Kane County, forest district spending issue in Elburn-area race
Jim MacRunnels of Elburn is selling his house while seeking the vote of his Republican neighbors for the Kane County Board District 18 seat.
His answer as to "Why?" fits the theme of his campaign.
At $15,775 a year, the property taxes on his $449,760 house are too high for his liking. That includes the $674 for Kane County and $450 for the forest preserve district.
MacRunnels has criticized how county officials spend for at least nine years. It was one reasons he ran for county board chairman in 2008.
He laughs at the property tax freeze County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen and District 18 representative Drew Frasz brag about. "Show me you are cutting the levy," MacRunnels said.
The forest preserve district's levy -- about 80 percent of which goes to pay off debt authorized by voters -- irks him, too. MacRunnels said the district should sell the stadium where the Kane County Cougars play baseball, or at least raise the rent. The forest preserve district should also get rid of its three golf courses, he said. And he opposes putting in a cross-country course at Settler's Hill near Geneva, especially without a guarantee from colleges to use it.
He agrees with the former Blackberry Township supervisor who says the forest preserve district owns too much land in the township.
And MacRunnels would also like to see board meetings conducted in the evenings so more people who work day jobs could serve.
Frasz, of La Fox, has been on the board since 2008.
"We reduced it (the county levy) by half a million dollars before we froze it. ... We are running the county on the same exact dollars as in 2010," Frasz said.
Frasz is proud of his work to get wayside horn signals for railroad crossings in his district, so residents aren't disturbed as much. He also cited his work brokering a fix for drainage problems in the Mallard Point subdivision in Sugar Grove, and his votes on bringing the Anderson Road extension and bridge to Elburn.
"Those are big things," Frasz said. He wonders if MacRunnels could be similarly successful with his adversarial approach. MacRunnels sued the former county board chairman in 2008, claiming she illegally doled out raises.
Frasz recently supported then changed his mind about the forest preserve district's plan to buy an Elburn site to move its natural resources department. Half the land housed a closed construction equipment rental business, and township and school district leaders decried the purchase.
Frasz supports the proposal for the cross-country operation at Settler's Hill. "I was friends and associated with Jim back in the 2008 years, and after you see his accusations -- whether they are official or lawsuits -- and other things, when you see time after time after time they go nowhere, you start to realize the sky is not falling, even though somebody says it is," Frasz said.