Rick Williams: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 18


Party: Republican

Office sought: Kane County Board District 18

City: Unincorporated Blackberry Township (Mill Creek)

Age: 52

Occupation: attorney

Previous offices held: President and Trustee, Mill Creek Water Reclamation District. Current elected Member of the Kane County Regional Board of School Trustees


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, the SAFE-T Act is another example of unfunded mandates from the General Assembly and controlled by Chicago Democrats. The SAFE-T Act requires law enforcement and units of local government to implement policies without providing the funding for units of local government, such as the County of Kane, to pay for it. That puts the burden for such laws on the taxpayers of Kane County. I do not support any tax increase to pay for an act that makes Kane County residents less safe then they were before the law was enacted. Unfortunately, the increased expenses incurred as a result of this law need to be absorbed in existing budgets, and while that may result in a reduction in services, it's no different than working families have to incur with rising inflation and the cost of living. We have to live within our means, not tax and spend.

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: Kane County is well served by hiring and maintaining well qualified employees who are paid fairly and competitively. The job performance of county staff should be reviewed annually, and raises and salary should be commensurate with their experience, education and job performance - like the private sector. Their salary should further be compared to similar positions in the private sector and similar governmental positions in other counties. Budgeting for salaries and benefits should be done in a manner designed to keep and attract high performing employees.

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: The county auditor serves as an independent check and balance on the handling of County funds. By having an independent, qualified, and elected county auditor, it serves as a check and balance that the county might not otherwise have if the auditor was appointed by the very body he or she serves. The auditor should account to the people, rather than the body he or she audits.

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: We are not in a position to turn new business development away. Thanks to the failed policies coming from Springfield, we need all of the economic growth we can get. Kane County needs to plan for truck traffic in a smart, responsible, and efficient manner. A wholesale moratorium on warehouse development is not the answer, as this type of use, if done correctly, can bring much needed real estate tax revenue. Warehouse and distribution centers need to be located in areas where existing roadway infrastructure and resources are already adequate to serve these needs to get truck traffic onto the toll roads as quickly and efficiently as possible with minimal impact on County highways.

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: The decision to rehab or build new buildings should be based on a cost-benefit analysis after a third party professional evaluate its existing buildings. If no buildings are required, they should be funded by the sale of obsolete, unused, or unnecessary properties owned by the County.

Q: How do you think the county should spend the remaining COVID-19 relief funds?

A: The remaining COVID19 relief funds should be distributed to businesses who can demonstrate that they were negatively impacted by the lock down orders.

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

A: While we should be sensitive and supportive of people needing mental health services, the county should be mindful of its limited role in this issue, and work cooperatively with other governmental and private agencies

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