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updated: 2/10/2012 4:27 PM

Karl Regnier: Candidate Profile

Kane Auditor (Republican)

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  • Karl Regnier, running for Kane Auditor

      Karl Regnier, running for Kane Auditor

 

 

 

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: North Aurora

Website: http://www.karlregnier.com

Office sought: Kane Auditor

Age: 48

Family: Married, three children

Occupation: Corrections Officer for the Kane County Sheriff Office

Education: Associates of Science in Business and Accounting, Waubonsee Community College, 1984 Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Aurora University, 1992

Civic involvement: Aurora Area Girls Softball League, Coach, U8 League Representative and member of the Board of Directors Previous High School Coach, Aurora Central Catholic

Elected offices held: Union President, Kane County Sheriff's Office, 2009-present

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The most important issue for me in this elections process is accountability. As a public employee, I am accountable to the people of Kane County for ensuring their tax dollars are being spent correctly, efficiently and effectively. I will analyze spending and work with department officials to find ways to reduce spending and eliminate unnecessary expenses. I am not afraid to question spending or voice my opinions and concerns when I do not agree with the way something is being done. I will also analyze past and current spending to better prepare for future spending, ensuring value for your tax dollars. As auditor, it will be my duty to responsibly manage the taxpayer's money and I will do so.

Key Issue 2

Integrity is essential in an office such as the Auditor. If elected, I will conduct the work of the Auditor's Office in accordance with ethical principals. As Auditor, I will be a public employee, and as such, my first priority will be the people of Kane County. I will perform my duties and make decisions that best serve the public interests, honoring public trust. My decisions will be objective, fact-based and supported, and nonpartisan.

Key Issue 3

Teamwork within and between all county officials and offices will help to make a stronger, and more effective and efficient county government. I will strive to work professionally with each and every elected official so that together we can create a productive and fiscally responsible county government.

Questions & Answers

One of the items the auditor looks at is whether or not county board members have filled out their economic interest statements. Do you believe as auditor you can or should also review whether or not any conflicts of interest are contained in those statem

As Auditor, I think it will be my responsibility to review the economic interest statements of the county board members to determine whether or not there are any conflicts of interest evident. County board members are clearly in a position of power. Reviewing the economic interest statements helps to balance this power by ensuring they are not using it to their own benefit by rewarding individuals for their support and patronage. It will be my job to represent the best interest of the taxpayers and ensuring that there are not conflicts of interest is an important part of this role. I will make sure that decisions are based on the taxpayer interest's and not individual board member's interests.

How do you resolve the ongoing debate over the county board setting budgets for departments run by other elected officials whom the county board has no control over? How should the county board enforce the budgets it sets'

I believe that the County Board and elected officials should work together to set realistic departmental budgets. There have been numerous power struggles over the years between the county board and departments on spending that have resulted in additional county tax dollars being wasted on litigation. While I don't think elected officials should be given a blank check to set their budgets, the County Board also has to be realistic and take into account uncontrollable costs that may arise, especially when these costs are the result of a County Board contract or decision.

The County Board cannot enter into a contract that includes an expense that was not budgeted for and then not provide the department with the necessary funds to meet the demands of that expense when they agreed to it. Expecting any department to fund a financial obligation that they have no control over and that was not budgeted for by the County Board is wrong.

How would you go about improving government transparency?

Ensuring transparency in the Auditor's Office is essential.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am very straightforward and honest. I will tell things like they are and won't make excuses. I believe that people want their government to be transparent and need to know what is going on, who's making the decisions and how their tax dollars are being spent. I will work to find ways to make the information more accessible to individuals and will gladly meet with anyone interested to discuss any concerns they may have. I will take people's concerns seriously and work to resolve the issue or help them to better understand why things were handled in the way they were. I will not hide anything or sugar coat something to make it appear other than what it is. I will also ensure that all county records are published for taxpayer review. I will disclose any and all information to increase confidence in taxpayers that their dollars are being used effectively.

Do you believe the county board members and chairman should receive health insurance and pension benefits'

I think that whether or not the county board members and chairmen should receive health insurance and pension benefits should be up to the taxpayers. This is something that should be placed on the ballot for vote since it is taxpayer money that pays for these benefits. As a taxpayer, I don't think this should be a blanket benefit that is provided to all county board members. Many of the county board positions are not full-time positions and I don't believe they should receive ?full-time? employee benefits.

Do you support a more stringent ethics ordinance for Kane County governing the conduct of elected officials and county employees' Why or why not? If so, what should the ordinance contain?

I do support a more stringent ethics ordinance that would include governing the conduct of elected officials, as well as county employees. I believe that elected officials should be held to the same standard, if not higher, then the county employees. Being in a position of power and representing the interest of the people must include acting ethically and with integrity at all times, and this should be expected of county officials. I would support including an enforceable provision to the current ethics ordinance that would include elected officials and believe that elected officials should sign this policy upon taking office.

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