Is a Smaller County Board Enough?

When is enough enough...

McH Co BoardThe Democratic Party of McHenry County (DPMC) has been calling for a reduction in the size of the County Board for over 10 years, and on July 31st, the McHenry County Board’s Republican-controlled Ad Hoc Committee on Governmental Consolidation finally made a small but important step toward that goal. Their recommendation would reduce the board to 18 members from its current 24 member size. However, there is no mention of how many districts should be formed, nor how many members would represent each district.  Read more at McHenry County Board to vote on term-limit referendums | Northwest Herald

“I’ve been out talking to voters and they are overwhelmingly in favor of a smaller board and more transparency in government," said Kelli Wegener, Democratic candidate for the County Board for District 3.  "...having one board member per district and smaller districts would lead to better representation.  Board members would be able to get to know more of their constituents and, in turn, those constituents would know just who their board member is when they have a concern.” What is really needed is not just fewer members but single-member districts.

The DPMC supports a smaller board and, critically, single board member districts.  Multiple-member districts dilute elected officials’ accountability to the voters and add to voter confusion about who represents them.  Smaller 1 board member districts not only would increase transparency and clarity for voters but would give more segments of the county representation while opening up the possibility of running to more candidates at lower cost. Democratic Board Member Paula Yensen has pushed hard for the committee’s adoption of single-member districts as part of its recommendation.  Although unsuccessful for now, we thank her for efforts.

Democrats will be rallying for the cause of greater accountability and transparency in government by attending and speaking out at the August 16th meeting of the Board, which the public is welcome to.  Immediately following this board meeting will be a vote to send 2 referendums to the November 6 ballot imposing term limits on board members and the chairman.  The Committee of the Whole will be held at the County Board Conference Room, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock IL at 9 am.

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