Kane County incumbent Roth seeks 2nd term, faces primary contest with Geen

Kane County Board member Bill Roth, who is seeking a second term, is being challenged by Michelle Geen in the March 19 primary for the Republican nomination for the District 12 seat.

Roth, a retired IT director from St. Charles, was first elected to the county board in 2022.

All even-numbered district seats are up for election. After the 2020 census redistricting in which all 24 seats were up for election, even and odd numbers are up in staggered years.

Geen is a hairdresser who previously worked doing hair for Hollywood movies. She owns a salon in Geneva, a hotel reservation company and a septic company.

“I’m running on my record,” Roth said. “I retired the day after the election so I could devote as much time as I need to the county. Two years ago, I ran, trying to bring ‘normal’ back into politics. I’m doing that.”

Geen said her neighbors and others asked her to run.

“It was never an aspiration of mine,” Geen said of her first foray into seeking office.

“Through the years, I got a lot of experience with both sides of the parties,” Geen said. “The unions in the movie business were Democrats. And the more conservative Republicans were in the suburbs and among entrepreneurial people. I listen to my customers. I hope to be listening to my constituents.”

Geen’s platform includes pushing for smaller government and fewer taxes.

“If people don’t have money, they don’t have the freedom to do things they want to do,” Geen said.

Roth said he has spoken to each member of the county board and department heads so he could hear about their issues firsthand.

“It’s critical that we understand our budget,” Roth said. “The county is addicted like cocaine – spend, spend, spend.”

Geen does not support building a new $39 million health department facility, of which $18 million would be from remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds. She also is against using federal funds for a local project.

“That’s borrowed printed money that we the taxpayers pay the interest on,” Geen said in a text message regarding the ARPA funds. “The surplus is not for investing.”

Roth said the county could create a new health department in a portion of the building where the circuit clerk’s office and branch court are located on Randall Road in St. Charles. The county already owns the land.

“A third of that building is for storage of voting equipment,” Roth said. “We could move that to a secure warehouse and redevelop that space for the health department. Maybe we could spend less and do a phased approach.”

The board majority voted to delay a decision on a new health department.

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