Democrat Herb Reichelt is running for one of two seats in McLean County Board District 5. (Photo Courtesy Herb Reichelt)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - A Democratic newcomer is eyeing one of the two open seats in the McLean County Board District 5.
Herb Reichelt, 48, is a 25 year resident of McLean County. He works as a Development Officer for Lincoln College and spent four years in the United States Air Force.
"I'm hoping to do something different in terms of bringing collaboration, cooperation and a non-partisan approach to the business of county government," he said. "My goal is to really add my voice, to add some balance to the board and to put my skills, experience and talents to work for the county."
Reichelt is also a Normal Public Library trustee.
Below you'll find where Reichelt stands on some of the issues facing the McLean County Board.
Reichelt agrees that managing the budget is important, but he said he would be open to a small increase in the tax levy, if it became necessary.
"My concern would be that we can only cut so much. How much cutting has been done since the beginning of this economic situation? Are we at a point now that we can't cut anymore? If we are, we'd have to raise taxes a little bit, to make up for that loss of revenue in the EAV," he said.
The county is working to address a $350,000 revenue drop because of a decrease in McLean County's equalized assessed value this year.
Reichelt said he considers himself a fiscal conservative.
East Side Highway
District 5 serves east Normal, and Reichelt said the growth on the east side needs to be addressed, and the proposed east side highway could be a proactive way to do that.
"We have to look in terms of ten, twenty or thirty years out," he said. "Growth will happen so let's be ahead of the game and be proactive and manage that with a purposeful intent. This highway can be built in increments as I understand, so we don't have to do it all at once, but if we're going to build it for the future, let's start today so we can have it for ten years out."
He also said a highway on the east side could ease traffic on Veterans Parkway.
The McLean County Board is weighing the benefits and downsides of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the process of extracting gas from the ground using water.
Reichelt says the ramifications of the process need to be studied thoroughly.
"Is there an issue regarding pollution? Is there an issue regarding the water left behind? So that's an issue I'd like to know about and learn about, and if we're going to do fracking, I'd like to know how best to do that," he said.
Fracking currently requires a special use permit in McLean County.
Reichelt is running against Republican incumbents John McIntyre and Sondra O'Connor.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.