By KEVIN P. CRAVER
June 26, 2017
WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board approved the state prevailing wage rates, ending a three-year streak of casting a symbolic protest vote against them.
Board members voted, 19-3, to adopt the wage schedule, which requires local governments to pay workers hired for public construction projects a specific wage set by the Illinois Department of Labor.
Audience members, many of whom were union members and local residents who came to encourage a vote to approve, applauded when the final vote was tallied.
The County Board since 2014 had voted against prevailing wage, while being careful to instruct county staff to follow the law.
Board member Donna Kurtz, R-Crystal Lake, said voting against prevailing wage sends a negative message to the community, and disputed the notion that the wages are responsible for the county’s sky-high property taxes.
“I think in the end, the overall benefits well outweigh the negatives that some may perceive regarding prevailing wage. It’s the right thing to do – we know it’s the law. It’s the right thing to do,” Kurtz said.