Jim Patrician: Candidate Profile:
Name: Jim Patrician
Office sought: Kane County Board District 23
Occupation: Employee Benefits Advisor
Education: Bachelor Finance, University of Iowa, MBA DePaul University
Civic involvement: Current Chair of the Algonquin Planning & Zoning Commission
Elected offices held: None
Questions & Answers
Question 1: 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?
As Chairman of the Algonquin Plan Commission for the last 7 plus years I have worked with the local government and the citizens to make sure that growth is measured and the impact on families, businesses, and neighborhoods is carefully considered. As the Longmeadow project advances, I will use my experience to make sure it is done in a way that has the least negative impacts on residents in the community and region. I oppose the toll component and I want to make sure this project stays on budget.
Question 2: What is the single-biggest need in your district?
Property tax relief. I will support continuing the Kane County portion of the freeze and I oppose the effort of two Elgin Democrats last week to implement a property tax increase. I am concerned that if the Democrats get a hold of this seat, that we will see tax increases coming from the Kane County Board.
Question 3: Is the county doing enough to control expenses? What additional, specific steps do you recommend?
Yes I support the 3.6% across the board cuts led by Chairman Lauzen. We need to continually look for expense cuts, especially at the Sheriff and State's Attorney budgets, which are among the biggest budgets while looking for more revenues from departments that collect fees, like the Clerk, Recorder and Circuit Clerk.
Question 4: 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?
The study was a good idea and gives us a road map of where we can go for reductions. I would not support a tax increase under any circumstance short of war time or a terrible natural disaster.
Question 5: What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I want to use my lifetime of experience as a benefits professional to work with the county and the employees on changes like the one from BC/BS to Aetna that could have saved $1 million a year without reducing medical coverage. I could help find savings and options on all the plans that the county negotiates.
Question 6: Do you support the Longmeadow Parkway project and, if not, what can be done at this point to stop construction and/or mitigate its impact?
The project is approved and based on the support it has from almost all board members I think it is difficult to stop construction at this point. To ensure the least impact, I would hold all village and county official and construction contractors accountable for doing the project right and with minimal impact to residents and the environment. As a planner I know that proper landscaping and construction techniques can help mitigate noise and pollution. I would push for creative solutions to make the project as friendly to its surroundings as possible.
Question 7: Do you support a sunset provision for charging tolls on Longmeadow Parkway after it's built?
I oppose the toll emphatically. I believe that the project should not have moved forward if a toll was necessary to fund the project. Now that a toll seems inevitable, I would absolutely support a sunset provision to avoid it becoming like all other aspect of the Illinois tollway system.
Question 8: What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
Several years ago, I made a decision to purchase my current business. When making a decision like that you have to consider how it will affect every aspect of your life. My family, my friends, my health, even the employees who were part of the organization I purchased may have been affected negatively. In addition, I made the decision to purchase during a great time of uncertainty in my industry as Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act loomed. With the support of my family and friends, some great employees and a lot of hard work, I have been able to double the size of the agency since I have owned it and many employees rely on the success of our firm for their livelihood. I take that very seriously and never take short cuts when it comes to how we serve our clients or how I treat my employees. It has been a great decision for me and my family, but such a difficult one when you consider the risk associated with the decision.