McHenry County Hopefuls Debate Single-Party Rule

Article excerpt

Byline: Jameel Naqvi jnaqvi@dailyherald.com

Is one-party rule good for McHenry County?

That was one of the central questions asked this week when Republican incumbents in McHenry County Board districts 3 and 5 squared off against Democratic challengers and one Green Party candidate in an interview with the Daily Herald this week.

In District 3, incumbent Republicans Mary Donner of Crystal Lake and Nick Provenzano of McHenry are facing a challenge from Democrat Kathleen Bergan Schmidt of Crystal Lake.

In District 5, incumbents Virginia Peschke of Bull Valley and John Jung of Woodstock, both Republicans, face challenges from Green Party candidate Frank Wedig of Woodstock and Democrat Paula Yensen of Lake in the Hills.

Currently, only one of the McHenry County Boards 24 members is a Democrat, former Lake in the Hills Trustee Jim Kennedy.

Bergan Schmidt and Yensen hope to change that this year.

"I want it to not be a one-party monopoly," Bergan Schmidt said. "The only way to do that is to elect different parties."

The Democrats said the board needs ideological diversity to be representative of the countys residents.

"One party rule is very bad, just like it is in Cook County," said Yensen, a Lake in the Hills trustee.

But Republican incumbents argued board members partisan leanings have little bearing on most issues that come before the county board.

"Its irrelevant if it doesnt manifest itself at the county board level," Provenzano said.

Wedig, the sole Green Party candidate, said county board members have been at odds on a number of issues, even though all but one ostensibly represent the same party. …