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updated: 9/21/2012 4:36 PM

Michael Donahue: Candidate Profile

Kane County board District 11 (Republican)

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  • Michael Donahue, running for Kane County board District 11

    Michael Donahue, running for Kane County board District 11




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



City: Geneva

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Kane County board District 11

Age: 51

Family: Married, two children in college.

Occupation: Executive Vice-President, Co-Owner, Midwest Wind Energy, LLC.

Education: B.S. Community and Regional Planning, Iowa State University

Civic involvement: Rotary Club of Geneva, 1992-2002 Chairman, Marklund Top Hat Ball, 2009-2011

Elected offices held: Kane County Board, 2010-present.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Redevelopment of the old jail site and Settler?s Hill complex. Kane County residents have endured the impacts of hosting a regional landfill for more than 30 years and it's time to keep the promise to redevelop the area as a public recreation amenity with private economic development opportunities.

Key Issue 2

Fiscal discipline. I will call for a zero-growth budget in 2013 like I did in 2012. As our economy remains feeble, Kane County must continue to hold the line on spending and taxes through careful management of its resources and tax levies.

Key Issue 3

Hiring a county administrator. Kane County has over 1250 employees who deserve professional, not political management. A good county administrator can save several times his or her own salary by managing operations more efficiently. Politicians are not well suited to manage day-to-day operations because they are conflicted by political concerns like fund raising and re-election.

Questions & Answers

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?

No. The existing ordinance is not enforceable under Illinois law. It is being disregarded by candidates currently running for county office who are taking campaign contributions that exceed the limits in the ordinance because they have no fear of prosecution. The notion that we have a county ethics ordinance in place is a fallacy and will remain as such until an enforceable ordinance is enacted.

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?

Kane County is already housing federal inmates for "profit" and it seems to be working well. If federal revenues can be used to pay for expanding the jail for future county use I would support that. The term of the agreement with the feds would have to be long enough to pay for the improvements, but terminate at a point in the future when Kane County needs the capacity for itself.

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?

Yes to both, provided that the county?s IT Department plays a key role in the system's design and procurement, and its operation and maintenance. The system is necessary for the Circuit Clerk, Judiciary and Public Safety departments to function property and efficiently. Together these departments comprise 80% of the county's operations.

Do you support the call by the state's attorney and public defender for raises for their staffs? Where should that money come from?

I will call for a zero-growth budget in 2013 like I did in 2012. Yet, the county's personnel are its most important resource, so I support prioritizing funds to pay competitive wages. However, wage and salary increases must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget to retain a zero-growth bottom line.

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?

I am chairman of the task force and I support all the concepts reflected in the current version of the plan. In addition, I will prioritize a program to restore the Fabyan Woods to its original native condition and improve accessibility for passive recreation and public safety.