Latest updates from the campaign and KC Poor Governance Alerts (KC PGA).
Will Bachman believes in good governance at all levels. Locally in Kane County, the board members should always act with integrity and in the best interest of the residents. It is important for board members to strive to be honorable in execution of their public duties. When these concepts are not upheld, they should be publicly disclosed and mitigated to the extent possible. With this in mind, Will has decided to implement reporting to keep Kane County District 14 residents informed via Kane County Poor Governance Alerts (KC PGA).
KC PGA's will be posted in the News page of this site and also on Facebook and Twitter. The associated social media accounts can be reached via: Facebook - Will Bachman, KC Board 14 and Twitter - @board_kc.
Please like and follow the Facebook page if you would like to be aware of alerts and have an easy method to comment! Additionally, please email Will if you are aware of actions that may be representative of poor governance so it can be reviewed.
Kane County Poor Governance Alert (KC PGA) 4: Carelessness Costs Kane County Taxpayers
Issue: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, was approved for recreational sale beginning on January 1st of this year. In October 2019, the county board approved a measure to allow a 2.5% tax on such sales. So far this is great news! A new revenue source to help reduce the burden on taxpayers. Unfortunately, Board Chairman Chris Lauzen failed to ensure that the appropriate paperwork had been filed. What this means is that the revenue that should have been received has most likely been lost. At least a year of the revenue will not be received, potentially more. Lauzen estimated that the loss could amount to $1 million while, once again, attempting to lay blame on our state's attorney's office. More details can be seen in the reference below.*
Resolution: The resolution is a simple one; hire a county administrator. Taxpayers have lost the benefit that the marijuana sales tax would have provided to the county coffers due to the extremely poor management by Board Chairman Lauzen. Luckily we have a choice this week. For board chairperson to replace the outgoing Lauzen, we have to decide between the Lauzen endorsed David Rickert (see KC PGA1) or Corinne Pierog. Corinne has mentioned during the campaign that she supports the hiring of a county administrator, echoing my call from earlier in the campaign. She has even offered to reduce her salary to make that happen.
A county administrator would offer professional expertise in managing the various county departments. Additionally, he/she would handle these actions in a nonpartisan way. Our county residents deserve to have the best qualified people working on their behalf. They should not suffer monetarily due to the negligence of a board chairman operating in a role that could be more capably filled. The choice is an easy one. Please vote Pierog and let's get an independent county administrator!
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 8:23 PM
Kane County Poor Governance Alert (KC PGA) 3: Taxpayer Savings Averted
Issue: The Kane County Board's Legislative Committee on July 22 and the Executive Committee on August 9 rejected attempts to add an advisory question to the ballot this year on whether to reduce the size of the board to 18, despite the efforts of Mo Iqbal.* Currently there are 24 board members. An IL statute states that counties of over 800,000 residents are limited to 18. Kane County has a population of under 540,000. Board members, though a part time job, receive annual compensation of approximately $25,000 to $46,000 depending on benefits. The 10 year savings for this reduction would be between approximately 1.5 and 2.8 million dollars.
In rejecting the non-binding proposal, board members stated that this would dilute representation and not be cost effective as compensation would increase for remaining members. These arguments are somewhat lacking when considering the facts. Yes, board members would represent slightly larger areas. The increase would be less than 7500 additional residents per district. This sounds substantial, but how engaged are most board members in outreach to the community? It is limited or nonexistent in many cases. Additionally, modern communication methods allow you to reach wide swaths of the community with a few key clicks. It should not be overly burdensome.
As to increased compensation for additional board member duties eliminating any savings, that does not work when you look at the numbers. If additional compensation is required, my initial calculation of the required maximum compensation would only average $1250 per member annually. This amount in aggregate would be $22,500 or less than 1 of the eliminated positions.
Resolution: This has been rejected by the board. Board members should review this again after the upcoming election as it will clearly benefit Kane County taxpayers. Should it not be acted on, I can guarantee that the required signatures will be obtained so it can be placed on the ballot for the next election. Hopefully our elected officials quickly readdress this issue. Discussing it with your constituents is encouraged!
Sunday, June 7, 2020 9:22 PM
It was with a heavy heart that I watched another black person, George Floyd, die while being detained by law enforcement officers in Minneapolis on May 25th. This tragedy is merely the latest instance of minority deaths while engaged in interactions with the police. The protests that have followed have been largely peaceful, with tensions at some locations being elevated by various instigators and the crowd control units' response. While the violence and property damage is regrettable, it pales in comparison to the triggering event, another death occurring under the color of law. This abuse of power should never occur and it must be stopped now... (Click statement title to view in full)
Thursday, May 21, 2020 10:05 PM
This KC PGA was delayed so as not to distract from local pandemic response efforts.
Issue: After a mid-March emergency declaration by Kane County Board Chairman Lauzen, several Elgin Community College (ECC) employees suggested that non-essential County employees should be allowed to work from home. This had occurred at ECC and many businesses and other organizations nationwide to protect the health of the employees and their families. One board member alluded to Lauzen opposing non-essential employees working from home. Lauzen's response was a nine page letter that mentioned his response to the crisis, but in part unjustly attacked the board member. The attack consisted of allegations of a personal nature that in no way involved county business. Details of the incident and further Lauzen comments demeaning state employees can be found at this link to the Daily Herald website1, COVID 19 Squabble, where it was reported.
Resolution: None.This type of behavior is unacceptable for any public official, especially those in a leadership position like Kane County Board Chairman. At a minimum, Lauzen should issue a public apology to the board member, the state employees in general, and Kane County residents for his inappropriate actions. Kane County residents deserve and should demand better than this.
Saturday, February 15, 2020 11:02 PM
In this year's Republican Primary, the incumbent, Chris Lauzen, appears to have essentially appointed County Treasurer Dave Rickert to be the party's chosen representative. The actions taken in this race, while legal, appear to be both unethical and undemocratic in my opinion. Kane County residents deserve better... (Click the item title for the full story)