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updated: 2/10/2012 4:24 PM

Jennifer Barconi: Candidate Profile

Kane County Board District 16 (Democrat)

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  • Jennifer Barconi, running for Kane County Board District 16

      Jennifer Barconi, running for Kane County Board District 16

 

 

 

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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: South Elgin

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Kane County Board District 16

Age: 38

Family: Married to Todd, three children (Brianna, Madeline and Jimmy)

Occupation: Director of Sales Wentworth Technology

Education: Elgin Community College 1991-1993 United States Air Force, Flight Medic 1993-1996

Civic involvement: American Legion, Advocate for Mental Illness and Disabilities, Sunny Ridge Family Center Volunteer

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

JOB CREATION/IMPROVING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KANE COUNTY

I will work on the issues that matter, advocating for commerce, industry and development in Kane County.

We need a dedicted Business Development Manager that concentrates on economic and work force development. This person needs to promote local job growth in Kane County.

Illinois' economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include financial assistance, a participation loan program, and a biotech training investment program.

I will work hard to identify and meet the needs of the business community through leadership, education, support and encouragement.

Key Issue 2

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS REFORM

We need to collectively work together to improve the quality of life for the residents of Kane County. We need to put aside the political in-fighting and pay-to-play .

We are public servants that need to serve the public.

Key Issue 3

LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES

As I knock on doors, residents are upset that they are paying the same amount if not more on property taxes on a devalued home.

They ask me at the door, "Is this a tax hike?" It is my opinion, that our elected officials think they are entitled to this money. If values keep dropping, all services will have to be evaluated.

We will then need to educate the Kane County Residents.

We need to be faithful stewards of constituent's tax dollars.

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 support a more stringent ethics ordinance.

The biggest problem with the 2010 Code of Ethics is the 12 provisions that could not be imposed on any elected official, only county board members that passed it. These provisions include bans on pension-double dipping, hiring relatives and campaigning for local politicians.

The State's attorney said the county board had no power to insist that the ethics advisor not be a politician, Kane County employee/contractor or member of a political party.

The State law should be questioned and changed.

Kane County residents deserve to be free of conflicts and political bias in their county government.

Currently, the State's Attorney would be charged with enforcing the ethics code. Interesting, when the county board acts as the funding arm for the State's Attorney.

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?

The 2011 Revenue numbers have diminished greatly as gambling options increase and the economy struggles. At its highest point, Kane County's share reached as much as $12 million.

For 2012, the county is anticipating about $5.5 million.

The Kane County Board's riverboat subcommittee is recommending revisions in how the county distributes 2012 proceeds from the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin.

The annual fund was established as part of the original licensing agreement for the casino. Typically, about $1 million is disbursed in external grants. The rest of that money is spent on county projects. As riverboat funds shrink, Kane County Board members need to make difficult choices. Programs that received funding in the past will see funds reduced or cut altogether.

It would be a good idea for the county to save some of that money to prepare for further reductions in the riverboat fund next year.

The County Board Executive Committee passed a resolution on restating some of the policies and procedures for the riverboat fund, which funds external grant programs for county non-profits. It also funds some internal county programs as well.

The limit is set at $100,000 per grant. I would reduce the limit to $50,000.

We need to make sure the county does not accept applications from government bodies for projects that would be typically funded by that taxing body.

With riverboat revenue on a significant decline for several years, the county needs to be on the lookout for other methods of funding.

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?

A $12,600,000.00 computer program that needs to be bought right now. Seriously!

The Kane County Executive staff's lack of concern as to the burden on us tax payers is horrible.

At the time, Chief Judge Brown, Circuit Clerk, and the County's IT department hired Brown's son, Marcus, at a salary of $90,000 to oversee the vendor selection process. Nepotism?

We need to explore all possible options and these need to be presented to the County Board Technology Commission. There are three viable solutions: 1) New Computer System costing the residents an estimated 12.6 million 2) We need a consultation with the executives in DuPage County about their functional Case Management System. Deploying a regionalized system would be minimal cost to the taxpayers.

3) Buy upgrades to the current Janos system that would solve the problems of the Chief Justice, District Attorney and the Clerk of Circuit Court.

We don't rush to pay $12,600,000 for a computer program until a cost analysis of all options are submitted to the Board for a vote.

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 do not believe part time county board members should receive health insurance and pension benefits.

If the Chairman's position is changed and a full time administrator is hired then he/she should not receive benefits. However if the Chairman is the full time administrator then he/she should receive health and pension benefits.

The county needs to conduct an in depth analysis of the current county pension system with no double dipping allowed.

When elected, I do not plan on accepting those benefits.

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 powers of the elected officials are controlled by the 'State's Internal Control Statute', which gives each elected official the right to run his or her office independently.

To avoid budget arguments in the future, the settlement between the Kane County and Circuit Clerk forced the Kane County board to draft a new budget process ordinance to ensure proper communication and clarity between the county board and department heads. When elected, I will make sure a new ordinance gets implemented. Communication and a mutual respect will help determine a realistic budget.

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