Five of the six candidates in the June 18 Kane County Council primary races for Districts 11 and 12 spoke about the issues in a joint interview with the Kane County Chronicle and the Daily Herald.
Leslie Juby and Walter Lindwall seek the Democratic nomination for District 11; Brian Jones and Jonathan Bretz seek the Republican nomination in this district; and incumbent Kenneth Shepro and challenger Bill Roth are seeking the GOP nomination in District 12.
Bretz did not participate.
why they run
Jones, a lawyer from Geneva, said he was approached by current board member James Martin, R-Geneva, to succeed him on the board.
“I think I would do a good job keeping continuity on the board,” Jones said. “I have the ability to work across the aisle with different people.”
Juby said she recently completed 12 years on the Geneva District 304 School Board, served on the Geneva Strategic Plan Advisory Committee for six years and served on the board of directors of the Academy of Mathematics and Sciences of Illinois for four years.
“I really feel like giving back to the community is important to me. I have a service history,” Juby said.
“I have a lot of experience that would allow me to work on a governance board, such as the county council. I really enjoy politics. … My interests and background would serve my constituents well as I have done in the past.
Geneva resident Lindwall said he was running for the county board “because I believe my community deserves someone who will put everything he has to work for them”.
“I have devoted most of my life to public service. I have made it my goal to always do what I can to help others,” Lindwall said. “I do this because I am inspired, personally, by my family and my little brother. He is someone who personally inspires me to do public service. He has cerebral palsy.
Roth, a St. Charles resident, said he is active in ministry at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, is a leader of the Knights of Columbus, and is a board member. from Fox Valley Court Watch.
Roth said he was showing up to have better communication with the county council.
“The only time I feel like I hear from Kane County is when I get my tax bill,” Roth said. “I believe in budgetary discipline. We need to be more efficient in how we run government. And part of my experience in…computer consulting in business has been efficiency…I don’t think the government does that very well sometimes and we have to.
Wayne resident Shepro said he was seeking a second term on county council. His past experience includes eight years previously as a county council prosecutor under former chairwoman Karen McConnaughay and as a 20-year-old member of the Kane County Regional Planning Commission who drafted a land use plan award-winning “who is still a role model across the country.”
“I was a leader in board redistricting, which is required every 10 years. I am very proud of the plan which was unanimously accepted by the county council,” Shepro said. “And unlike Springfield’s redistricting — which was heavily partisan and disregarded nearly every principle of fair distribution — our map was fair for all parties, for all parties, for all municipalities.”
Shepro said he also championed fiscal responsibility on the board, introducing the motion to kill the current administration’s efforts to raise the gas tax, and said he was a leader in defeating an attempted county tax increase.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, and I think the council more than ever needs experienced people to guide them,” Shepro said. “We have the least service-experienced board I’ve seen in 30 years in the community.
Shepro also countered Roth’s comment about the county’s lack of communication, pointing to the Kane County Connects newsletter, as well as the ability for the public to watch meetings live or after they’ve been taped.
Elected or appointed auditor
On whether the county should put a referendum on the ballot to appoint the auditor instead of getting that office elected, Jones said he doesn’t have a strong opinion either way.
Lindwall said he saw no reason not to elect the county auditor.
Roth said he didn’t see it making a difference.
“If we have this referendum, we need to expose voters to the pros and cons of keeping him elected versus nominated,” Roth said. “It should be appointed, not just by the chairman, but I think it should be a majority of the board voting on it. … He’s supposed to be independent but we want someone who’s fully qualified. And I think that by making an appointment, you are more likely to have a quality person taking care of it.
Juby said she strongly supports keeping elected, unappointed office for the sake of accountability and transparency in government.
“It’s one of the last levels of oversight and accountability we have,” Juby said. “The office is worth only by the person who takes care of it. And so hopefully the community will elect someone who will actually do the work.
Shepro said many counties in Illinois have eliminated their elected auditor positions.
“The auditor has more investigative power than any county official, including the state’s attorney, and is the only office that has the ability to go and see what other elected officials are doing,” he said. said Shepro. “And if you make it an appointment of the chairman of the county council, obviously the auditor has less incentive to investigate or bite the hand that feeds them.”
As for how the remaining COVID relief funds should be spent, Lindwall and Juby agreed that the funds should support mental health services.
“My suggestion would be to put the remaining funds into traditional grants for mental health services,” Lindwall said.
“I think the pandemic has really tested the ability of the community to deal with the increase in mental health issues, whether it’s in schools or in the community,” Juby said. “When we don’t have strong mental health programs, we see that spill over into other areas that social services need to support.”
Roth said the remaining COVID funds should not be earmarked for recurring expenses.
“Because we’ll be used to that and when the federal funding goes away, how are we going to pay for that,” Roth said.
Shepro said the board held lengthy public hearings on how to spend COVID funds.
“The purpose of the federal legislation was to allow the local government to recover lost revenue due to the pandemic,” Shepro said. “I support the decision that has been made to allocate initial funding for mental health. … All initial funding from outside organizations goes to mental health programs.
The county also used the COVID funds as intended — for its internal projects that stopped because the pandemic caused a drop in revenue, Shepro said.
Jones said he agreed with Juby and Lindwall that mental health funding is a priority and that mental health matters – but he welcomed Shepro’s view.
“Mr. Shepro has been successful,” Jones said. sale.”