Bill Lenert: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 5


Party: Republican

Office sought: Kane County Board District 5

City: Sugar Grove

Age: 70

Occupation: retired

Previous offices held: Kane County board member and Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioner


Q: Do you support an increase in the countywide retail sales tax to help pay for expenses related to the SAFE T legislation? Yes/No? If yes, which SAFE T-related expenses, specifically, should be covered with the additional tax? If no, how do you suggest paying for the increased expenses related to the SAFE T legislation?

A: No, we have adequate revenue to balance our budget for 2023 and enough Federal relief money and revenue to handle 2024 and possibly 2025.

Q: What should be done to retain county staff? If you propose increases in salaries or benefits, how should those added costs be covered?

A: We have to increase virtually all county staff salaries. My suggestion is a 4% annual salary increase every year for the next 3 years. This additional cost will be covered by current revenue and reserves.

Q: Do you believe the county auditor should be an elected or appointed position? Why? Are there any other countywide offices that are currently elected positions that you believe should be appointed instead? If so, please explain.

A: I believe that we should allow the citizens the opportunity to elect whomever they feel is appropriate. Appointees may often be politically-influenced.

Q: The county has seen an increase in truck traffic. How do you propose to address the infrastructure needs that come with this increase in traffic? Do you support a moratorium on warehouse developments in unincorporated areas of the county? Yes/No? Please explain.

A: Yes, I am in support of a moratorium on warehouse development in Kane County. Considering the negative effect these warehouses have on the natural environment and quality of life and health for surrounding neighbors, I cannot support additional warehouse development. I support economic development that would be beneficial to all of our residents such as retail, office space and residential development.

Q: What direction do you think the county should move as it relates to its aging buildings? Build new or rehab existing buildings? Why and how would you propose the county pay for any new buildings or improvements?

A: As board members we should always evaluate what direction is most cost-effective. In these times of economic turmoil, the last thing we want to do is put our wants (shiny new buildings) before the needs of Kane County tax payers.

Q: How do you think the county should spend the remaining COVID19 relief funds?

A: The county should spend the remaining COVID 19 relief funds to help balance our budget and keep taxes frozen.

Q: The COVID pandemic also put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?

A: This is a major concern of mine, and I believe we have made it a priority. We have already allocated approximately $10,000,000 to this need through our Public Health Department. There is also an additional $4,000,000 that was distributed to outside/independent services to help address mental health services.

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