Bachelor's Degree, Business, NIU
Bookkeeper, The Church of Holy Apostles (part time) and Adult and Child Therapy Services (part time)
Married, Jerry Draffkorn
On the Record
Why are you running for McHenry County Board, and what qualifications do you bring to the office?
My goal as a County Board member will be to provide the best service to the public at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. With this in mind, McHenry County should always be looking for new ways to eliminate waste and duplication and improve the delivery of important services. In addition, I am a sensible and open-minded individual. My education, involvement in community affairs, my talent for listening, and sense of fair play for the people of McHenry County are reasons why I am the best candidate.
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?
Holding our government accountable is best accomplished with elected representatives who receive their authority directly from the public. IE: The County Board. The voters want the chance to decide who they want for board chairman. The referendum suggests McHenry County change to a “county executive” form of government. I believe we have informed voters who will do their best to educate themselves on the differences between the Board Chairman and County Executive; they are two very different roles. Educating the voters is an important part of this referendum. My website www.suedraffkorn.org has more information.
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.
A ‘NECESSARY EVIL’ OR WISE INVESTMENT? In McHenry County the public’s tax money is being spent to hire lobbyists. If nothing else, there needs to be accountability to the public on how their tax dollars are being spent by McHenry County. If an organization receives sources of taxpayer funding, then it should be required to report funding, and it should be required to report who gets the money, how much they get and for what purpose it’s spent on lobbying. In years past McHenry County has received millions of federal transportation dollars. Many of our road and bridge projects would take longer to finish if it were not for the lobbyists who helped acquire these funds. In these tough economic times McHenry County needs to reassess how we do business. Currently I don’t like the fact that the county government is using tax money to lobby against any decrease in taxes.
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 will be supporting a freeze to the county’s levy next year. As a rule I have not advocated using the reserve funds to balance the budget. However, I do believe that we could use these funds until the economy turns around. If we don’t need the money, we shouldn’t levy for it. I’d rather see it in my constituants’ pockets.
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?
It appears that the County Board and county ordinances are not as business-friendly as I would want them to be. McHenry County is currently working on a Unified Development Ordinance. The UDO is a chance to look over the various ordinances to review them to see if any changes should be made. Public input is encouraged and welcome before the final draft. I was very disappointed that the latest winery issue was so long and drawn out. Wineries throughout Illinois have thrived; knowing that, what a wonderful chance to show off our beautiful county and the great agritourism business we have.
Outside of jobs and the economy, what is the biggest challenge facing voters in your district and how would you address it?
From what I hear when speaking with constituants, I believe that working to freeze the county tax levy is very important. Every year when the tax bill arrives in the mail, taxes appear to be going up. In the past few years the people in McHenry County have had to live with lower household income and rising prices. We need to put the brakes on government spending.
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