Michael Rein

Demographics

Republican

50

Woodstock

Doctor of Chiropractic, Back On Track Chiropractic

Not available

On the Record

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

I am running for McHenry County Board because I feel that I can bring a background of diversity that will bring common sense solutions to problems that arise within our County Government system. McHenry County is unique in that we are a county that is increasing in population with urban development but still have wide open spaces with farming, parks, and conservation areas. Balancing them both takes a strong leader that has fiscal responsibility, integrity, and vision to balance them together. I am a Veteran of the United States Marine Corp 1982-1986 as a Rifleman. I ended my career as a Corporal with awards of Honorable Discharge, Good Conduct Medal and Meritorious Mast for a Tsunami Warning on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. I played a prominent role in my family’s multi-million construction business. I rose within the company to job foreman and finally vice president. I worked in over 30 states and including Puerto Rico and Aruba where I gained vast experience in operations, finance and management. I currently own and operate my own small business as a Doctor of Chiropractic, Back On Track Chiropractic, in Woodstock since 2003. I value working and volunteering within our community and am a member of Marine Corp League #1009, Moose Lodge # 1329, Grace Lutheran Church, Chamber of Commerce and I support our local school districts.

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 feel that having the County Board Chairmanship with EXECUTIVE POWER puts McHenry County at risk of being more like Cook County. This position will end up costing the taxpayer more money. Changing the current system in this way, could lend this important role to being one of popularity and a possible lifetime position that will never be able to have term limits. They will have the power to hire/fire department heads. Only career politicians, funded by outside resources not the people of McHenry County, would be able to compete in a Chairmanship with EXECUTIVE POWER. Example If someone helps the person get elected he/she could have their friends/family hold county positions as a kick back – where are the checks and balances with an Executive form of government? All budget matters will be made by only 1 PERSON not the 24 County Board members – who are also elected by the people. They will get to hire their own personal attorney costing the tax payers more money. This will also add just another layer of government in Illinois that is already over 6,000. How much will it cost to run a heated county wide election $200,000, $300,000, $500,000? The average person that might want to make a difference has no way of running for that position. Its an abusive that should not be in Government! I feel that three 2 yr terms would fix any problems with the County Board Chair position.

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.

No. I don’t agree with tax payer money to be used against them for tax increases. Having lobbyist, hired by the County Board, going to the state to help increase our property taxes is NOT in the best interest of the people of McHenry County. The lobby groups that our tax payer money goes to must be on the same page. If they are not we need to find lobbyist that will be in the best interests of the citizens of McHenry County.

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 support a freeze on the tax levy. I also believe past budgets should have had them in these hard economic times. I think we need to start looking at ways to make our budgets work within the means we have. People are out of work, have decreased salaries, increases in gas prices, increases in food prices – the list goes on and on. We need to find creative ways to reduce the way government does business.

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 will support businesses that would like to come to McHenry County and create jobs that stimulate our economy. We must be responsible to our county by following the ordinances and abide by the laws we have in place. If we need to adjust them accordingly that is our job. It is why we are elected. I believe in free enterprise as long as the laws are followed within our county. Laws should protect not only the new business but also the land around the new business. Specifically looking at the vineyard the owners stated that they were not creating any new jobs to the County. Another aspect that was not discussed in the meetings was that the owners of the vineyard stated they would be bringing in outside grapes from the county. Where would these grapes be coming from? We need to make sure that we do not bring in any indigenous species that may hurt the farmers or urban areas. Though I do support the vineyard, or any other business that may come to McHenry County, one must look at all aspects to help and be business friendly, for all businesses thrive. With my business and military background, I will bring a dedicated, detailed and timely decisions to help our old and new businesses in McHenry County.

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

The first and foremost thing on everyone’s mind is Taxes. The County Board has not done a good enough job for the citizens of McHenry County in trying to make cuts and instead have raised taxes and the overall budget. Though the County Board has an AAA Bond rating, they cannot continue to sell bonds and use cash to fill their budget requirements. This practice is fiscally irresponsible. We all see what happens when you kick the can down the road. A balanced budget is one that equals Expenses to Income. The County budget needs to be sustainable based on real revenue. In these economic times, revenue is difficult to project. A conservative approach to all government spending should be put into place to meet the current fiscal obligations. Also the ability for our county to continue economic progress to sustain our workforce (and their families) requires us to look at the current infrastructure and transportation plan. Businesses will not relocate to our county simply because our roads would not support them. Fiscal accountability, private and public partnerships, and community engagement are imperative to successfully altering this dilemma. It is the County Board’s responsibility to address this issue in a proactive rather than reactive manner.