High School, General Studies, Luther North High School
Associate's Degree, Business, McHenry County College
Bachelor's Degree, Business, National Lewis University
Juris Doctor, Law, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago
Attorney , Cook County State’s Attorney
Grand child - Adora, 11
Grand child - Chloe, 10
Grand child - Arley, 7
On the Record
Why are you running for McHenry County Board, and what qualifications do you bring to the office?
Having been involved in McHenry County since 1989, I have long worked for a positive difference in District 3. I want to bring fresh ideas and positive solutions to the McHenry County Board. I have always been very concerned about the community. I believe there are workable solutions available that will enhance fiscal responsibility. I will find ways to cut spending and stop our taxes from increasing. . My qualifications for the job are that, in addition to being an attorney, I have considerable background with county issues; I am currently an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County and provide enforcement of the building and zoning regulations as well as work with defending the county in every aspect of its day to day operations.
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?
I believed that the County Board should have placed a referendum that asked the voters whether they wanted to elect the County Board Chairman. Now what you have is a referendum that changes the county government as it currently exist. This referendum is different than allowing the voters to choose a Chairman for the County Board. The executive, as the name suggests, is in charge of the day-to-day functions of county government, not unlike the current county administrator, who is appointed rather than elected. The executive also acts as an executive branch for the county board. This will add another layer of government to McHenry County. State law gives executives significant authority over county operations, most of which requires formal approval by the county board. The executive is not a member of the county board, and does not vote except to break ties. But like the governor, any legislation approved by the board has to be signed by the executive to take effect. The executive also can veto legislation, which would require a three-fifths majority of board members to override. This change in government will not benefit the people of McHenry County.
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.
I do not support the county government using taxpayer money to lobby against state legislation. We must protect property taxpayers from excessive government spending. Here’s why the Gov. vetoed millions worth of local earmarks in the state budget, despite all that lobbying power in Springfield, taking away a long list of worthy public projects. Meanwhile, lobbying on behalf of private businesses worked out swimmingly — with millions in tax breaks this year for businesses. With that kind of disparity, it makes you wonder why county board members bother. County taxpayers do not get much return on the public money spent on the lobbyists who are working both sides of the fence. We should be talking directly to our representatives to achieve the goals we have not paying a middle man.
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 would agree to support a freeze in the county’s levy against next year. I would work to prevent the county government from grabbing as many property tax dollars as the Real Estate Tax Cap law allows just because it can. There needs to be accountability and responsibility to the tax payer, especially in times that we all have to be on a strict budget.
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?
I believe the County needs to revise its business face. Small businesses are what make our county provide jobs and opportunities here in our communities. We need to stop over regulating to prohibit business growth. I will work with building and zoning to make sure that we are sensitive to the communities need to regulate without barring the growth of new business as well.
Outside of jobs and the economy, what is the biggest challenge facing voters in your district and how would you address it?
There are two issues, one is protection of our groundwater and the other is the infrastructure and transportation needs in the county. First, the recent drought has magnified the issues that face McHenry County and our water supply. Second, the 2040 Transportation Plan that is currently being presented to the public needs to embrace other counties to ensure regional solutions work for McHenry County residents.
McClellan's Current Race
Kathleen Bergan Schmidt