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updated: 2/10/2012 4:25 PM

Kurt Kojzarek: Candidate Profile

Kane County board District 19 (Republican)

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  • Kurt Kojzarek, running for Kane County board District 19

      Kurt Kojzarek, running for Kane County board District 19

 

 

 

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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.kojzarek.org

Office sought: Kane County board District 19

Age: 32

Family: Married to Elissa Kojzarek (formerly Stowell) since 2010. Father to newborn son, Robbie. Father is Kurt F. Kojzarek. Mother Janet Kojzarek passed away in 2002. One brother (Kevin Kojzarek - 26) and one sister (Kara Kojzarek - 25).

Occupation: Director of Operations for Property Specialists, Inc.

Education: Bachelors of Arts, University of Illinois, 2001 Associates of Arts, Elgin Community College, 1999 Diploma, Larkin High School, 1997

Civic involvement: Past Kane County representative for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning CAC Past Elgin VFW Post 1307 Auxiliary Member 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Henry Schryer Council 654 Past Elgin City Commissioner for the Elgin Centre Township Officials of Illinois Trustee for Epworth UMC Parishioner at St. Thomas More and Epworth UMC

Elected offices held: Elgin Township Trustee (2005 - 2008) Elgin Township Clerk (2008 - Present) Republican Precinct Committeeman (2003 - Present)

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Fiscal Responsibility: The number one issue in my platform is the number one issue facing every family in our nation. When hardworking residents are forced to cut back their expenses, so too should our elected government officials.

If elected, I propose freezing the current tax levy as an immediate step, while the new County Board reviews all current spending and finds ways in which to cut waste. I oppose "gimmick" tax cuts such as the proposal to cut taxes for a single year by eliminating the capital funding. These types of gimmicks are based on political maneuvering rather than sound fiscal management, and have no place in government. We also need to review the overall capital plan for the county, assessing how we can better utilize existing facilities.

Key Issue 2

Job Creation:

While government doesn't create jobs, it is charged with creating and sustaining a business friendly climate that encourages job growth in the private sector.

The private sector is the economic catalyst that drives our economy.

Kane County can do a much better job or attracting high end employers by ending the practices of nickel and diming them with higher taxes and fees.

Key Issue 3

Ethics:

Residents want transparency, honesty, and integrity. They want their leaders to read the bills, come prepared, and vote their district. I am advocating opening the books, and establishing an online checkbook detailing county expenses. This initiative would make it more difficult for departments to hide wasteful spending. Political donations will no longer be a litmus test for government appointments.

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 do support a stricter ethics ordinance for both employees and elected officials, and believe reestablishing the trust between government and the people we represent should be a priority of any candidate running.

Far too often we are seeing the biggest political donors awarded the most sought after contracts and political appointments.

We need to be transparent in all County operations.

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?

Gambling revenue is not guaranteed income, and should not be budgeted as such.

As the State of Illinois continues to tax riverboat proceeds, and Illinois Democrats expand gambling options with additional casinos and other gambling ventures, Kane County's two riverboats are losing more and more patrons, decreasing the overall revenue for the County.

When the City of Elgin was first granted the Grand Victoria Casino, it implemented a policy that used the riverboat revenue for capital improvement projects, designed to bring more businesses and tax dollars to the City coffers.

Kane County should utilize a similar multiplying strategy of investing in capital improvements that would generate additional revenues by attracting new businesses.

I do not support utilizing gambling revenue to offset general revenue.

Current agencies utilizing riverboat funds should be examined for wasteful spending, with underperforming services either cut or re-evaluated for their merit.

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?

The current court system is no longer functional in today's cyber ready world.

Rather than patch and play, the County should have been planning for upgrades or replacements years prior. This issue speaks to the larger problem within the County, which is a lack of forward planning.

Our elected officials are reactionary, rather than proactive.

When reviewing the technological needs of the County, we must continually re-evaluate each application to determine whether our County is meeting the need that exists.

When purchasing a replacement system, it is imperative that we find a software program that can adapt to future needs.

In the private sector, my company chose such a product that is utilized to manage the thousands of homeowner clients we serve.

As our needs continued to grow, we are able to modify the software and adapt to issues not previously foreseen.

We recognized that such flexibility was needed when we originally purchased the product.

Kane County should follow a similar model.

The purchase of such software should be seen as a capital improvement to the County's overall operations.

Since the County did not establish a long term funding strategy for a future replacement, the next County Board will be forced to examine all possible means of funding available.

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?

If elected to the Kane County Board, I will be devoting a considerable amount of time away from my current employer in order to fulfill my commitment to the people of the 19th district.

The time needed to attend daytime meetings will detract from my fulltime employment, jeopardizing my ability to provide healthcare for myself and my family.

If the County were to eliminate these benefits, it would prevent a substantial cross section of the population from offering their leadership.

When discussing benefits of elected officials, we should be looking at those individuals who abuse the system by taking health and pension benefits from multiple layers of government simultaneously. Kane County has recently appointed a retired employee to a paid position, paying both his salary and pension simultaneously.

Throughout the state we see many elected officials taking pensions from multiple entities, all draining the public funds.

In many cases, these employees were given substantial raises just prior to their departure, thus securing a larger pension.

This type of 'double-dipping? is the larger problem that needs to be addressed unilaterally.

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'

As a former Trustee of Elgin Township, I have personally approved budgets governing both the Highway Department and the Assessor's Offices.

The head of each division personally presented their budgets to the Board, and justified their personnel expenses.

The Town Board, like the County Board, had a fiduciary duty to the residents to review these budgets to determine if the expenses are justified.

By making the County's budget more readily available and creating a virtual online check book of County expenditures, we would shed public light on the problem, informing the electorate of potential misconduct and allow these other offices to be held responsible before their voters.

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