Scott R. Britton: Candidate Profile
Name: Scott R. Britton
Facebook: Friends of Scott Britton
Office sought: Cook County Board 14th District
Family: 2 children Ellie, 22, and Jake, 15
Education: B.A. Millikin University, J.D. University of Illinois
Civic involvement: Civic involvement: North Suburban United Way, Youth Services Illinois, Glenview 4th of July Committee, Director Domestic Violence Outreach St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Glenview Emergency 911 Board
Elected offices held: District 34 School Board, Village Trustee Glenview
Questions & Answers
Question 1: After the repeal of the sweetened beverage tax last year, the county made extensive cuts to bring expenditures more in line with revenues. Does more need to be done to either trim costs or grow revenues? If so, please give specific examples.
ANSWER: Cook County has spent several years making painful cuts which have almost certainly resulted in a negative impact on the delivery of services in the county. There will always be a need to find costs savings within the county budget, but we have to explore new areas of revenue with our partners at the State and Federal government. During my time as a Village of Glenview Trustee, I participated in municipal partnering agreements which have saved 10 percent off the Village of Glenview budget and I believe similar savings are possible county wide, but we cannot ignore revenue enhancement any longer. Examples of an area I would explore would be recreational marijuana and restructuring of the Illinois income tax system.
Question 2: The county has at times encouraged suburban communities to annex unincorporated areas, lessening the need for services in often small and remote areas of the county. Should the county continue this policy? Should it incentivize municipalities to annex?
ANSWER: I have led efforts in Glenview to further examine the annexation of unincorporated areas into the suburban communities which surround them. While this issue has been discussed frequently, there has not been the concerted effort to have it accomplished. Once in office, I plan on working with suburban mayors and village presidents to make this a priority and to determine if some incentives may be available to the municipalities to upgrade infrastructure which would allow these annexations to be more easily accepted.
Question 3: As commissioner on a board dominated by representatives of Chicago, how will you work (or if an incumbent, how have you worked) to ensure your suburban constituents' interests get fairly represented?
ANSWER: As a suburban Commissioner I plan to make sure that the issues of my constituents are valued by the Cook County Board. I believe I can do this through vigorous leadership within the board as well as a positive relationship with the leadership of the County. By having greather representation on the Cook County Board in the Democratic majority, suburban concerns will be more likely to be addressed by the board.
Question 4: Do you support the Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances that took effect last year?
ANSWER: I led the efforts on the Village Board in Glenview to stay in the Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances. Unfortunately, the Village of Glenview along with many suburban communities voted to opt out pursuant to their home rule authority. I will continue to work actively to ensure a fair and living wage for Cook County workers.
Question 5: The Forest Preserve District made negative headlines in three instances recently, with a temporary employee being arrested in connection with a fatal crash, the deaths of three elk at Busse Woods, and an officer's inaction when a woman was harassed by another patron because of her Puerto Rico flag shirt. What do these incidents say about leadership in the district and what changes, if any, are needed?
ANSWER: The Forest Preserve performs many positive services for the residents of Cook County but there have been issues regarding employees which are unacceptable. In my experience having worked in municipal government in various roles for seventeen years, these problems appear to be primarily a failure of mid management leadership. Changes particularly as to training of managers and staff need to be emphasized and if changes in personnel are required, those should be done immediately.
Question 6: Do you support the Forest Preserve District's Next Century Plan and, if so, how does the county find the funding for it? If not, what measures can be taken to improve the conditions of forest preserve facilities within the county's means?
ANSWER: I support many of the proposals in the next century conservation plan regarding the Forest Preserves of Cook County. I am particularly supportive of the restoration of multiple acres of the Forest Preserves to their highest quality of ecological health, the expansion of the civilian conservation program and other aspects of the plan which preserve the fragile native ecosystems which are currently at risk. We can improve the Forest Preserve facilities by expanding private public partnerships including the adoption of forest preserves by various businesses in Cook County. At some point, it may also be necessary for us to consider a referendum for separate funding source for the forest preserve in order to maintain their current facilities and to expand and improve the Preserves.
Question 7: What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
ANSWER: As the Director of the Domestic Violence Outreach program for my parish, St. Catherine Laboure, I am very interested in women's health issues particularly as it relates to domestic abuse. I am also committed to maintaining the county's assault weapons ban and to institute common sense gun safety regulations. I believe that the county should also implement a plan to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to those under 21 and I will continue to work on bringing professionalism and transparency to the Cook County Board.
More about you
In addition, here a few questions meant to provide more personal insight into you as a person:
1. What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
ANSWER: In 2012 I decided to open my own law firm having practiced in a different firm for 16 years. This was certainly a difficult and risky proposition but I have been very fortunate to have great people working with me and the firm has prospered and expanded over the last six years.
2. Who is your hero?
ANSWER: As a history major, I have always been fascinated by the leadership skills of Abraham Lincoln and his dedication to ideals. He is definitely my guiding light in politics and on moral issues.
3. Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is important, but which one of those 10 is most precious to you?
ANSWER: The First Amendment is paramount among the Bill of Rights. It is essential that the government makes no law to inhibit the practice of religion nor recognize the same. Also, the right of the people to organize and to share their opinions must be preserved and is currently under assault by current decisions of the present occupant of the White House.
4. What lesson of youth has been most important to you as an adult?
ANSWER: Growing up in a farming community, I learned the importance of hard work, keeping your word, and showing up to do the job that you have been assigned. My dedication to active leadership and to being an involved and productive Cook County Board member comes from my childhood on the farm.
5. Think back to a time you failed at something. What did you learn from it?
ANSWER: As a trial lawyer, one must always deal with winning and losing. While failure in trial work is almost inevitable, as the only people who do not lose trials are those who don't actually go to trial, I have learned many lessons from every case I have tried and continue to enjoy the competition. I have been very fortunate to be on the successful side of the ledger more often than the losing.