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posted: 2/26/2012 12:01 AM

Burns, Sarto for Kane County Board chairman

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

The Republican race for Kane County Board chairman went from surly to ugly at Mach speed. Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and State Sen. Chris Lauzen have been down this road before (see 2008 14th Congressional District race). The latest salvo came when Lauzen raised allegations Burns used his city email account to conduct campaign business. The emails were made public when a paid Lauzen campaign adviser FOIA'd the documents. Burns says it was an inadvertent overlap of email addresses done unintentionally. When it comes to policy, we trust both candidates will try to keep budgets lean. The chairman's job is executive in nature, a leadership position that must build consensus among 24 board members to find solutions while listening to more than half a million people. The chairman's job description is similar to what Burns has been doing successfully in Geneva for 11 years. When the recession hit, the city froze salaries, kept positions unfilled when people left, and gained some wage concessions. Mostly, it has run like a well-oiled machine with Burns in charge. It is up to the state board of elections and, ultimately, the state's attorney's office, to decide whether some of Burns' emails violated the law, and whatever that decision, the issue emphasizes the importance of paying careful attention to separate campaign and public business. But Burns remains the better candidate, and he is endorsed.

On the Democratic side, former Carpentersville Village President Bill Sarto and former St. Charles Mayor Sue Klinkhamer both have a wealth of political experience. Neither are blemish-free. Sarto took heat on this page as president for his immigration stance. "I overreacted ... I should have been using my head," he says now. And, stressing that he loves a challenge, he has developed a platform of ideas for running the county and he's actively engaging voters on the campaign trail. Klinkhamer, by contrast, has taken an almost anti-campaign stance with little visibility. Sarto is endorsed.

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