Kane County Board member Jennifer Laesch says she's missed some recent votes because of personal issues, including caring for her ailing mother, but she's committed to representing District 3 for the rest of her term and another four years.
Laesch had not responded to interview requests in recent weeks regarding her candidacy and opinions on the views of her challenger and fellow Democrat, Don Ishmael. She has since responded and started appearing at more county meetings.
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"I am one of the few county board members that sit on a majority of meetings," Laesch said in an email interview. "I believe I have eight or nine committees, to include forest preserve, while many commissioners have three to five committees. I have also taken steps to inform each chairman of the committees I am part of and Chairman (Chris) Lauzen of when I am expected to be absent to a meeting."
Laesch also fired back at Ishmael's promise to decline pension and health insurance benefits that come with the part-time county board position. Laesch has called for county board seats to be considered full-time jobs on the county payroll.
Laesch said she wants another four years to help make Kane County an environmentally friendly place to live with plenty of activities for children and families. She wants to use the county's health capital fund balance to create construction jobs. And she supports a continued freeze on the overall county and forest preserve tax levies until there are at least two years of economic growth in the county, including home values.
Like Ishmael, Laesch supports the Longmeadow Parkway project on the north end of the county.
"Seeing the congestion of traffic and having the support of the local mayors and village officials informed me that this is a much needed project and will assist in jobs for the county," Laesch said.
Both candidates believe some redevelopment of the Settler's Hill landfill site is needed. However, Laesch is the only candidate in the race who specifically said she will not support an outdoor music venue or the placement of a hotel/convention center on the old county jail site.
"I do feel that adding natural activities to open space is a good balance when using tax dollars."
The primary is March 18. There is no Republican seeking the seat.