Leslie N. Juby: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 11


Party: Democratic

Office sought: Kane County Board District 11

City: Geneva

Age: 61

Occupation: Substitute teacher

Previous offices held: Member, Geneva Unit District 304 Board of Education 2007-11, 2013-21


Q: Do you support an increase in the countywide retail sales tax to help pay for expenses related to the SAFE T legislation? 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: I support voters having the power to provide input for spending decisions in their community. Spending should be prioritized based on the timelines established in the Act, allowing a phased-in approach to addressing expenses associated with the new mandates. Additionally, the county should continue to work with area legislators to find more cost-neutral approaches.

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: Departments should conduct internal reviews and exit interviews to pinpoint specific areas that need to be addressed in order to hire and keep quality employees. An in-depth salary and job expectation study of Kane and neighboring counties may facilitate the realignment of roles, responsibilities, and compensation.

Offering more competitive pay, targeted professional development, job/career advancement, and more positive work cultures will help attract and retain staff. HR should fill vacancies quickly with qualified candidates to prevent burn out from employees taking on additional workloads due to low staffing levels.

High turnover negatively impacts county productivity, staff morale, and hinders the growth of institutional knowledge. Increased salaries can be funded from the $17.5M budget surplus and a cost-benefit analysis should be completed to see if benefit costs can be decreased by moving away from a self-insured plan to a consortium health plan.

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 should remain an elected position to allow for more independent oversight and accountability which adds another layer of government transparency. Voters should decide whom they want to represent them.

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?

A: Increased semi-truck traffic is a sign of a strong economy and functioning supply chain but at the same time it generates wear and tear on bridges and roads, adds to air and noise pollution, and creates safety concerns.

The county needs to work with municipalities to enforce truck routes and weight limits, oversee safety procedures, synchronize traffic lights to encourage traffic flow, support off peak delivery times, and keep roads and bridges in good repair.

Any type of development should be thoughtful and compatible with the 2040 Land Use Plan, keeping a balance between a growing economy, residential growth, green spaces, agricultural use, and limited water resources. New revenues and employment opportunities should be weighed against the costly upgrades in infrastructure, property tax rebates, and/or tax incentives given to developers.

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: A comprehensive, multiyear capital improvement plan should be developed/updated to prioritize repairs and maintenance on all county facilities to keep each building safe, efficient, and usable.

Not only will this plan allow for short- and long-term budgeting, but also will provide a cost analysis that will determine whether a building should be renovated or replaced with new construction. It is common for municipalities to issue bonds to support capital projects when projects are unable to be financed with current revenues or reserves.

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

A: Funding for behavioral health and social services remains critical to help our most vulnerable residents. The remaining spending should reflect meaningful, long-term investments that increase the quality of life of Kane residents. The county needs to address core issues that lead to increased demand for services, such as employment assistance, housing opportunities, addiction treatment, and food security programs. Healthy neighborhoods are key to a healthy county.

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

A: The county can take a multifaceted approach to addressing the rising need for mental health services. Through community outreach, they can increase awareness of current resources, destigmatize mental illness, and teach community members to identify the need for addition supports in friends and neighbors.

By integrating mental health awareness into community activities, they can create welcoming spaces that foster a sense of belonging with activities that lessen social isolation and encourage healthy lifestyles. Additionally, they can continue to work with organizations to mitigate barriers that discourage residents from accessing critical medical and behavioral health supports.

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