Kenneth Shepro: Candidate Profile
Kane County Board Chairman (Republican)
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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.
Website: Under development
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Family: I have been blessed with Maureen (McAllister), my wife of 31 years, and four wonderful children - Alice, education graduate student, married to Doug Bryson; Upon graduation from Minnesota law school, Doug will become an officer in the Air Force; Anastasia, who single-handedly keeps the key machine running for her employer, and who can do a complicated jigsaw puzzle in minutes; Mary, an honors graduate of Notre Dame Law School and just admitted to the Illinois Bar - the fourth generation of Shepro lawyers; and Richard, my historian/ statistician son, whose patience with three older sisters I can only admire.
Occupation: Attorney and Counselor at Law
Education: I graduated from Lyons Township High School in 1968, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in 1972. After two years at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., I attended the University of Chicago Law School, where I received my Juris Doctor degree in 1976.
Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1976, I was the third generation of lawyers in our family, and was proud to welcome my daughter, Mary (Notre Dame Law '15) as the fourth. My real education continues to this day.
Civic involvement: Member, Kane County Regional Planning Commission (1993-2013)
(active in drafting and implementation of the Kane County 2020,2030 and 2040 Land Use Plans)
Special Assistant States Attorney (1999-2012)(Appointed by David Akemann to oversee development litigation involving Prairie Lakes in Campton Township; Appointed County Board attorney 2004-2012)
Co-chairman of Wayne Covenant Defense Committee
Board Member Wayne Community Association
Special Counsel to Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs for Boeing Relocation Project
Little Home Church, Wayne - past Church Council member, Chairman of Christian Education
Active in Kane and Chicago Bar Associations
Member Kane County Farm Bureau
Advisory Council Light Opera Works
Elected offices held: Village Attorney - Wayne (1988 - 1998)
Special Assistant State's Attorney - Kane County (1999 - 2012)
Member, Kane County Regional Planning Commission (1993 - 2013) (appointed by three different Board Chairmen)
Attorney, Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District (2006 - present)
Past Chair, Chicago Bar Association Local Government Law Committee and Kane County Bar Association Municipal Law Committee
Republican Precinct Committeeman (SC 7)(1998- present)
Secretary and current Chairman of the St. Charles Township GOP (2006 to present)
Vice Chairman of the Kane County Republican Party (2008 - 2012)
Member of the Illinois GOP Platform Committee in 2004 and 2012
Do you support the push to keep the county's tax levy frozen? How long is it realistic for that freeze to remain in place?
Freezing the Levy must be more than a slogan - it must be part of an overall responsible long range financial plan. The incumbent refused to ask for "new growth" to be included in the levy even though it would not have increased taxes by even one penny for any Kane County taxpayer. His claim of massive "savings" is simply a fraud. Meanwhile, expenses and payroll increase; raises to department heads have been handed out twice; monies were squandered on a multi-million dollar shooting range; the Chairman's Springfield accounting tricks deceive the public and in the long term won't work.
What are your views on county elected officials accepting campaign contributions from companies and people who do business with the county?
My opponent ran promising to "drain the swamp of cronyism"; while serving in Springfield, he collected literally millions of dollars of campaign cash from companies where he directly voted on legislation affecting his donors. He ran for Chairman promising ethics reform - to redo the flawed ethics ordinance and to establish a searchable data base linking county vendors with their campaign contributions - NOTHING has been done to fulfill those pledges. Meanwhile, he has continued to accept contributions directly and indirectly from people and organizations with County relationships. I will refuse any contributions that create even the appearance of impropriety.
Do you support continued funding and the idea for Kane County Connects? If so, where should that funding come from?
Kane County has no business operating a government newspaper. The original concept sold to the County Board morphed into a political vehicle for promoting Mr. Lauzen (and his political fund raiser) and criticizing his opponents. Worse, it basically steals stories from private news media and runs them with no compensation paid. Recent forays include asking for reader reviews of "Star Wars." Meanwhile, the "editor" receives over $100,000 in salary and benefits siphoned from Riverboat grants previously given to assist County charitable and civic organizations. The newsletter at best simply duplicates the County website. It's time to pull the plug!
What role does the chairman have in setting the tone for relationships with other county elected officials and offices, particularly in regard to the establishment and maintenance of the budgets for the elected offices?
The chairman has the paramount role in setting the tone for relationships with other County elected officials. My opponent has attempted to micro-manage the budgets of those offices, and has adopted an inflexible attitude in understanding or following state law providing autonomy for them and ignored the advice of our State's Attorney. His obsession with the current Coroner, who has the most underfunded office in the region, is just one example. His pledge to treat people with respect has proven hollow. As chairman, I will support and participate in Clerk Cunningham's efforts to have the elected officials meet regularly.
Please list any elected office you have ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?
Republican Precinct Committeeman - St. Charles Township Precinct 7 -
elected to nine two-year terms
(1998 - present)
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
My opponent ran as the candidate promising "Reform" after 20 years in Springfield. Instead, he has brought Springfield accounting and political cronyism (remember Robert Sauceda, the disgraced Animal Control Director?)to the Kane County Board. He has created a culture of intimidation, confrontation and inflexibility while demonstrating an inability to accept criticism.
Four years ago, Kane County was widely respected for its leadership in regional planning, transportation, farmland preservation and economic development. Now, the Regional Planning Commission and Farmland Preservation have virtually ceased to function and the County replaced an economic development director with the "editor" of the Chairman's political newsletter.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Maureen, my wife of 31 years, Fermilab Advisory Board member, named a Woman of Distinction as a small business owner, mother of four wonderful children
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My mother instilled in me a love of reading and learning - and taught me that even one person can make a difference in life
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
"Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.." I believe things happen for a reason - don't dwell in the past
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History - from the past we can draw inspiration, experience and wisdom - best of all, history never ends and we can write it ourselves
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Listen to your mother