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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.
City: West Dundee
Office sought: Kane County board District 21
Family: Married to Craig for 28 years. We have two children, Haley and Gus.
Occupation: Trustee in the Village of West Dundee, garden center sales/design, and freelance interior designer
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, Drake University, 1983. Continuing education in architecture and CADD at C.O.D., Harper and Elgin community colleges.
Civic involvement: "Earth Day, Every Day in West Dundee" Community Gardening Project - organizer - 2010 -2012; West Dundee Appearance Review Commissioner - 2005-2007; District 300 schools: Buildings and Facilities Oversight Committee -- 2007 to present, Dundee-Crown POMP (Parents of Music Performers) President, 1 year, member, 4 years; Dundee-Crown Booster Club member -- 1 year, Dundee Middle School Plan Team -- 5 years Dundee Highlands Elementary PTC -- President, 2 years, member, 7 years; New Friends & Neighbors -- President and committee chairman; Dundee Township Backyard Garden Club -- 3 years; Heritage Fest volunteer/organizer -- 2003 to present; Dickens in Dundee volunteer/organizer -- 2005 to present; Irish Fest volunteer -- 2 years; MDA "Lock-Up" fundraiser -- 2011; Shop with a Cop 2011 volunteer; JDRF Family Walk Team Chair -- 12 years; Palatine Plan Commissioner - 1995 - 1996; Jaycees -- member, 9 years; Palatine Jaycee of the Year winner 1994; IL State Individual Development Vice-President of the Year 1995
Elected offices held: Trustee - Village of West Dundee - 2007 to present (two terms)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Transportation in District #21. Huntley Road expansion. The Village of West Dundee has spent many years trying to impress upon both State and County governing officials the importance of the Huntley Road expansion to the area in order to alleviate congestion and provide safety improvements, such as a walking path, which would also provide an important link in the County?s goal of connectivity of recent Open Space purchases. I would continue to pursue funding and devote my time to open transportation avenues from Randall Road to Spring Hill Mall and the East and West Dundee downtown retail districts. Longmeadow Parkway. The process to build a new Fox River crossing in northern Kane, the first since the construction of the tollway, has begun. This important project will alleviate the strain on the existing crossings and improve commuter travel. Construction funding for this project, as proposed, would be through the use of a tollway system. I would work to find alternative funding for the bridge through both the state and federal governments. As the representative of District #21, I would be supportive of this project in order to see it through to successful completion.
Key Issue 2
Smaller government. It is imperative that, in order to hold taxes level, the Kane County board continue to look for efficiencies at every turn: removing redundancy, improving technology, consolidating services, simplifying and clarifying processes, identifying and improving upon weaknesses, and clearly communicating the Board's priorities.
Key Issue 3
Intergovernmental cooperation. The harsh economic climate of the past years has made it more difficult for any governmental body to "go it alone" when planning a project. Both the Dundee Township Park District and the Village of West Dundee has had great success partnering with surrounding communities through intergovernmental agreements (IGA), in order to maintain or improve service. For example, West Dundee's Fire Department shares a mechanic with neighboring Rutland-Dundee Fire and the Dundee Township Library district partnered with the Dundee Park District to build their new Randall Road facility. The competition for available grant money is becoming more competitive. Partnerships such as these often allow participants to access more funding and derive more benefit for them than they could by going it alone. Collaborations can also encompass both the public and private sectors. I would work to see the Kane County government and the Kane County Forest Preserve improve their partnerships with local municipalities for road projects, community policing, and especially for the sharing of information, providing access to resources that smaller towns, like those in District #21, may not individually possess. Everyone wins when we choose to work together.
Did the county board get it right when they decided to leave an ethics ordinance that is more stringent but more open to a legal challenge in place? Would you support the creation of more detailed economic interest statements?
I support a stringent, enforceable ethics ordinance. Corruption is a breach of trust that undermines confidence in government, endangers public safety and wastes taxpayer money. Two Kane County State?s Attorneys have expressed concerns that parts of the current form of the ordinance attempt to impose standards of conduct for all the elected offices in the county including those over which the county board has no legal authority. Board members and staff should never knowingly leave the taxpayers open to the possibility of litigation costs. I would have liked to have seen the ordinance pass with a strong recommendation to other county elected officials that they pass similar ethics ordinances. After filling out the form for the last 6 years, I would support the creation of a more detailed economic interest statement.
Would you support the buildout of the shell space in the Kane County jail if it could be shown that the space could/would be used to increase profits from housing federal inmates?
The County should consider every opportunity to develop such an asset, though I would not like the County to take on the financial burden alone. Intergovernmental cooperation with State or Federal funding sources would have long-term benefit: providing adequate jail space paid for by funding sources outside of the Kane County taxpayer.
Do you believe the 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 it, or do you have a different plan? If not, what is your alternative plan?
Kane County needs a computer system that works for the entire judiciary system. If the existing system is deemed beyond repair, I would support such a purchase if it would increase efficiency and safety, as well as eventually reduce employee levels in the Clerk's office. Current RTA statutes allow for a portion of the sales tax money to be used for public safety. Finding and capitalizing on efficiencies within the Clerk?s office should be the first step in funding the remainder of the cost of a new computer system.
Do you support the call by the state's attorney and public defender for raises for their staffs? Where should that money come from?
Any department is not run effectively or efficiently if staff is continually teaching a new employee their job. One of the keys to retention is competative salary, but, considering the 2013 flat-line budget request, there doesn?t seem to be support for a pay raise. As with the Clerk?s office, I would encourage the State's Attorney to look within their department first to find the money for salary increases. Several recent examples of County departments funding their own improvements: Chief Judges Brown and Spence funding a portion of the new IT system for the Clerk?s office and the Transportation department analyzing their Contracts & Commodities line items to fund their employee requested raises. The people of Kane County are still struggling through a sluggish economy so I would not ask the taxpayers to support raises through additional taxes. I am optimistic that a solution might be able to be found from within.
What aspects of the Fabyan/Settlers Hill campus redevelopment vision created by the task force do you support? What should happen to the old county jail property?
This area has grown over the years to become a true entertainment destination. After attending several Utilization Committee meetings, watching the plan go through several drafts, and talking with many potential residential users, I am pleased to see the active recreational uses; pedestrian walkways, sledding, cross county course, fishing pond, hilltop biking, and the overlook. I think these attractions will also support the existing commercial businesses in the immediate area. The proposed commercial uses such as hotels, expansion of the golf course, and the music venue, for example, should be market-generated. I would like to eventually see the old jail demolished and the site sold to a private developer. If the right project came forward, I might consider a public/private partnership, but these projects should be highly scrutinized; making sure these businesses are self-sustaining and require no annual public subsidies. What I like most about the project so far is the fact that the committee seems to really be taking into consideration the desires of the public. The biking trails and music venue were removed from the woods at the neighbor?s request, for example. I would ensure that this type of responsive government would continue through the duration of the development.