As a future board member representing you, I will keep you informed of major issues affecting you. Some of the ones that will be a focus are:
Open Communications/Transparency: One of the current issues with our present representative is a lack of outreach to the community. Residents are kept uninformed about many local issues and their input is not actively sought. All relevant stakeholders should be utilized to ensure sound decisions are made. This will be a key area of improvement so as to actively inform constituents of what is transpiring, engage in discussions on the issues, and use their feedback as one element in the decision-making process.
Term Limits: One area that many view as critical to ensure a functioning, representative government at all levels, Federal, State, and Local, are term limits. There are positive and negatives when considering term limiting elected officials. However, I believe that term limits would be beneficial at all levels to help ensure fair and equitable representation. If elected, I will conduct a survey of my constituents to determine their opinion on how many terms Kane County Board members should be allowed and pledge to pursue that. I personally feel that 2 four year terms are sufficient and, if so elected, will step aside at that point whether a term limit is successfully enacted or not.
Fiscal Responsibility: With a strong financial background, budgeting and county expenditures will be a constant focus. We must ensure that taxpayer revenue is effectively used while maintaining current services. One example of an area to target is County Board member health benefits. Though a part time job, members are offered full time health benefits. Over half make use of this benefit even though all have alternatives that don't require County expenditures. This change has a conservative projected 10-year savings of 2.5 million dollars. This expense seems unjustifiable in light of the struggle many residents have acquiring reasonably priced insurance, yet their tax dollars are used to subsidize this benefit for part-time Board members.....
Additionally, state law limits counties of greater than 800,000 residents to 18 County Board members. Kane County currently has 24 and a much smaller population. Reducing the board to 18 should be considered, especially with probable district changes associated with the 2020 census. Reducing the board by 6 members will save at least 1.5 million dollars over 10-years.
Poverty: The poverty level in Kane County has fluctuated from 9.1 to 11.5% between 2010-2017. The rate as of 2017 was 10.5%*. We must continue work to reduce this level while ensuring funding to programs that support those in need. An aggressive goal would be to reduce the poverty level by at least 30% in five years. Unfortunately, this may initially increase in 2020-2021 due to economic distress related to the pandemic response.
Kane County Poverty*
*Source: United States Census Bureau
Gun Violence: While gun violence can most directly be addressed at the state and federal levels, we all must support common sense regulations to reduce it. Legislators will not act to stem the tide of unnecessary gun related deaths until a critical mass of citizens demand it. Our law enforcement officers, for their safety, should know how many and the types of weapons a person owns before engagement, if practical. Registration will provide this. Possession of unregistered weapons, including ghost guns, should result in harsh penalties. Gun owners experiencing mental health issues should have access limited temporarily for their safety and those around them. These actions can be accomplished while respecting rights under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. I am tired of subjecting our children to active shooter drills at school. This must change! Hopefully you will join myself and others as we make this happen. (Note: As a rationale, responsible gun owner myself, I understand the many reasons people desire firearm possession. We can still have that along with sensible reforms that make everyone safer.)