Brian Gravenhorst: Candidate Profile
Kane County board District 7 (Democrat)
Back to Kane County board District 7
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.
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Family: Married 30 years with a daughter
Education: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Civic involvement: Aurora Election Judge
Billet Family for Chicago Steel Hockey Team
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
The county commissioned a study to determine which services are mandated and which are not in preparation for a deeper budget cut. Do you believe the county must continue to reduce costs? If so, which non-mandated services would you cut or reduce? Under what circumstances would you support a tax increase?
To maintain the Kane County Property Tax Freeze, we need to continue to make a reduction in costs. Eliminating waste and consolidating government functions for efficiencies, we will allow us to save taxpayer dollars. Across the board cuts can be a fair and effective tool to handle non-mandatory services. A good manager can absorb a 3 to 5% across the board cut. The voters of Aurora should vote to eliminate the Aurora Election Commission as a way to promote efficiency and cost savings, as much as $250,000 in overall net savings per year. I am pledged to oppose any tax increase. I do support continuing the Kane County Property Tax Freeze.
The mandated services study said the law will require a reduction in the number of board seats as the county's population grows. Reducing the number of seats might also save money. What is the right number of board seats? How soon should the reduction occur?
A 25% reduction to 18 would maintain a good balance between providing a reasonably sized district with being efficient and saving money.
Do you support adding a sunset clause to any toll created to fund the Longmeadow Parkway?
Yes, once the bridge is paid for and a sufficient, interest generating maintenance fund is established, the toll should eliminated. That is the promise made to Illinois toll road users decades ago that was never followed thru on. We must do better than that in Kane County.
Was ending the county's GPS and electronic monitoring program the right decision? If not, how would you restore the program?
Cutting this single program solved Chief Judge Boles' budget issue in one stroke but it removed a very valuable program that protected victims from their alleged abusers until their trials and saved taxpayer monies by saving the cost incarcerating these same alleged abusers. Across the board cuts and savings in other non-essential parts of her budget to balance revenues and expenses would have better served county residents. If the Judicial budget is ever short, they have the power of increasing court fines and costs to meet expenses incurred handling certain tickets and violations.
Do you support keeping the Aurora Election Commission?
No. It is a prime example of a duplication of services. Dissolving it, and folding those responsibilities into the Kane County Clerk's office, will save approximately $250,000 a year. The services will still be fully provided to Aurora residents but the savings will come from eliminating excess supervisors and personnel as well as streamlining overhead.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
We must not raid our reserves to cover for departments that are not operating as efficiently as possible. It is important to have contingency funds to handle legitimate shortfalls. The Sheriff's department must work to increase their revenues and lower their expenses. Under the current Sheriff, his expenses have outweighed revenues by $4 million. Attendance and participation at meetings is important to me. In 2016, the budget was crafted from monthly meetings with department heads at the Committee of the Whole. Many members had poor attendance at these critical meetings. Other members have poor attendance at subcommittee meetings, where the real work of the Board gets done. We have some members who collect 100% of their pay, but only do 50% of the work. Communication is a problem between many Board members and their constituents. I will work to solve that by encouraging email signups to the helpful and free Kane County Connects newsletter, and by collecting email addresses and sending out my own correspondence to my neighbors who want to opt-in.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Dr. Gina Santori for her love of life and her active participation in it and her generosity to her community.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Be honest, work hard and you will be successful.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would pay more attention in math and science classes.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Science. The step by step approach used in science helped me to be an excellent problem solver
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be honest, work hard and you will be successful.