs and lower our taxes. I’m on my hands and knees everyday, selling shoes at Heisler’s Bootery. I know what my voters need-they know where to find me and they know I care.

The County Board has resisted calls to make its chairmanship popularly elected. Now, a referendum has been placed on the November ballot that seeks to change the county to an executive form of government. What do you think about the referendum and the board’s resistance to allow voters decide whether they want to elect the board chairman at the ballot box?

The Executive Form of Government gives this one person way too much power! Vote NO on this ballot question. This Executive ’Czar’ takes away your freedom to control the elected board member’s collective control over all appointments, the entire budget and approval of every ordinance. Elected-at-large County Chairman and elected Executive races cost big money- races that are often driven by special interest money instead of substance of issue. Because of a special interest and corruption threat, I support what we have in place now, with only one exception- term limits. A chairman should be elected by his elected peers, with defined term limits.

Do you support county government using taxpayer money to lobby against state legislation that would have protected property taxpayers from tax increases in years when property values declined? Explain your answer.

We belong to Metro Counties, and I concur with that group’s efforts to support or defeat all legislation that would or would not be in the best interest of McHenry Co. and its contiguous neighbors. The old tax-cap law wasn’t written to anticipate an economy in major decline. It needs to be recrafted with operational efficiencies and fairness to both the governments that rely on property taxes, and all of us who pay their taxes. To better inform yourself on legislation, go to www.ILGA.GOV.

The County Board is working this year to not collect the inflationary tax levy increase allowed under state law. Will you agree to support a freeze to the county’s levy again next year? Explain.

Yes, I will definately support a tax levy freeze of the county’s budget. This will help us retain a very rare AAA bond rating. We must be cautious as most small and large businesses are now assesing their needs for 2013 and beyond. The health and future viability of all organizations are at stake. We are all frustrated at the stymied progress at the federal and state level, so working smarter and more efficiently at the local level is what we must do - reduce costs, share services, eliminate WANTED, but not NEEDED programs and privitize services if sensible.

Given the obstacles a local couple have had with turning their vineyard into a winery, how business friendly would you say the County Board and county ordinances are? What changes would you seek if elected?

Our County Board is business-friendly as much as its aged ordinances will allow. I will be supporting an analytical, consolidated ordinance rewrite which is called the U.D.O. (Unified Development Ordinance), now in draft form. It is very comprehensive and professionally developed. The U.D.O. will be vetted in the next several weeks and placed before the public in early 2013. I’m very optimistic.

Outside of jobs and the economy, what is the biggest challenge facing voters in your district and how would you address it?

Living in McHenry County is expensive. It’s a great place to raise a family and work, but government needs, not wants, must be made to work smarter and more efficiently. It’s what we are forced to do in small business to survive--reduce costs, share services, eliminate redundant programs, inventory analysis, etc. . Besides jobs and the economy, the other biggest challenge, in my view, is to educate the electorate to vote NO on the Executive Form of Government question on the ballot. We do NOT need one person- a Czar- to be able to veto the collected will of the people!