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updated: 2/10/2012 4:26 PM

Debbie Miller: Candidate Profile

Kane County Board District 22 (Republican)

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  • Debbie Miller, running for Kane County Board District 22

      Debbie Miller, running for Kane County Board District 22

 

 

 

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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: Elgin

Website: http://www.electdebbiemiller.com

Office sought: Kane County Board District 22

Age: 57

Family: Married, three children and three grandchildren

Occupation: Owner: ExpandingWellness.com Partner: Deliberate Leaders

Education: Associates Degree 2012 Completing Minor in Political Science

Civic involvement: Gail Borden Library Read to Rover Program Member Team Therapy Dogs Inc. Board Member Elgin Area League of Women Voters Ambassador Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce Little Angels Raffle Girl Volunteer Dog Therapy Program St. Joseph Hospital Past President and Vice President Parents & Teachers of Hillcrest School

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I strongly believe all officials in representative government need to be public servants who represent all the people and not any special interests of theirs.

If I may be so bold as to say I truly believe there is no room for politics in representative government.

I want to diligently serve the public and I am committed to working together as a team member with other Kane County Board members as one cohesive team who has a sense of cooperation and who take great care to look at all the issues that arise with an open mind and leave all bias out of the equation.

The rights of each individual person in this country is very important to me and putting solutions together that everyone can agree on is the best outcome for everyone involved.

I believe that in any given situation everyone can win if everyone involved works toward that goal with a sense of cooperation.

I have seen this in action in many of the organizations I have had the pleasure to be a part of so I know it is possible.

Key Issue 2

When I am in the neighborhoods of my district there is one plea that comes up again and again and that is 'please lower my real estate taxes'.

And I totally understand why they are saying this.

Today our monthly tax bill in many instances is equal to a house payment and this was not the case when I bought my first house in Elgin many years ago.

And since many people today are struggling to pay just their mortgage this is a huge problem.

I am pledging to do everything within my power as a Kane County Board Member to work toward the goal of lowering the real estate tax burden.

Whenever the need for funding comes up I will diligently research other possible ways to obtain the funding instead of raising real estate taxes.

And I will make sure that any funding that is requested is something that is absolutely necessary before I vote to approve it.

I take my fiscal responsibility to the people of Kane County very seriously.

Key Issue 3

Local economic and job growth is very important to me and seriously impacts the people of Kane County.

I will do whatever I have the power to do as a Kane County Board Member and whatever I can as a person who lives in Kane County to strengthen our local economy and bring more jobs to this county.

I am already brainstorming ways of creating this growth with other like minded people in the Elgin area.

We do not have to wait for the Federal or State government to help us we can work in cooperation to bring people together who live in Kane County who have the money and the knowledge to create new businesses.

And we can also create incentives to entice business to move to Kane County especially manufacturing.

At one time Elgin was a huge manufacturing area and the area was booming.

Many items sold around the world had the logo 'Made In Elgin' either stamped on them or sewn on them.

We can create this again throughout Kane County.

I am committed to doing this.

Having more manufacturing will allow Kane County to be more self-sustaining and really help our local economy grow.

Questions & Answers

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 feel the present ethics ordinance governing the conduct of elected officials and county employees holds all employees and officials working in Kane County accountable for their actions.

I am still doing intensive research on the difference between the existing ordinance and the new proposed ordinance being considered by the board.

I am unconvinced that County-Wide Elected Officials should not have to abide by the Kane County Ethics Ordinance as stated in the proposed ordinance.

The people of Kane County pay for the services of these elected officials whether by local taxes collected or by state taxes that are collected.

These elected officials must include ethics in every action they take in the name of Kane County Government.

Of course every public servant in Illinois must take the oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

This oath and the honor to have the sacred trust of the people of Kane County should be all any public servant needs to exhibit ethical behavior.

But as we all know today that is not always the case so establishing an accountable ethics ordinance that requires public servants to behave ethically including County-Wide Elected Officials is a very important and necessary action.

The county's portion of gambling proceeds has been decreasing every year for several years. What is your plan to prioritize use of that money? What might be done to wean the agencies and programs that receive this money off of it?

All of the organizations who have received Riverboat funds provide important and vital services to Kane County and all should be a priority but if there is not enough money to support everyone who requests funds then I would prioritize disbursal of these funds as follows: The organizations requesting Riverboat Funds who provide the most needed vital life services should have the highest priority.

And the organizations that are in the most desperate need based on what absolutely must be done to keep people safe such as repairs and maintenance should have the next highest priority. Then the organizations who have projects that impact the most people, serve the widest variety of populations, cover the most project categories and encompass the largest geographical area of the County based on the most needed services in the county should receive the next priority.

Other important points to consider would be: Is the organization well managed and financially responsible with their resources' Is there a large probability the organization will continue to provide needed services to the people of Kane County for the long term? Some projects that may be used to wean the agencies and programs that receive Riverboat funds off of these funds are: 1. Encourage agencies to work together in cooperation to combine resources and not duplicate services. 2. Use a small portion of the Riverboat fund to hire an independent grant writer to help write grants for the local service organizations. 3. Have combined fund raisers where several service organizations work together to help raise funds for each other.

This raises awareness for more of the service organizations and can save money so more of the funds raised go to the organizations. 4. Start and support a Service Learning initiative in Kane County where the county high schools and Elgin Community College provide student volunteers who also receive high school and college credit for volunteering. This allows the students to put their new knowledge to work immediately which greatly helps them retain what they learned.

It is a win-win for everyone involved. 5. Take a small portion of the River Boat fund and develop a Kane County Volunteer Service which utilizes a website where volunteers can sign up and organizations can locate needed volunteers based on their strengths and expertise.

An incentive for people to volunteer besides feeling good, which is the best incentive of all, would be to encourage the business sector in Kane County to offer discounts to people who volunteer.

This will not only help the service organizations of Kane County by providing the volunteer services they truly need but will also help to grow the local economy.

There may be other similar organizations but I could not locate one specific to Kane County

Do you believe the Kane County court system needs a computer system upgrade that might cost as much as $12.6 million? If so, do you support using RTA sales tax money to fund the cost, or do you have a different plan? If not, what is your alternative plan?

Based on what I have learned about the present court computer system it is old and does not function very well and since I personally tried the system I agree it can slow productivity and should be replaced if at all possible.

The system is slow and does not always work well, I had to back track and start from the beginning a few times before I could actually access what I was looking for.

While the new system will cost the county a large sum of money some of that expense will be offset by allowing county officials and employees to be much more productive.

If a new court system is purchased the software must be thoroughly researched before that purchase.

Consideration should be given to ease of use, how often upgrades are performed, cost of upgrades, how well it is suited to the task it must perform, how much support services will cost & what they will support, etc.

Before the system is purchased there must be software demonstrations from each vendor under consideration for the officials and employees who will be using the new system along with officials in the county who have expertise to decide how well the system will perform. I have experience working with software as far back as 1979 when I was a data entry person with St. Joseph Hospital and as a computer specialist working for the U46 School District for a number of years, my son is a programmer and I design my own websites for my businesses so I know how important it is to find the best software for each individual need.

Due diligence must be performed in order to get the best software for the money that will be spent.

From the research I have done RTA sales tax should be used for transportation so I do not support using RTA funds to purchase this new court software.

Funding for the new court system should come from the Court Document Storage Fund, the Court Automation Fund and the County Fund To Finance the Court System.

And there will be increased revenue for the above funds in 2012 because based on the 2010 census Kane County now has a population of over 500,000 and per state statute once a county reaches this category counties are allowed to raise their document and court fees.

There are also state grants such as the Byrne JAG grant that can help fund the purchase of this new software.

Do you believe county board members and the chairman should receive health insurance and pension benefits' If you are running for one of those positions, do you plan on accepting those benefits' Why or why not?

I believe county board members and the chairman should have the opportunity to invest in a retirement program if they chose but I do not believe the people of Kane County should have to pay for my retirement.

As far as the health insurance program if it is part of the compensation for being a Kane County Board Member I am not against it, although I am not against paying a portion of the bill.

Many other people who work in Kane County pay a portion of their health insurance so the Kane County Board can do this too.

Being a county board member is a very important role and we need county board members who have the strengths and skills to make Kane County the best it can be for the people who live here.

While I have been told it is a part time position I think it in order to do the best job it is much more than just part time.

There are several committees and meetings that must be attended and I feel very strongly that to do a good job as much time as needed must be invested to consider the important issues at hand and come up with solutions that will not only allow the people of Kane County to live well but to thrive.

The decisions made by the board members impact every person living in Kane County and must never be taken lightly so due diligence must always be performed.

I have heard the board is considering stopping both the pension and health care programs so this may not be an issue I will be dealing with when I am in office as it may already be decided before I get there.

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'

The best way to resolve this issue is to establish open communication between the county board and other elected officials the county board does not have control over.

When a budget issue comes up the people involved need to come to the County Board and all parties need to sit down, listen with open minds to the issue and work diligently to understand and resolve the issue in a respectful and mutually beneficial manner that serves the People of Kane County.

It is important for everyone in Kane County Government to work together in cooperation to tackle the issues that must be solved.

The old saying ?united we stand and divided we fall? is just as true with Kane County Government as it is with any other entity.

The county board can enforce the budgets they set by not approving any additional funds above what the budget covers with an attitude of cooperation to work out the issue when there is a definite need to provide more funds to any of these departments.

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