Courtney Boe: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 21


Party: Democrat

Office sought: Kane County Board District 21

City: Sleepy Hollow

Age: 42

Occupation: Caring for my mother

Previous offices held: Dundee Township Mental Health Board member


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: I'd like the opportunity to see the data upon which the cost estimates for implementing the SAFE-T Act are based. With regard to paying for these resources, or any other county resources or services, I would only look at raising any taxes as a last resort and would exhaust all other resources before even considering agreeing to raise our taxes.

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: It is my understanding that Kane County employees are generally some of the lowest paid in the state. Unfortunately, that creates a situation where we hire people, train them and then lose them to other entities that are willing to pay them more and give them more benefits. We need to survey area counties and larger municipalities to see exactly where we stand in the rate of pay and benefits. As far as covering whatever costs might be associated with raises in pay and benefits, if warranted, again, I would like to see what alternatives to raising taxes exist before even considering raising taxes.

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 it should remain an elected position. There is no current county office that I believe should become an appointed office. We, the county stakeholders, should have the only say on who serves us. Leaving the decision to appoint officials to other people who may have a personal interest in the work being done by a particular office, opens the process up to conflicts of interest and even corruption. Some have suggested that using an appointed auditor would save money. I don't see how any difference in cost, if there is one, would overshadow protection from the possibility for abuse.

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? Please explain.

A: All of a sudden there seems to be a lot of new current or planned building of industrial parks, Amazon distribution centers, trucking transfer centers and the like. I would like to see data on exactly where all of the new and planned building will be, so we know exactly what we have in the pipeline and what infrastructure is needed to support the growth as well as what condition the infrastructure is in. Moreover, I do not support a blanket moratorium on warehouse developments. Rather, I would look at each proposal on an individual basis, considering community, pollution, and environmental impact, as well as the proposal's longevity.

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 with the infrastructure possibly impacted by the growth of industry in the county, I would like to see a comprehensive list of our buildings, their use, their age and their condition. Until we have a compilation of that data, it is hard to prioritize and otherwise analyze what needs to be done and what it might cost.

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

A: We should use the remaining funds to create and support resources for people in Kane County, most of whom have been impacted in one way or another by COVID. From kids in our schools that may be lagging behind where they should be in school, to people adversely impacted by COVID health wise and income wise, we are still very much recovering from COVID's effects.

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 strain of mental health illnesses, substance abuse/addictions, developmental disabilities, etc. will only continue to grow and fester if we do not address the stigmatization and absence of adequate resources and treatment. Mental health services are essential to the prosperity and well-being of our county.

I wish to see the county board members take on a three-fold role: (i) Leadership, (ii) Support, and (iii) Finance, as needed. County Board members, and all public officials for that matter, should (i) lead by example: actively engaging and educating ourselves and our neighbors. They should also (ii) support and encourage local mental health boards and facilities: become actively involved in outreach and maintain an open line of communication as needs adjust. Additionally, the county should continue to (iii) finance services and facilities through allocated ARPA/SLFRF funds as well as look to additional sources of funding for proactive and preventive measures.

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