Michael Kenyon: Candidate Profile
Kane County Board District 16 (Republican)
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: South Elgin
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Kane County Board District 16
Family: Married to my wife Carol for 45 years. Three adult children, 2 sons, 1 daughter and 2 grandchildren
Education: University of Illinois - Bachelors of Science Degree, Ag Economics
Civic involvement: Active in South Elgin Parks Foundation and Kenyon Woods Junior High. Booster Club Member - South Elgin High School South Elgin Business Association, co-founder and second president US Army Veteran, member of American Legion and VFW Original Member of Kane County Farmland Preservation Commission Graduation Kane County Citizens Police Academy Member, Governor's Task Force-Northeast Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Group Jaycee - Elgin and South Elgin (awarded Life Jaycee) 2011, Received Lifetime Achievement Award Fox Valley Regional Jaycees Kane/Dupage Soil and Water 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award Past of Kane County Farm Bureau Past State Director for Farm Bureau (10 years)
Elected offices held: 8 year incumbent Kane County Board Member, District 16
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
The most important thing we can do as a board is to return jobs and prosperity to Kane County. The way to address this is to retain the County?s award winning county staff and programs. There are many factors when considering quality of life, affordable housing, good schools, convenient shopping and consumer services along with recreational opportunities and a first rate highway system. Together these attract residents and provide the human resources for industries to grow.
Key Issue 2
It is imperative that we find the funding to update the computer system for the court and court services. The system is antiquated. We need a new system in order to operate more smoothly and cost effectively.
Key Issue 3
It is important to continue and enhance the current policies that have allowed us to keep our high credit rating, which is better than the State of Illinois and most municipalities. For 6 years in a row, our Finance Department has received National Awards. With the county?s CFO recently leaving to take a job in another state, it is mandatory that we replace her with someone just as qualified.
Did the county board get it right when they decided to leave an ethics ordinance that is more stringent but more open to a legal challenge in place? Would you support the creation of more detailed economic interest statements?
I supported the revised ordinance which had less legal problems, however the current ordinance is still better than previous ordinances and I would support a more detailed economic interest statement.
Would you support the buildout of the shell space in the Kane County jail if it could be shown that the space could/would be used to increase profits from housing federal inmates?
Just because construction costs are low right now and a good deal, we can?t build something just to build it. It should be balanced with the need and with the revenue stream to pay for it. This method has proven to be a successful formula so far, as in the case of Juvenile Justice Center.
Do you believe the county court system needs a computer system upgrade that might cost as much as $12.6 million? If so, do you support using RTA sales tax money to fund it, or do you have a different plan? If not, what is your alternative plan?
Retaining the existing system is not an option. While the RTA sales tax is legally available, all financing options need to be examined. The computer system need does not exist in a vacuum. It is really a capital item. While RTA revenues can be used to pay debt service on bonds, other law enforcement needs must be considered before a final decision is made. The consultant?s report and recommendations are critical in making an informed decision.
Do you support the call by the state's attorney and public defender for raises for their staffs? Where should that money come from?
Yes they need more money. The goal has to be to retain and attract quality people. That is a critical way to save money in the long run. We can?t be in the position of losing qualified people to neighboring counties simply because we cannot pay them what they are worth. These people have not had raises in many years. Every survey indicated that Kane is not remotely in line with what other counties pay.
What aspects of the Fabyan/Settlers Hill campus redevelopment vision created by the task force do you support? What should happen to the old county jail property?
Whatever we do needs to respect and involve the city of Geneva and their plan. Planning must be carefully done because once it is done, there can be no changes. We have to resist the temptation to just sell off the old Jail site right now. The economic condition of the State right now is not such that we would get top dollar or attract the kind of business we want and need. A final decision requires: patience, planning, and partnership. We recently voted to pay for a study, so now we must wait for the results.