Michele Aavang

Demographics

Republican

54

Woodstock

Associate's Degree, A.S., McHenry County College

High School, Barrington H.S.

Farmer, Self-employed

Married, Gary Aavang

Grant, 23

On the Record

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

I am running because I would like to play a part in moving the county forward. I am qualified for the position because of my leadership experience including my present role as President of the McHenry County Farm Bureau board, President of the Woodstock Farmers Market board, and Secretary of the Greenwood Cemetery Association. I am also a former two-term Trustee for the Village of Greenwood, and the former leader of the largest 4-H club in the county. I also have decades of managerial and business experience as a small business owner. I have controlled spending and prepared and analyzed budgets for successful operations.  Since the economic well-being of the county is a priority, this background is important. I also have a keen interest in the future of the county as a member of a family that has roots here dating back to the 1840\'s.

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 think that almost any time voters can be in charge of a decision, it\\\'s beneficial. However, the executive form of government as described gives too much power to the county executive and could set our county up for similar problems as experienced by Cook County. Voters will decide this issue in November.

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 do not support county government using taxpayer money to lobby against legislation that would protect taxpayers. In fact, I find the practice unethical. 

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 support a freeze to the county tax levy. Given the present economy, taxpayers can\\\'t afford the added burden. The emphasis should instead be placed on responsibly controlling spending.

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?

County ordinances are currently not friendly to business, and actually impede the expansion of existing businesses and hinder the development of new business. County staff needs to be directed to work with business owners to encourage and facilitate growth, instead of blocking progress. The UDO, if drawn up and implemented properly, could help move the county in the right direction. We need to remove illogical restrictions and regulations that make it hard to start or grow a business.

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

The voters that I\'ve spoken with have told me that taxes are an important concern. I would support a freeze to the county\'s tax levy next year.