Kim Weiss: 2021 candidate for Campton Hills village trustee
In the April 6 consolidated election, five candidates are vying for three, 4-year terms on the Campton Hills Village Board. The candidates are incumbents James McKelvie and Michael D. Millette, and newcomers Timothy W. Morgan Sr., Ed Muncie, and Kimberly Weiss.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions about issues facing the village.
Below are Weiss's responses.
In-person early voting begins March 10 only at the Kane County Clerk's Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. B, in Geneva and the Aurora satellite office, 5 E. Downer Place, Suite F. In-person early voting at locations throughout the county begins March 22. Learn more at www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections.
Town: Campton Hills
Occupation: Owner and manager at Old Towne Pub in Campton Hills
Civic involvement: Fundraiser involvement with For Scout Foundation, Kayla's Hope, Campton Hills elementary schools PTO, Wasco Baseball, Wasco Fastpitch, and Tri-City Chargers; organized "Run for Bubba" fundraiser for cancer; gift certificate match donation for families struggling during COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: I think the village could assist local residents who wish to get the vaccine in finding it and keeping them informed when they are allowed to receive it. Village leadership needs to encourage everyone to continue to stay safe while allowing local businesses to survive. Many residents would like to see the village meetings continue on Zoom even after in-person meetings resume. I feel this is very important. It maintains safety and assures everyone the right to continue to be involved.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: I would hate to ridicule anyone on a COVID response since it took many by storm. However, as a resident and business owner, social media became a huge avenue of communication. I would have liked to have seen the village overcome their anti-social media stance and use it as a way to communicate with the residents.
Lots of things were changing daily and lots of bad information was being tossed around. I think partaking and addressing things head-on would've been very productive in clarifying information to make sure residents were getting the right information.
I also think voting dates and information could have been shared through social media and, again, it would have prevented confusion.
Due to COVID, the village hall has been closed to the public for a year and utilizing every avenue of communication was and still is very important. They should also have followed area villages in allowing the local bars and restaurants in selling liquor kits etc.
All areas surrounding Campton Hills were granted this privilege by both state and local liquor license officials. Campton Hills and Aurora did not allow at a local level.
With six liquor licenses and a COVID shutdown, Campton Hills could've managed the policing they thought they would need and they should have made it happen. Instead they decided to limit the restaurants which was a slap in the face during already trying times.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: Encouraging residents to follow all Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: I think a temporary cut in permit costs could increase businesses to come in and take over vacant buildings. I also think taking away permit costs and for residents would help encourage both residents and businesses to improve their properties.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: Important Infrastructure: Stormwater management is an important issue for everyone. The first step is education. I support education primarily for any issue, but stormwater management in particular is important because it impacts our homes, our land, and the roads and water supplies. I would support cooperative efforts with the county, but it would definitely have to start with educating our own residents.
Back burner item: Since we already delay roadway repaving due to limited funds for roadway repair we could delay this as we work on a way to develop funding. Although it might be described as more of a capital improvement, any remodeling of village hall or the police department should be placed aside for now.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: No! The state didn't provide anything for these businesses to shut down. If you want a business to shut down twice, you need to provide them with tools of guidance. The state and village did not provide guidance!
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: I would always be willing to listen if someone had an idea to propose. At this time, I can't say I believe the village is the proper place for this but again I would never impose my own personal beliefs and would always listen with an open ear.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: I believe it would be extremely beneficial if at least one or more village employees lived in the village. Hiring staff members who live outside the village while contracting out the remaining positions is not providing the residents with employees who have some skin in the game. Encouraging the hiring of residents will help to keep the village employees caring about the village as much as the residents they are serving. It's easier to relate to a resident's issue if they are a resident as well.