Susan Starrett: Candidate profile
Name: Susan Starrett
City: North Aurora, Batavia Township
Office sought: Kane County Board, District 10
Family: Dr. Peter Starrett, Susan S. Starrett, daughter
Occupation: Administrator at Starrett Medical Associates in Aurora
Education: Master Business Administration, Illinois. History, UCLA.
Civic involvement: Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, CASA Child Advocacy, Co-Head Deacon First Presbyterian Church
Previous elected offices held: Kane County Board Member, District 10.
Incumbent? Yes. November 2012
Questions and Answers
1. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
I am proud to have accomplished the following for Kane County and honored to represent Kane County District 10:
1. I have kept all promises made.
2. I have never voted to increase taxes. In contrast, my opponent has a history of raising taxes.
3. I have brought in $3M + to Kane County from the State to help with unfunded mandates.
4. I saved Kane County taxpayers $92.1 million in increased taxes.
5. I have made sure requested grants of $665,477 to Batavia and $591,611 to North Aurora for a total of $1,257,088 to my district have been approved.
6. I helped keep our AAA high bond rating (lowest risk and best for investment) and helped increase investments made by Kane County treasurer by working with state legislators to increase the investment time for counties and municipalities.
2. If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
Please see above.
My opponent has made promises he cannot keep. He does not know what Kane County Board members do or county history.
1. Bridge in downtown Batavia -- 15 years ago Kane investigated improvements: taxes would have been raised by millions of dollars. When my opponent was working in Batavia, the city investigated, and my opponent failed to resolve the problem.
2. Settler's Hill- Convention Center- The Q Center (Anderson) and Pheasant Run are close and have problems keeping their businesses open. It is not smart to add this because if it fails it would be a drain on taxpayers' money.
3. Improve, Expand Route 31/Fabyan bridge. Apparently, my opponent believes he is running for a state position as that location is run by the State (not KC). Any expansion to the Fabyan bridge would cost taxpayers millions of dollars, a large tax increase for my constituents, which they do not want. There was also a promise to "fix" the state-run bridge immediately. The state began the project to finish prior to winter, but an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease legally delayed work until it was under control. The state of Illinois will finish the job as soon as temperatures allow.
3. Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them. In particular in the suburbs, President Preckwinkle has set a goal of eliminating unincorporated areas from county oversight. Do you agree with this approach? If so, how should the county go about it?
As the county expands there are more needs. It is difficult to balance the needs of services against the taxpayers' dollars. It is important, as the incumbent elected official, to remain a good steward of taxpayer's money. I will not be wasteful of your money and make sure your money is spent wisely and not on political favors. A vote must be given to taxpayers regarding any dissolution of township or county land, not politically elected officials.
4. How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important.
Most departments are run by elected officials and as a county board member I help taxpayers find answers to their questions. The county and I have always strived to improve transparency to all. All meeting audio are now online. All department reports are online.
5. What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
The county departments are run primarily by elected officials, not the county board. As a Kane County Board member, I have increased automation, transparency and improved customer service.