Andy Davis, McHenry planning and zoning commissioner, tapped for City Council

Davis will fill final year of Shawn Strach’s 5th Ward term

Andy Davis is set for swearing in as the new McHenry City Councill 5th Ward Alderman, replacing Shawn Strach.

Andy Davis, currently a McHenry planning and zoning commissioner, is set to be sworn in Monday night as the city’s newest alderman.

He was selected by Mayor Wayne Jett to replace Shawn Strach as McHenry’s 5th Ward alderman. Strach resigned April 16, citing health and personal reasons. Jett said he interviewed six people for the role before settling on Davis.

“During my interview with Andy, I was thoroughly impressed by his passion for our community and his strong desire to contribute to its growth and development,” Jett said in a text to the Northwest Herald. “His experience ... on planning and zoning will undoubtedly be a valuable asset as we navigate the various projects and initiatives in the coming months.”

Davis, 51, works in IT security and lives in McHenry with his wife and three daughters. He first got involved with city government after talking about the planning and zoning role with both Jett and Strach three years ago, Davis said.

“It sounded interesting and [like] a way to get my foot in the door” and become involved with local government and politics, Davis said.

Before serving on the planning and zoning committee – and throwing his name in the running for City Council – neither Davis nor his wife were that involved in local government other than school board elections, he said. They voted but didn’t do deep dives into the candidates on the ballot, he said.

“I was a little green when I went in” to the planning and zoning commission, he said. Since those early years, he’s learned much more about “how things work and why it is done the way it is done,” Davis said.

He’s seen how many agencies may be involved in what could seem like a simple zoning request, Davis said.

“That was the biggest thing for me. It opened my eyes that there is a lot more behind the scenes ... how hard it is to just get things done,” he said.

Davis served on planning and zoning with area real estate agent and McHenry High School District 156 Board President Dawn Bremer, who lauded his selection.

“While it is undoubtedly a loss for planning and zoning, I’m confident his expertise and passion will now be channeled toward guiding our city’s growth and steering us toward a prosperous future,” Bremer said.

Davis will be sworn in during a special board meeting, set for 5:45 p.m. Monday at the McHenry City Council chambers. After the special meeting, the council is set to hold a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the city’s comprehensive plan update and go into a closed session regarding a potential purchase of property.

Davis will fulfill the remainder of Strach’s term, set to end in spring 2025, at which time he would need to run for and win election to retain the seat.

That was one of the reasons he was interested in the role, Davis said – getting a year of experience on the council before he’d have to be reelected.

“I will be able to get a behind-the-curtains look” at the job before needing to run for the seat, he said.

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