Kane County voters will decide who handles and invests the county's money

Kane County voters will decide who handles and invests the county's money for the next four years when they elect a new county treasurer.

Aurora Republican Chris Lauzen and North Aurora Democrat Jeffrey Pripusich are running for the post. Michael Kilbourne, who was appointed to the position in 2021 after longtime Treasurer David Rickert resigned, is not seeking election.

Both Lauzen and Pripusich point to their experience as a benefit for the role of treasurer.

Lauzen served two terms, from 2012 to 2020, as Kane County Board chairman and 20 years in the state Senate. He also is a certified public accountant and ran a small accounting and tax firm for 10 years.

Pripusich has 37 years of experience in accounts receivable, including 25 in management. He volunteers with a local theater group and the Knights of Columbus in North Aurora.

Each candidate said he would focus on customer service if elected.

Lauzen said he could increase the county's return on investment by $2 million by putting the county's reserves in better-yielding funds. He said the county's return on investment currently is about .05%.

"That's not adequate," he said.

He also said he would work to ensure county board members have accurate information when making financial decisions.

Pripusich said he would first take time to review the treasurer's policy and procedures to determine what works and what needs to change. He said there's "room for improvement" but said he would work with the staff to come up with ways to improve things rather than just make changes on his own,

"I just think that collaboration is critical; it's going to make great things happen," Pripusich said. "It's extremely risky to come in and say here's going to be the new strategy, and this is going to be a perfect fit for Kane County, and it's going to generate all these wonderful additional revenues. I just don't think that's a statement that can be honestly made."

Pripusich and Lauzen both pledged to serve out the entire 4-year term.

If elected to a first term, Pripusich said he would seek reelection to a second and possibly a third term but would cap his time in office to three 4-year terms.

Lauzen said he would serve out a 4-year term but declined to speculate if he would seek reelection. He did, however, say he was not seeking the office of treasurer as a way back to the county board chairman's post.

"I've done that, and we achieved what we set out and what I said would do," Lauzen said.

"Now, there's work to do in the treasurer's office."

Early voting starts today. Election Day is Nov. 8.

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