Anita Lewis: Candidate Profile
Name: Anita Lewis
Office sought: Kane County Board District 3
Occupation: Planning Supervisor
Education: Bachelor's from DePaul University
Civic involvement: Past Member of D131 School Board 2009-2013; Current Board Member of Chris Walk Against Substance Abuse; Volunteer at Kane County Adult Correction Facility; Chaplain at Resurrection Church of the Fox Valley
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain. No
Questions & Answers
Question 1: If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priorities be?
When elected I will bring skills that I have learned over the years in the business world and in the other Board positions I have held. Those skills include team collaboration, being prepared for and attending meetings, understanding budgets, decision making, listening to my community and working hard to support their needs. In addition I pledge to be a good steward of our tax money and to work within the budget set before us.
Question 2: What is the single biggest need in your district? District 3 is in an area of Aurora that has a high poverty rate so Economic Development and Job training are key issues to me.
Question 3: Is the county doing enough to control expenses? What additional, specific steps do you recommend?
I believe the county is working to control expenses. Keeping the County Tax Freeze and working within budgets are key to this.
Question 4: The county commissioned a study to determine which services are mandated and which are not, in preparation for deeper budget cuts. 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?
It is the responsibility of our County officials and employees to continually look to spend taxpayer money wisely. This has to be done by constantly evaluating spending and alternatives. As a businessperson, every year I am challenged to produce better results with fewer resources. This has to come from managing waste and eliminating redundancies. I would put this same challenge before the County.
I support the current Kane County Property Tax Freeze which means I support departmental budget cuts. Asking the County Departments to reduce 5 percent in each department is reasonable. Therefore, I do not support a Property Tax increase.
Question 5: What other issues, if any are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Attendance and participation at meetings is important to me. In reviewing the past meeting minutes it is clear that several of the board members have very poor attendance at both the Committee of the Whole and subcommittee meetings. If they do not attend the meetings they are not doing the work required of the position and they are certainly not representing the County and District taxpayers well. When I was on the D131 School Board my attendance was over 95 percent at both the Committee of the Whole and my subcommittees.
I also feel that collaboration and teamwork among the board members needs to be increased along with increased communications back to the District.
Personal insight questions
1. What is the hardest decision you ever made?
When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we had to make decisions on chemotherapy, radiation and end of life directives.
2. Who is your hero? I do not have one hero.
My parents, my older sisters, my pastors, and many of the people who have mentored me over the years come to mind. I admire all these people because of their honestly, attitudes, and desire to help others.
3. Each amendment is important which is most precious to you?
The First Amendment has to be the most precious to me because it guarantees our right to freedom of religion, speech, press, the right to assemble peacefully and the right to petition the government. This is what makes America great.
4. What lesson of youth has been most important to you as an adult?
My parents taught me the importance of honesty. Enough said.
5. Thinking back to a time you failed at something. What did you learn from it?