Kane board 18 incumbent questions challenger's meeting attendance
Drew Frasz, who is seeking another term in Kane County's newly redrawn 18th District, questions his opponent's interest in the seat, as she admits to not attending any county-related meetings in the run-up to the election.
While Democrat Kerri Bransonacknowledges she hasn't been to any of the 120 county meetings that have come up since the spring primary, Frasz, 56, a Republican, has one of the highest attendance rates among board members and rarely skips a meeting.
"I'm proud of the fact I've been there and in the four years I can count the number of meetings I've missed on my fingers," he said.
The 18th District includes parts of Elburn, North Aurora, Kaneville and Maple Park.
Frasz, of Elburn, is a married father of two and runs and excavating contracting company, a business he's had for 34 years and which he says allows him the flexibility he needs to serve his district. He sits on eight county committees, including executive, energy and environmental and the redistricting task force.
He also regularly attends special service area meetings held in Mill Creek, an unincorporated community of nearly 4,000 people west of Geneva.
Branson, 42, a North Aurora resident, is a married mother of four children, two of whom are 15-year-old twin boys with cerebral palsy. In 1997, she retired from a modeling career to look after her twins full time.
Branson is also in the middle of opening a photography gallery in North Aurora.
During a Daily Herald endorsement interview, Branson was questioned as to why she hadn't attended any meetings.
"I don't plan on going to meetings until I'm needed to go," Branson said. "My time will be freed up by the end of the year when we actually have (the gallery) open and going, but I've been very busy with construction and in the planning stage of my business."
She also said she wants to start her term fresh, without being swayed by what she sees at the meetings.
"I am a person who is going into this with no experience and I want to go in as an honest person and see what's going on and just have my opinion and go from honesty," Branson said.
Branson said she has kept up with the board by looking at the county website, reading the meeting minutes and following news reports.
But in order to be a fully engaged board member, you have to do more than just come to the monthly board meetings, Frasz said.
The job also involves committee work, attending meetings for committees you don't belong to and responding to constituent calls.
"It's a part-time job, yeah, but some weeks it's 40 hours a week," Frasz said.
Once her business is open in December, Branson says, she'll be as involved in the county as much as she's needed.
"I'll be very dedicated, everything I do is 110 percent," Branson said. "Anyone who thinks I won't be engaged is wrong. I'll put my heart and soul into it."