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posted: 11/4/2016 1:00 AM

Time for change in coroner's office

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As Kane County Coroner from 1976 to 1999, I may have been only countywide female Democrat, but that didn't stop me from working with the Republican County Board to turn the coroner's office into the envy of counties statewide.

There is no Republican or Democratic way to run that office -- there's just the professional way.

Sadly, since 2000, the office has taken a turn for the worse. Theft, felony misconduct charges, decomposing bodies, evidence destroyed, unnecessary autopsies, and frivolous expenses have all taken their toll. I can't tell you how difficult it's been to watch a once respected institution become the laughingstock of a state already known for its self-destructive politics.

But there is hope. Coroner candidate Tao Martinez will set things straight. He will restore the fiscal integrity, respect, dignity, dedication, and compassion that office has been missing for far too long. Martinez is local business owner who's tackled budgets four times the size of the coroner's budget. He understands you have to live within your means. He knows the only way forward is to work with the county board -- not against them.

More importantly, as president and founder of ArchAngels BioRecovery Inc., Martinez has treated Kane County families enduring the worst possible tragedies with the utmost dignity and respect. Grief and tragedy affect all of us, it's not unique to Republicans or Democrats. Martinez isn't a politician, he's a public servant. He is the only candidate with the experience, the background, the certifications, the spirit, the insight, and the plan to turn the coroner's office around.

It's time for a change.

Mary Lou Kearns

Retired Kane County Coroner

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