Jennifer Barconi: Candidate Profile
Kane County Board District 16 (Democrat)
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, three children
Occupation: Director of Sales for Wentworth Technology
Education: United States Air Force- Flight Medic Elgin Community College, 1993
Civic involvement: *2012 Appointed to Kane County Mental Health Advisory Board *2012 Illinois Women in Leadership Delegate
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
JOB CREATION/IMPROVING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KANE COUNTY I will work on the issues that matter, advocating for commerce, industry and development in Kane County. We need a dedicated Business Development Manager that concentrates on economic and work force development. This person needs to promote local job growth in Kane County. Illinois' economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include financial assistance, a participation loan program, and a biotech training investment program. I will work hard to identify and meet the needs of the business community through leadership, education, support and encouragement.
Key Issue 2
GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS REFORM We need to collectively work together to improve the quality of life for the residents of Kane County. We need to put aside the political in-fighting and pay-to-play . We are public servants that need to serve the public
Key Issue 3
LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES As I knock on doors, residents are upset that they are paying the same amount if not more on property taxes on a devalued home. They ask me at the door, "Is this a tax hike?" It is my opinion, that our elected officials think they are entitled to this money. If values keep dropping, all services will have to be evaluated. We will then need to educate the Kane County Residents. We need to be faithful stewards of constituent's tax dollars.
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 support a more stringent ethics ordinance. The biggest problem with the 2010 Code of Ethics is the 12 provisions that could not be imposed on any elected official, only county board members that passed it. These provisions include bans on pension-double dipping, hiring relatives and campaigning for local politicians. The State's attorney said the county board had no power to insist that the ethics advisor not be a politician, Kane County employee/contractor or member of a political party. The State law should be questioned and changed. Kane County residents deserve to be free of conflicts and political bias in their county government. Currently, the State's Attorney would be charged with enforcing the ethics code. Interesting, when the county board acts as the funding arm for the State's Attorney.
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?
*I am not aware of a federal contractual guarantee for the housing of federal inmates to make sure the buildout would result in a steady revenue stream. *There is also a concern as to where Kane County would be getting the revenue to hire and train new Corrections' Officers.
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?
A $12,600,000.00 computer program that needs to be bought right now. Seriously! The Kane County Executive staff's lack of concern as to the burden on us tax payers is horrible. At the time, Chief Judge Brown, Circuit Clerk, and the County's IT department hired Brown's son, Marcus, at a salary of $90,000 to oversee the vendor selection process. Nepotism? We need to explore all possible options and these need to be presented to the County Board Technology Commission. There are three viable solutions: 1) New Computer System costing the residents an estimated 12.6 million 2) We need a consultation with the executives in DuPage County about their functional Case Management System. Deploying a regionalized system would be minimal cost to the taxpayers. 3) Buy upgrades to the current Janos system that would solve the problems of the Chief Justice, District Attorney and the Clerk of Circuit Court. We don't rush to pay $12,600,000 for a computer program until a cost analysis of all options are submitted to the Board for a vote.
Do you support the call by the state's attorney and public defender for raises for their staffs? Where should that money come from?
If approved, it would cost an additional $446,000 in overall personnel costs for prosecutors' wages. To my knowledge, Childress has not yet calculated the cost of her public defender proposal, which she is still formulating. Her office has 44 employees, which includes 39 attorneys. When elected to the County Board, I would like to analyze the costs for retention and retraining from the high turnover from the departments. Currently, I could not support a pay increase until I fully understand where the revenue would come from.
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?
Before I even discuss where I stand with the Fabyan/Settlers Hill campus redevelopment vision, I have the following concerns: *Waste Management needs to provide the report to the Board that Fabyan/Settlers Hill area is contamination free. *Address the concerns of increased traffic and provide solutions. *I feel as though County Government should not be in competition with the private sector.