Waltmire Clear Choice in District 4 – Northwest Herald

To the Editor:

The choice for McHenry County Board in District 4 is crystal clear after the board held its last meeting.

On July 15, Arne Waltmire stood before the board and asked them to allow McHenry County voters to weigh in on whether they’d like to cut the board from 24 to 16 members, which could save more than $300,000 a year.

arne-waltmire-county-board-logo 1Waltmire’s opponent, John Hammerhand, voted to block the measure and deny McHenry County citizens a vote on this common-sense, tax-saving proposal.

Waltmire’s other opponent, Charles Wheeler, didn’t even bother to show up to the meeting. If Wheeler can’t even be bothered to come and speak up regarding one of the most important issues to face the board in years, how can we trust him to represent us?

Arne Waltmire’s a 30-year educator and certified arbitrator who has private and public sector work experience. Arne’s a longtime resident of the county.

For several months, he’s been going door to door campaigning to downsize the board because it will save money for taxpayers without hurting vital public services or job creation. Waltmire also has plans to make the County Board more transparent and accessible.

Join me in November in voting for Arne Waltmire for McHenry County Board District 4.

Nancy Boro

McHenry

This letter appeared in the Northwest Herald  on August 15, 2014.

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Northwest Herald: Letters – Taxpayer fighter

NW Herald LogoTo the Editor:

With the McHenry County Board’s actions a couple weeks ago, it’s no wonder people complain that politicians don’t listen to their constituents.

The board had an opportunity to let voters weigh in on a proposal to cut the size of the board from 24 to 16 members, saving up to $300,000 a year.

A small bipartisan cohort backed the proposal. However, entrenched incumbents were successful in blocking the measure by voting to table it.

One of the leaders of the movement to downsize the board is Arne Waltmire, who is running to represent District 4 (McHenry, Spring Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, McCullom Lake, Johnsburg, etc.).

He spoke eloquently at the meeting in favor of the proposal because it saves money for taxpayers without hurting vital public services or job creation.

For months, he’s been going door to door pushing a downsizing proposal, and it’s been getting good feedback.

I know I was pleasantly surprised to hear about the proposal when he came to my door.

Check out Arne’s website at www.arnewaltmire.com to learn more.

Waltmire’s got my vote in November.

Denise J. Stanek

McHenry

This letter appeared in the Northwest Herald  on August 4, 2014.

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Waltmire Pushes Plan to Save McHenry County Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Parada Pic 2 signs

Waltmire and supporters at McHenry Fiesta Days Parade

Hammerand and entrenched incumbents deny citizens a voice while blocking measure to downsize board

Woodstock, IL — On Tuesday, Arne Waltmire stood before the McHenry County Board and asked them to allow the citizens of the county to weigh in on whether they’d like to cut the board from 24 to 16 members.  The measure could save taxpayers over $300,000 a year.

“I ask the Board to take this sound proposal to the citizens of the county for their vote,” Arne said.

 

A small bi-partisan cohort backed the proposal to allow McHenry County voters a say on the tax saving plan. However, entrenched incumbents were successful in the blocking the measure by voting to table it.

This marks the second time John Hammerand  – a 12-year incumbent politician and Waltmire’s opponent in the race for McHenry County District 4 – opposed a proposal to cut the board and save taxpayers’ money.  In fact, Hammerand has stated he’d like to increase the size of the board.

“Cook County’s population is ten times that of McHenry’s and yet they have less members on their board. That’s nuts,” said Waltmire.  “I’m going to continue to spread the word and keep up the fight for taxpayers.”

Waltmire’s other opponent, Charles Wheeler, did not attend the meeting.  Wheeler’s no-show caused some of his District 4 constituents to question his commitment to the job for which he is running.

For several months, Waltmire’s been going door to door campaigning to downsize the board.  In June, he introduced a downsizing proposal similar to that which was considered at the Tuesday board meeting. He’s knocked on over 1,000 doors and talked to scores of constituents.  They like the fact the plan will save money for taxpayers without hurting vital public services or job creation.

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Arne Waltmire’s a 30-year educator and certified arbitrator who has private & public sector work experience. Waltmire is running for District 4 of the McHenry County Board, which includes parts of McHenry, Spring Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, Johnsburg, and McCullom Lake.  You can learn more by visiting www.arnewaltmire.com.

This article appeared in the Chicago Tribune on July 20, 2014.

This article appeared in the Crystal Lake Patch on July 20, 2014.

 

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6 or 8?

In May, I joined four candidates from around the county to announce our support for cutting the size of the McHenry County Board.  I immediately began traveling door to door to see what Fourth District families had to say about the idea.

In June, based on those discussions, I announced a plan to cut the size of the board by one-fourth.

Currently there are 6 districts, each with 4 representatives.  My plan called for cutting one per district, which would produce a savings up to $240,000 a year.  It was a simple way to reduce the size of the board without entering into perhaps an extended legal process of redrawing district boundaries.

However, a recent discussion at Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee revolved around cutting 8 members, from 24 to 16.  The proposal also called for bringing an advisory referendum on the issue to the voters.  While this may be more complicated, it has the possibility of even greater savings and allows voters to weigh it.

I certainly support it.

Bottom Line: It’s time to cut the size of the board and save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

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Waltmire’s Plan to Save McHenry Co. Taxpayers $240,000

1 - cutting-waste-11744086Arne Waltmire is a leader in the effort to cut the size of the McHenry County Board. Last month, a slate of candidates, including Arne, announced that shrinking the size of the board would be a key issue in the upcoming November election.

After knocking over 500 doors and speaking with constituents throughout his district, Waltmire announced that he will seek to reduce the McHenry County Board by one-fourth – from 24 members to 18 – which would save taxpayers up to one-quarter of a million dollars per year.

Arne says this common-sense proposal will help McHenry County hold down taxes and focus on job-creation.

Arne says the proposal to reduce the board makes sense, especially when compared to surrounding more-populous counties. DuPage’s 18 member-board represents over 930,000 residents. Cook County, with a population of over 5.2 million residents, also has a board of 18 members.

“Cook County’s population is ten times that of McHenry’s and yet they have less members on their board. That’s nuts,” said Waltmire.

McHenry County Board members currently draw a salary of over $20,800 a year. Their health insurance and retirement benefits can cost county taxpayers an addition $20,000 annually.

Arne Waltmire is running for McHenry County Board District 4 (includes McHenry, Spring Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, Johnsburg, McCullom Lake, among others). In addition to working on reducing unnecessary spending through reducing the size of the board, he will focus on job creation and government transparency. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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County Board’s Size At Issue

The following article appeared in the Northwest Herald/My Suburban Life on May 28, 2014 (Link to Article)

Democrats to campaign on plan to reduce number of members

By KEVIN P. CRAVER – kcraver@shawmedia.com

“Democrats for smaller government” may sound to Republicans like an oxymoron, but shrinking the size of the McHenry County Board is going to be a key campaign issue for its Democratic candidates.

The Democratic Party of McHenry County announced that its slate intends to fight for a plan to reduce the cost of county government and increase its accountability by reducing the number of members while increasing the number of districts. The County Board now consists of 24 members, who are elected to six districts of four members each.

“Dividing the county into more districts will help ensure that all parts of the county get the representation they deserve,” party Chairman Michael Bissett said in a news release. “Reducing the number of members will save money, but it will also make each member more accountable to the voters.”

The initiative comes at a time when the sheer number of Illinois governments and their sizes have become an issue for tax-weary voters. It also comes after a shake-up put the leadership of the McHenry County Republican Party in the hands of new members who have promised to turn the party and a legion of newly elected precinct committeemen into an aggressive get-out-the-vote machine.

Two of the County Board’s 24 members are Democrats.

Both of them, Nick Chirikos in District 1 and Paula Yensen in District 5, are running for re-election. Former board member Kathleen Bergan Schmidt is running in District 3, and the party after the March primary caucused in Arne Waltmire, a high school teacher and dispute mediator, to run in District 4.

Both Bergan Schmidt and Yensen fought to reduce the County Board’s size during the redistricting process following the 2010 U.S. Census. They were joined by a handful of Republicans in an unsuccessful effort to shrink the board to 10, two-member districts for a total of 20. Chirikos was not elected until 2012.

Altering the County Board’s size and structure requires a voter referendum, except during the once-a-decade redistricting process. While the McHenry County Board in 2011 rejected the change, three of its fellow collar counties took advantage of the redistricting process to do so.

The Lake and Kane county boards each eliminated two board seats, bringing their totals to 21 for Lake County and 24 for Kane County, not including the board chairman. But both moves were fueled in part by preparation for one day reaching 800,000 residents, when state law caps a county board’s maximum size at 18 members. Only Cook and DuPage counties have reached that limit.

The Will County Board completely overhauled its map in the name of increasing accountability. It kept a 26-member board, but went from three districts of nine members each to 13, two-member districts.

Another neighboring county board decided, like McHenry County’s, that it liked things the way they are. The DeKalb County Board during 2011 redistricting soundly rejected a proposal to shrink from 24 people representing two-member districts to 18 single-member districts.

McHenry County’s four-member districts are the largest of county boards in the Chicago metro area. Kane, Lake and Cook counties have single-member districts while the DuPage County Board has six, three-member districts.

Bissett said he expects to get bipartisan support for the initiative, and took a shot at some in the majority party to help make his point.

“County records show that a number of board members are chronically absent or late for meetings, yet the other members manage to get the work done without them,” Bissett said. “That’s a sign that we could get by with fewer members.”

Reform-oriented McHenry County Board members won a long-sought victory in March when voters approved a referendum to make the chairmanship popularly elected to four-year terms rather than elected from among the County Board’s membership after each November election. McHenry County voters will elect the County Board chairman starting in 2016.

The County Board has had 24 members since its creation in 1972, when the new Illinois Constitution abolished county boards of supervisors ruled by township officials. It consisted of three, eight-member districts until 1992, when it went to its present structure of six, four-member districts. A failed effort was made during the 1991 redistricting process to shrink the board’s size to 18 members.

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Democrats Support Cuts to County Government

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 27, 2014

Crystal Lake, IL — Democratic candidates for McHenry County Board are asking voters to support an initiative to reduce the number of seats on the County Board. This is a way to trim expenses without reducing the effectiveness of local government. Voter feedback is welcome in order to craft a plan that best represents the needs of the community.

Local Democrats have long supported the idea of reducing the number of County Board seats. During the most recent redistricting effort in 2011, Democratic board member Kathleen Bergan Schmidt proposed fewer members in more, but smaller districts. She supports this proposal again as part of her current campaign platform in District 3.

Arne Waltmire, Democratic candidate for District 4, agrees with Bergan Schmidt. “I think this common-sense approach to right-sizing county government will certainly appeal to the taxpayers.”

Nick Chirikos, District 1 Board member, and Paula Yensen, County Board member in District 5, also support looking at ways to reduce the number of board members. Both candidates are seeking re-election this cycle.

“Dividing the county into more districts with fewer board members per district will help ensure that all parts of the county get the representation they deserve,” said Democratic Chairman Michael Bissett.

“Reducing the number of members will save money, but it will also make each member more accountable to voters. County records show that a number of board members are chronically absent or late for meetings, yet the other members manage to get the work done without them. That’s a sign that we could get by with fewer members.”

Democrats will ask voters for their opinions on a number of other issues that impact local, township and county government expenses.

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Welcome

Thanks for visiting the Arne Waltmire for McHenry County Board Board website. Recently, I have been approached about running for District 4 of the McHenry County Board (includes McHenry, Spring Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, Johnsburg, McCullom Lake, among others).

I am passionate about expanding economic opportunity and open government here in McHenry County and with your help I intend to do so on the County Board. In the coming days I will seek input from you the voters and will work to collect the necessary signatures to be on the ballot in November.

Together, we can build a better economy and democratic process for all McHenry County citizens.

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