Eric John Sivertsen: 2022 candidate for County Board District 6

 
Updated 6/1/2022 11:07 AM

Bio

Party: Republican

 

Office sought: McHenry County Board District 6

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Q&A

Q. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A. I am a life-long McHenry County resident. I have been involved in local politics and government since before I was old enough to vote. I believe in holding elected officials accountable and making sure that they do what is right for the citizens. I have a proven record as a fiscally responsible elected official. We need people with common sense on the McHenry County Board, who will stand up for the citizens and not just rubber stamp anything that is set in front of them.

Q. If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?

A. I am not an incumbent to this office, but I was a Member of the District 15 School Board for 8 Years. In my time on the School Board, I consistently voted against the property tax increases, and fought to try and bring a fiscally responsible voice to the conversation. I also worked to increase transparency at District 15. When the board was presented with a proposal to begin recording and posting the meetings online, and it had a 6- figure price tag, they decided not to record and post the meetings. I bought a $100 camera and used an old tripod to begin recording and posting the meetings myself.

Q. Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.

A. As individuals, we can adjust and change with the market rather quickly. As costs change and revenues fluctuate in our own budgets, we respond quickly. When it is someone else's money being spent, politicians tend to not be as deterred by market changes. The biggest looming threat is the effect of inflation and the rising cost of goods and labor. Because of the revenue and budgeting cycles for a unit of government, the effect of the changes will not be reflected in the financial projections in a way that catches people's attention until long after changes needed to be made. The biggest portion of the budget is labor. As the cost of goods increases, employees need to make more money in order to maintain the same standard of living. When you combine that with the lost revenue from the loss of the ICE contract, there are several departments within McHenry County Government that are going to need to make some adjustments.

Q. How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.

A. McHenry County does better than most of the units of government that I have dealt with. The McHenry County Clerk's office has always been prompt in responses to my FOIA requests. The online meeting portal provides citizens with live and recorded video of the meetings and provides the entire board packet in an easy to navigate format. They even have video of most of the committee meetings, but I would like to see that expanded to all committee meetings.

Q. What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?

A. It has become clearer throughout the pandemic that a lot of things that used to need to be done in person can be done remotely. There are opportunities to make more services available remotely on an ongoing basis, to not only save the county money, but to also make it more convenient for the residents. The improvements in the access to documents and automation in the Recorder's office have been huge, and I would like to see some more of that automation brought to other departments including, but not limited to, planning and development.

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