Carolyn "Lyn" Campbell - County Board District 3
Carolyn "Lyn" Campbell's responses to the Shaw Local News Network's (Northwest Herald) Candidate Questionnaire.
What offices, if any, have you previously held? McHenry County Board Member District 2 (2022), McHenry County Conservation District Board of Trustees (2017-2022)
Occupation: County Board Member
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Two years full-time study graduate coursework in Public Administration - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
What would be your top three priorities?
- Reduce the burden on taxpayers by creating a vibrant and sustainable economy.
- Protect our natural, agricultural, and cultural resources through thoughtful and strategic planning.
- Improve the appointment process for filling vacancies on boards and commissions.
Taxes are a top concern raised by voters locally. What do you do within your position to address residents’ tax burden?
Work with legislators to address mandates that create financial obligations to the county without a corresponding funding source. Identify alternative revenues for funding on-going operations in the corporate levy fund. Leverage local partnerships to gain efficiencies and reduce costs. Reduce internal costs where possible.
Voters also cited crime as a concern. What do you think needs to be done to address this concern?
Perceptions matter, so if people feel there is a problem then that needs to be addressed. A public engagement effort would allow residents to air their concerns and county officials the opportunity to share some of their challenges as well as successes and, more importantly, would bring stakeholders together to create solutions. People need to feel safe in their homes and communities and every effort should be made to achieve that goal.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within McHenry County?
Work with local partners to attract manufacturers to produce goods and materials vital to local businesses which would also shorten supply chains, reduce input costs, and stabilize our local market. Support training and educational opportunities for area residents, creating a skilled labor pool for local companies while allowing employees to work closer to home. Ensure a vibrant and sustainable economy by protecting our natural, agricultural, and cultural resources which form the foundation of our economy and are in turn economic drivers. Continue to promote the County as a great place to live, work, and play.
Do you think McHenry County should continue to challenge the new state law that prohibits its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Why or why not?
No. The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the County’s challenge to the Illinois Way Forward Act was unlikely to succeed upon further appeal. I believe taxpayer dollars and County resources would be better spent actively pursuing alternative sources of revenue.
What is the County Board’s role in addressing audit issues at the McHenry County Regional Office of Education?
By law, the County Board oversees the financial transactions and activities performed by ROE through internal audits. Issues raised as a result of this process need to be addressed in a timely fashion. This did not occur, leaving prior deficiencies unchecked for too long. Solutions must protect financial resources, increase efficiencies and accountability, promote transparency and public trust, and provide sufficient support to the ROE so they are successful in fulfilling their duties to the public.
What road and bridge infrastructure needs to be addressed in McHenry County?
Priority projects for road and bridge reconstruction and replacement are identified in the Division of Transportation’s 2022-2026 Transportation Program which is updated annually. To ensure important projects in District 3 are not overlooked, I will actively engage with constituents and work in partnership with municipalities and the County DOT to identify areas of concern and advocate recommendations.
Roads and bridges considered to be in critical condition based on sound engineering principles should take priority.
What are the top issues facing Valley Hi Nursing Home and how should the County Board help address them?
Valley Hi was approved by voters to provide quality nursing care to area seniors without access to insurance so they could stay within their community - close to family, friends, and familiar surroundings. This should remain a priority. Maintaining a high quality of care is also paramount. Recruitment and retention of qualified staff will continue to be a top issue as the industry struggles with a low supply of skilled professionals coupled with a high demand for services. Working with local partners, the County needs to promote educational and training opportunities to develop a qualified workforce right here in McHenry County.
Assess the McHenry County Department of Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What changes, if any, need to be made related to the pandemic or any future response?
The COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented and there were clearly instances of effective and ineffective actions at all levels. Building on that experience, we can improve response times if we promote cooperation and collaboration between all units of government, include community healthcare experts in decision-making and communication, improve contact tracing, provide accessible facilities for testing and vaccination more broadly throughout the county, develop effective pandemic-preparedness media plans to ensure more consistent messaging and guidance to the public especially regarding current and projected local conditions. Building trust is crucial so consistency and transparency are paramount.
If you could reverse one decision made by the County Board last year, what would it be?
As an issue of fairness, I would have allowed community members to provide public comment remotely during that period when county board members were allowed to attend virtually and take formal action on matters before the board.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
Historically, when compared with other places, McHenry County crime rates overall are low. This is true for both violent crime and property crime which are both well below the US average. However, for anyone who has been a victim of crime, especially serious violent crime, the answer is yes. And for their friends, family, and neighbors the answer is still yes. Strategies to address these require broad community input and support and working closely with local officials in impacted areas. Keeping people safe should be a priority.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
Again, I will actively engage with constituents and work in partnership with municipalities and the County DOT to identify areas of concern and advocate recommendations. Roads and bridges considered to be in critical condition based on sound engineering principles should take priority.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
Yes. The largest portion of property taxes go to support local schools. County Board members need to actively support economic development and investment opportunities that can create a vibrant and sustainable economy, thus reducing the tax burden on homeowners.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
Yes. Remove any measure that solidifies decision-making in the hands of a single individual. Checks and balances are used for a reason. Ensure County Board members recuse themselves from any issues for which they lobby, or matters handled by firms they represent.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
The spirit of this act is predicated on the belief that government actions should be open and transparent and available for public review. This is very much in line with my belief that government works on behalf of the public and those actions should be taken in public.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
As a past Trustee with the Conservation District, I am familiar with the Open Meetings Act and the need for transparency and accountability. I believe that the people’s business should be conducted in public and understand that even the appearance of impropriety can be detrimental and erode public trust. As a County Board member, I will be accessible and responsive.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
The pandemic has shown the importance of getting assistance out as quickly as possible to residents and businesses in need. With resources still available, we need to identify and actively distribute federal dollars targeted to local businesses for assistance and re-investment. Leverage partnerships with other agencies to promote “shop local” programs and events. Encourage local businesses to think “globally” and seek opportunities that have a global impact.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
No. Government business should be conducted in the open.
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign nondisclosure agreements with private businesses?