I’m going to put up as many of the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water questionnaires as I can get to.
Endorsed candidates are
- District 1: Andrew Gasser
- District 2: Donna Kurtz
- District 3: Nancy
- District 4: John Hammerand
- District 5: John Jung Jr. and Zane Seipler
- District 6: Ersel Schuster
ALAW County Board Candidates Survey: Primary Election March 18, 2014
THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT
1. What scenario would necessitate an increase in the county’s tax levy and what are your
parameters for determining the magnitude of that increase?
I do not see a scenario that would necessitate and increase in the county’s tax levy. The tax payer
is already struggling. Property values are not rebounding, and many families are still upside down
on their mortgages. County government has to find a way to cut spending.
2. Do you agree with the recently passed 2014 legislative agenda of the county including support for legislation that grants counties more permissive authority and the ability to expand non-property tax revenue sources? (Can be found in the January 21, county board meeting packet). Why or why not?
No. I am fundamentally opposed to increasing taxes.
The question needs to be asked, “Have all possible spending cuts been utilized?”
The answer to that question is “No”.
Every taxpayer dollar has to be stretched.
There are ways to cut the budget that are not being seriously discussed, its time they were.
3. Can you identify five specific areas of concern in the Unified Development Ordinance that are being discussed or have recently been discussed in the joint Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning and Development Committee meetings?
- Watershed Issues
- Overlay Districts
- School Impact Fees
- Designation of zoning for Equestrian Purposes as well as Kennels and Shelters
- Signage (Digital Specifics)
4. What areas, if any, of County government could be more efficient and save taxpayers money?If you believe there are services or functions that could be more efficient, how would you (or how have you, if incumbent) formally review County programs to ensure their necessity and improve their efficiency?
The Sheriff’s Office could be more efficient. Administrative vehicles are wastefully provided to non-first responder members of the administrative staff. Several positions that were once civilian and non-union are now staffed by union officers or supervisory officers. The Sheriff’s administrative staff has increased due to CALEA and other certifications that have expanded the number of higher paid supervisory officers.
The various committees are tasked with oversight and approval of spending and program management. If elected I would take the time necessary to educate myself on the fiscal issues I am charged with addressing and ensure that I have a thorough understanding of the dynamics involved. That would include personal visits to department heads and other employees who may, and should have insight into efficiency improvements.
TRANSPARENCY AND COMMITTMENT
5. During past primary elections, candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Addendum to Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but filing it now with us is entirely voluntary. ALAW will not endorse any candidate who does not fill out the form. Will you fill out and file your form with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.)
6. Tell us why you do or do not think the county board chair should be popularly elected and if the referendum passes, how do you propose to protect the integrity of the election process from big money and special interests?
I do not think the county board chair should be popularly elected. The last thing the county needs is another power position that can be obtained by the candidate with the largest campaign account. Election by the county board members ensures that campaign money doesn’t influence selection. The members have an understanding of who is best suited to lead. I think the vote should come from within the board.
If the referendum passes it will be very hard to protect the integrity of the process. I would recommend that restrictions be placed on contributing entities and the candidates.
7. Have you accepted donations from any organization that does business with the County? If so, please provide details.
8. What have you done to prepare yourself for the office you seek?
I have studied the issues most often discussed in local media. I have spoken with constituents. I have questioned county officials. I have expanded my formal education to include disciplines that focus on social problems, technology, business management and politics. I have engaged myself in local politics and community service.
WATER RESOURCES AND /LAND USE
9. What do you foresee as a solution when the county population reaches a level that the aquifers can no longer support? Alternatively what do you see as a way to avoid this crisis?
The county cannot afford to reach a population that the aquifers can no longer support. The water availability is already stressed. Residential development should be stopped. The UDO should address technologies that can be utilized to hasten replenishment and limit waste. Runoff and drainage should not be directed to the Fox River or its tributaries. It should be mandatory for such water to be directed to the aquifers.
10. Would you oppose any land use change that would exceed a locally recharged aquifer’s capacity?
11. Do you support redistributing groundwater from water-rich areas to areas that have over drawn their groundwater?
12. Do you agree with the proposition that new development should be located where infrastructure exists, to minimize the extension of new roads, utilities and services, protect farmland and water recharge areas, and minimize the concurrent tax increases for existing residents?
Yes. If new development is allowed it should be located as stated. I do not support new development as a general principle.
13. Should transportation improvements be evaluated based upon their return on investment and prioritized according to this cost/benefit analysis (i.e. Randall Rd. and Rt. 62 intersection)?
All improvements should be evaluated on the basis of such analysis. For example, do you support the $115 million plan to fix 3½ miles of Randall Road, including the intersection at Route 62?
No. I have done some research and followed the reports. I do not see the cost benefits of some of the expenditures.
How do you measure the benefit to the taxpayers of this proposed expenditure?
For this particular project I would consider traffic congestion, air/ environmental pollution concerns, noise pollution and any detrimental impact on local business. The Randall/ Algonquin Road improvements have relieved traffic congestion but I do not support the Continuous Flow Intersection funding that has passed over the past weeks. Saving 60 seconds of travel time does not justify 16 million dollars as well as the other expenses that have already been accrued.