Mike 'Shorty' Shorten: 2022 candidate for McHenry County Board District 4
City: Crystal Lake
Occupation: Account manager, Office Depot
Previous offices held: Township Trustee in Nunda
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 running for McHenry County Board because I want to continue to support the efforts of the board to remain a fiscally conservative and responsive to the community on a local level.
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. My priorities would be supporting fiscally responsible budgeting and spending, improving access to mental health services and working to increase a broader range of employment opportunities in the county.
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. I will only support balanced budgets and will hold the line on taxes.
The chief threats to the county which will need to be prioritized are:
1) Ensuring that the law enforcement arms of county government are adequately funded to combat the increases in crime that are bleeding over from Chicago.
2) Improving the access to mental health services for quicker treatment for those in crisis.
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. There are always opportunities to improve transparency, however I have never had any challenges accessing information or elected officials.
Many of the meetings are streamed live and are recorded, although I would advocate for reviewing the technology used to ensure that is the most user friendly and cost effective, given the ongoing evolution in technology.
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. I have always found departments approachable, quick to respond and utilization of technology to be very user friendly. I would support implementation of improved technology, provided the investments were justified by cost offsets.
As a representative in my district, I will remain accessible to my constituency to help understand any difficulties that they may encounter, and use their feedback to collaborate with department heads to improve service.