Ensuring the Fiscal Responsibility of McHenry County

As Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee and a former bank auditor, Kelli is able to study financial statements to ensure taxpayer money is being spent responsibly and according to the budget. Her budgeting experience will help ensure that McHenry County is allocating your tax dollars to the areas most needed.  Kelli vets each departments budget and asks the hard questions if something on the budget stands out.  She challenges the "status quo" and tries to find solutions that work for the county government and the taxpayers.  With the reduction of residents in McHenry County (and Illinois, overall), the money used to fund our schools and support the county budget will start to decrease, and our property taxes are at risk of increasing yet again.

McHenry County’s property taxes are too high.  A record number of residents are moving out of state in order to find an affordable place to live.  This is especially hitting those with fixed incomes: county residents on pensions, social security recipients or low income families. The majority of the property tax income (73.69%) 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 the taxpayers. 

In my opinion, Springfield needs to restructure how all Illinois taxes (sales, income and property) are allocated to the state's expenses, including education.  The county boards across Illinois need to put pressure on Springfield to start this process.  By putting the burden of funding our school districts through property taxes, not only does this penalize the school districts, students and teachers from lower income communities, but it also creates huge property tax bills that are causing people to move out of Illinois.

McHenry County Board members are eligible for full medical and dental health insurance coverage.  Most of the County Board members have elected to receive this health insurance coverage.  This means that many of the current board members are receiving medical and dental insurance 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 the members have other ways to receive this insurance because they own their own businesses, have prominent job in our community or are eligible for Medicare. Why are these part-time employees receiving health and dental insurance on your dime?

Having almost free health insurance for part-time elected officials is the definition of entitlement.  If other part-time government workers are not receiving health care, neither should our County Board Members.

If we eliminate health and dental benefits, the budgeted expense for the County Board would be reduced significantly.  See below for two options:

Below is a breakout of Salary and Insurance costs not including the Chairman:

Current Salaries                   Current Insurance Costs               Total Cost

     $504,000                                   $389,835                              $893,835



Proposed Salaries  - 18              Insurance Costs                      Total Cost

     $378,000                                           $0                                 $378,000       58% Savings  ($515,835)