Ron Ford: Candidate profile
Name: Ronald Ford, Sr.
Office sought: Kane County Board, District 6
Family: Wide, Rhonda, married 33 years; three children, Ron Jr., Ramica, Rashann
Occupation: Retired (also self-employed GC -- general contractor)
Education: West Aurora graduate; Tuskegee Institute
Civic involvement: Quad County African American Chamber; Workforce Development Board; Regional Hispanic Chamber; Aurora Sundowners; Community Advocacy Awareness Network; Active member of New Community Baptist Church; QCAAC Technology Committee (joint partner with City of Aurora Smart City initiative)
Elected offices held: Kane County Board, 2008
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?
When I was on the board before, I felt like I wasn't finished. I have a strong desire to finish what I started and create more positive ideas in Kane County. a. I am the creator of "Why Kane." It is still in it's beginning phase. A website designed to promote Kane County and what it has to offer to residents and tourism. "Why Kane" promotes economic development, business, community, education and jobs. b. The use of fiber optics to offer a unique desirable service to business. This can also bring $100,000 to the county. c. Focus of tax freeze d. Economic focus (existing property that the county owns needed to be returned to the tax books. Aurora is doing this in its downtown very successfully). e. Mental health awareness (strongly motivates me). I am presently working on a task force on this subject f. Using technology to bring the county into the 21st century g. I have ideas on bringing North Gate back by making use of technology
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?
a. Task force behind Court Case Management System 16th Judicial System
b. Making tough decisions to maintain or balance budget
c. Speaking out on mental health awareness
d. Ordinance that offers fiber to businesses
e. Starting the process on turning valuable real estate (Fabyan Property) into tax dollars
f. Pre-maintenance awareness program (saved county $1,000's of dollars)
g. Reconstruction of Work Force Development bylaws and procedures to meet the State Requirements
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?
My concern is that the county has held a borderline budget. If we don't find other revenue resources then the burden will be placed on the backs of our hardworking residents. I worked in the Mayors Office for the City of Aurora when unincorporated areas were bought into the city from township and some county. It becomes a bigger burden on the city and a burden on some residents to pay for water surface. The requirement to upgrade infrastructure could be costly to the county. Each area has to be analyzed individually.
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.
Transparency is very important. When I was there, we made some great improvements. I'm sure there's more to do. Public access eases the residents mind and builds trust.
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?
Technology is the way of the future if we don't keep or catch up, we get left behind. This brings on new businesses and jobs to the county. Sometime helps with green initiative improvement. We should definitely get out in front of IT efforts.