Our View: Mental health board now full

The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:

Thumbs up: To the McHenry County Board for filling all the seats on the Mental Health Board for the first time in eight months. It’s been a tumultuous time for the Mental Health Board, with the departure of key leaders and board members over the past year and a half. The board still needs to find an executive director, but, hopefully, some needed reform and some unneeded politicking from some County Board members will quiet down long enough to allow the board to function properly.

Thumbs down: To the McHenry County College Board of Trustees, for essentially ruling out the option of expanding its health science and fitness programs somewhere other than its main campus off Route 14 in Crystal Lake. Board Chairman Ron Parrish was the only trustee who argued that the college had not done enough to fully vet vacant buildings throughout the county. Pioneer Center for Human Services recently bought a 41,493 square-foot building previously owned and occupied by the now defunct Family Service and Community Mental Health Center for less than half the cost of building it. Is the college certain there’s not a similar deal to be had for its planned expansion?

Thumbs up: To Spring Grove Public Works Supervisor Matt Wittum, who leads an innovative group fighting this winter’s harsh snow and ice in a creative way – with a mixture of salt brine and beet juice. It’s kept the roads clear and saved taxpayers an estimated $10,000 a year. Spring Grove was rightfully awarded for its efforts with the American Public Works Fox Valley Branch Excellence in Snow award.

Thumbs down: To the proposed bill that would impose a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages in Illinois. As if Illinois residents aren’t taxed enough, some lawmakers want to make you pay more for that Diet Coke you drank at lunch yesterday. This latest attempt to get more of your money is another example of state government wanting to take parenting away from parents.

Thumbs up: To the area residents who will take part in Sunday’s Polar Plunge at Lakefront Park in Fox Lake to benefit Special Olympics. The Woodstock Police Department, a team from District 200 and students from Huntley plan to participate after accepting donations to encourage them in taking the cold dip. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Woodstock Police Department had already raised $4,170.