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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.
Family: Shelly (wife), Kelly (daughter), Jack (son), and Casey (son)
Occupation: Business/Entrepreneur-Golf Club of Illinois & Waterwerks Car Wash
Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana
Civic involvement: Rotary Club
Elected offices held: Hanover Township Trustee 1984-1997, Hanover Township Highway Commissioner 1997-2006, Cook County Commissioner 2006-Present, Hanover Township Republican Committeeman.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?
I have spent my entire public career believing that raising taxes and fees is counter to providing economic vitality to our County and community. We should employ a private sector mindset to running the business of government.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
I have a proven track record of fighting wasteful spending and advocating fiscal responsibility in County government. I also have successfully worked with both sides of the aisle to help reform Cook County and the way we do business.
Do you agree with President Toni Preckwinkle's plan to have unincorporated areas annex to nearby suburbs to end the county's responsibility for police patrols and other services? If yes, should infrastructure in the unincorporated areas be brought up to municipal standards to encourage annexation? Should other incentives be offered to municipalities?
The cost of providing patrol services to the unincorporated areas are extremely high due to the disparate location of unincorporated parcels throughout the county. The quality of service also suffers because oftentimes the Sheriff's police has to travel great distances to answer a call. Whenever possible we should look to villages and residents to overcome obstacles to annexation and work to promote agreement to make these small pockets part of a neighboring municipality. This should only be done by agreement between homeowners and the neighboring municipality and not forced on either. The County has a committed fund to provide for infrastructure improvements in attaining a mutually agreed upon resolution.
Do you favor charging for parking at Cook County courthouses? If yes, should anyone be exempted from paying the parking fee? Who?
I do not favor charging for parking at the suburban Cook County courthouses. In FY2011 I voted 'NO' to establish parking fees at the courthouses.
What do you think of President Toni Preckwinkle's plan to reduce jail crowding by expanding electronic monitoring, reducing bonds and expediting bond hearings and pretrial proceedings?
This is one of the most important issues confronting Cook County government today. It currently costs $143.00 a day to house a detainee in our correctional facility. Whenever possible we should provide alternatives to incarceration to all non-violent offenders, being mindful that individuals charged with serious crimes must be held in jail. Proper scrutiny and time must be taken by the criminal justice authorities to determine which individuals should remain in custody or offer electronic monitoring/alternatives including prior criminal history, mental health status, and drug/alcohol dependencies. Alternatives to incarceration lead to lower recidivism and allow individuals to work and remain in their family environment.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
Pension-We must have comprehensive restructuring of our pension system which will ensure stability for County retirees but doesn't place an undue financial burden on the taxpayer. Healthcare-We must closely monitor the evolution of our current healthcare policies in light of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Bond Issuances-We must be resolute in the belief that any borrowing through bond issuances be singularly for long term capital projects and never for operating expenses. Additionally, any long term project must be strictly scrutinized as to their necessity. Workers Compensation-As chairman of the Workers Compensation subcommittee, I have implemented a claim verification process that will combat workers compensation fraud. We must continue to fight for a comprehensive return to work program countywide and reduce caseloads. Forest Preserve- We must provide expanded restoration of our vast Forest Preserve holdings while continuing to provide additional recreational opportunities for County residents.