Bob Martens, Sr.
Spring Grove, IL
Master's Degree, Behavorial Health Administration
On the Record
Why are you running for McHenry County Board, and what qualifications do you bring to the office?
I’m running as a candidate for the McHenry County Board to bring my years of community & administrative experience into the decision making process of the Board as it effects all of the County and especially District 4. I will bring to this office my past community service throughout the County in Behavioral Health Administration working with many organizations,municipalities and Chambers of Commerce. I have also had 12 years in a Municipal leadership role. My membership on the County’s Ethics and Community Developement Block Grant Commissions has further fostered my understanding of County Government and its role. When elected I will work and advocate for the inclusion and participation of my constituents and communities.
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 do not support the upcoming referendum to change the County form of government to an executive form. I believe the executive form of government would add unnecesssary layers of administration and costs. It also has the possibility of compromising the effectiveness and decisions of our County Board. I do support the Chairman of the Board to be popularly elected to the office. All voters need to select their Chairman. I would also add that I do support term limits, not only for the Chairman but for all County Board members.
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.
While I am not that familiar with the details of such legislation, I would not have the county use taxpayers money to lobby against state legislation that would have protected property taxpayers from tax increases in years when property values declined. Why the County would not support such legislation is beyond me. Many property owners need relief from the tax burdens being placed on them as property values ’head south’.
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.
I would agree to support a freeze to raising the tax levy for next year. As I said in the Primary, while the economy may be improving, I believe that individuals and families need to have a freeze on the increase tax levy for next year, allowing them ’to get back on their feet’. We, as County Board members, need to model leadership in getting through some very difficult times.
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 many, if not all Board members, are business friendly. It is how we interpret our ordinances not to always focus on the possible negatives. Certainly as we want to retain and attract new businesses, we need to review all of our ordinances to make sure that they are both County and Business friendly. I will review our ordinances to that end.
Outside of jobs and the economy, what is the biggest challenge facing voters in your district and how would you address it?
To promote economic health and create jobs in our county we need to focus on one of the major challenges in our county and our district, and that is transportation and it’s infrastucture. We need to work more closely with Metra for additional commuter rail service and with Pace for improved local bus service. Additional discussions need to take place with freight rail services as well, if we are to attract expansion of industrial businesses. I intend to work closely with the County Department of Transportation on the completion of the Hill Road Bridge in Richmond and with IDOT on the Richmond Bypass to relieve gridlock on Rt. 12 through Spring Grove and Richmond.
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Bob Martens, Sr.
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