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Kelli on the Issues

As a public servant, I am committed to tackling the most pressing issues that our community faces. I believe it is crucial for us to maintain fiscal responsibility, provide mental health and addiction services, reduce gun violence, increase internet access, give attention to women's issues, and practice responsible economic development.

Fiscal Responsibility
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Fiscal Responsibility
As Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee and a former bank auditor, I am able to study financial statements to ensure taxpayer money is being spent responsibly and according to the budget. 
  • My budgeting experience will help ensure that McHenry County is allocating your tax dollars to the areas most needed.

  • I vet each department's budget and asks the hard questions if something on the budget stands out. 

  • I challenge the "status quo" and tries to find solutions that work for the county government and taxpayers. 

McHenry County’s property taxes are too high. 

  • This is especially hitting those with fixed incomes.

  • The majority of property tax income (approximately 70%) is directed to our schools. McHenry has wonderful schools, but the state needs to create a different way to fund our schools without putting so much of the burden on taxpayers. 

McHenry County Board members are eligible for full medical and dental health insurance coverage!

  • Some of the County Board members have elected to receive this health and dental insurance coverage at the taxpayer's expense.

  • I have been fighting since I was elected to eliminate the insurance benefits for the County Board members because most of the members own their own businesses, have prominent jobs in our community or are eligible for Medicare.

  • Why are these part-time employees receiving health and dental insurance on your dime?​

 How I can help reduce our property tax burden:

  • Investing in economic development will reduce McHenry County residents’ property taxes because it will broaden the tax base and create jobs that pay a livable wage. 

I will continue to use my background in finance to ensure that the McHenry County Board serves as good stewards of your tax dollars.

Psychology Session
Opioid Epidemic Mental Health
Mental Health and Addiction Services
​Mental health and addiction recovery services are increasingly in demand, and our local providers have a difficult time keeping up with the need. 

 

  • Lack of staff is currently the main barrier to providing timely access to these services, and this causes the budget constraints of these nonprofit organizations.

  • McHenry County’s service agencies need more funding to attract and retain qualified staff.

  • Waitlists for all services need to be reduced significantly.

  • Funds should continue to be allocated toward drug/alcohol addiction education, counseling, and inpatient and outpatient programs to combat this disease.

  • There is an increasing homeless population, and the majority also have addiction issues. The cycle of mental health issues, addiction, and homelessness needs to be broken.  

  • It is widely known that prevention of addiction costs significantly less than care after the fact. Investing in workforce housing will help keep residents from homelessness and provide a stable life.

  • I believe we need to continue funding preventive programs for residents, such as the Drug Court, DUI Court, and Mental Health Court. Through these programs, McHenry County has helped those who have been afflicted with addiction or mental health disease, and recidivism or relapsing has been extremely low.

I am committed to prioritizing mental health and addiction recovery services and increasing access to these resources for all members of our community.

Gun Violence
Gun Violence Prevention

Gun violence is an epidemic in our country, and McHenry County is no exception. Every day, I hear of mass shootings, school shootings, and just a short drive away there was a horrific shooting in Highland Park on July 4th.

It is my strong opinion that we need to do all we can to keep our children and residents safe. This includes:
 

  • Supporting a safe firearm storage bill. 

    • I have proposed the following at the Law & Government meetings: “McHenry County supports legislation that would mandate safe firearm storage to ensure firearms are not accessible to unauthorized individuals and minors.”

    • Those in charge of the county will not allow this to be on the agenda, so a vote can be taken.

  • Supporting Karina's Bill, which would allow law enforcement to remove guns from people who have an order of protection issued against them.

  • Encouraging our county to ensure our law enforcement agencies are following through on reporting and acting on Red Flag Laws. 

I believe it is of the utmost importance for us to strike a balance between exercising our right to bear arms and ensuring the safety and well-being of our community members.

Online Class
Internt Access
Internet Access for All

McHenry County should be using the millions of dollars available in grant funding to provide internet access to those who have little or no internet in our county. All residents should have access to affordable, high-speed internet. There are whole sections of McHenry County that struggle to access the internet — a necessary part of everyday life, health, work, and school. 

 

In October 2022, a Brookings Article stated:

“As even the FCC has stated, rural areas have less access to broadband infrastructure than urban areas, and rural areas have fallen behind urban and suburban levels of fixed broadband by 54 percent. Only 19 percent of rural Americans have more than one broadband option.”

 

The USDA website states: 

“Unfortunately, 22.3 percent of Americans in rural areas… lack coverage from fixed terrestrial 25/3 Mbps broadband, as compared to only 1.5 percent of Americans in urban areas, according to a recent report by the Federal Communications Commission.”

I will continue to advocate for McHenry County to apply for grants to fund the installation of high-speed internet in the under-funded areas.

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Economic Dev
Economic Development

Robust economic development broadens our tax base and lessens the burdens on McHenry County's working families.

 

I will continue to use the power and capital of county government to bring in businesses that:

  • Pay their fair share of taxes via property and sales tax revenues from the profits generated by your dollars.

  • Provide livable wages for working people in McHenry County.

  • Act as good neighbors to our residents and good stewards of our environment and natural resources.

Small businesses form the backbone of our communities, and I am committed to helping them thrive.

Women in Democracy
Women on the Beach
Women's Issues

Women’s issues:

  • I believe women should have the ability to make the best decisions for themselves and their families about their reproductive health. 

  • All individuals must be informed with medically accurate information about their bodies and all available options.

  • The diversity of women's life experiences allows them to look at situations from different perspectives, therefore, creating a stronger county. 

 

Other issues I fight for:

  • The gender pay gap, violence against women and children, and discrimination against marginalized communities all need to be reduced.

  • All children should have access to good education and healthcare. 

  • Adults should have training opportunities, a livable wage, healthcare, and job opportunities.

  • Child care, elder care, health insurance, and transportation.

  • The minimum wage needs to rise above the poverty line.

I will work to make sure that women’s unique perspectives are represented, and unique voices are heard by the McHenry County Board.

 As U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood said,

 “If there is no seat at the table, bring your own chair.”

Economic Development
Sustainable Energy
Environment
Environment

Protecting McHenry County’s Water and Open Space
 

​McHenry County has a duty to its residents to maintain a clean environment and plentiful water.

  • In 2023, I urged the county to add a bullet point to its Strategic Plan to work toward a zero-carbon footprint. The board approved this suggestion, and since then, they have started evaluating all facilities and are looking to see what investments they will make. I have met with those involved to keep up to date on their plans.  

  • By being proactive, the county will save money in the long run by using solar energy to power the government facilities. This will also help keep our community cleaner and healthier.​

  • I think solar farms are a terrific way to create renewable energy, as long as they are vetted thoroughly.

 

There are ways the county can reduce water pollution, and I ask these questions every year.

  • What are the salting practices for our Transportation Department, and how can they be improved?

  • How can we encourage more farmers to join in the Natural Fence program to reduce snow blowing onto our roads?

McHenry County abounds with beautiful natural spaces, and I will advocate for sustainability so we preserve and protect our environment.

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