Bill Roth: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 12
Office sought: Kane County Board District 12
City: St. Charles
Occupation: Commercial sales
Previous offices held: None
Q: Do you support an increase in the countywide retail sales tax to help pay for expenses related to the SAFE-T legislation? If yes, which SAFE-T-related expenses, specifically, should be covered with the additional tax? If no, how do you suggest paying for the increased expenses related to the SAFE-T legislation?
A: No I do not support an increase in the countrywide retail sales tax to help pay for expenses to pay for the SAFE-T legislation. The county needs to push back on the IL state representative's for passing another law without providing funding. In addition, the county needs to put together an itemized budget for all expenditures in order to determine the required expenditures needed and then break it out into a multiple year plan in order to be able to pay the improvements that the law required.
Q: What should be done to retain county staff? If you propose increases in salaries or benefits, how should those added costs be covered?
A: As a county we need to adopt some of the same best practice that companies use to retain employees.
Quality of life is important and organizations that just give lip service to the issue are not fixing their issues. Salary is just one part of the employee benefit package. Just throwing money at the issue will not fix the problem. There is not one single silver bullet that you can implement to fix the problem.
We should work with the county departments at looking at the entire employee benefit package and see how we compare to other county organization and also local corporations in the county and then determine what best practices we want to implement.
Q: Do you believe the county auditor should be an elected or appointed position? Why? Are there any other countywide offices that are currently elected positions that you believe should be appointed instead? If so, please explain.
A: I believe the county auditor should be an appointed position.
The auditor position is critical to the county by insuring that the county is properly following best ethical practices and we should keep the this position outside the realm of politics.
The county needs to look at all current elected positions and determine the criteria that then can be used to make the decision on whether the position needs to be an elected or appointed position.
There needs to be a consistency in the criteria so it can be used across the board and remove politics from the determination.
Q: The county has seen an increase in truck traffic. How do you propose to address the infrastructure needs that come with this increase in traffic? Do you support a moratorium on warehouse developments in unincorporated areas of the county? Please explain.
A: No, I do not feel the county needs to issue a moratorium I feel that the county needs to implement best practices regarding all new business development and insure that the developers or corporation provide the funding to include covering the costs of transportation improvements as part of the construction process. We should not wait until after the development is done and come back later to fix the issues.
Of course, there will be certain situations where the county will need to determine whether we need to subsidize certain developments in order to help parts of our county that are currently under the average on economical development. To subsidize the new business developments needs to be the exception as versus giving it out to every new development.
Q: What direction do you think the county should move as it relates to its aging buildings? Build new or rehab existing buildings? Why and how would you propose the county pay for any new buildings or improvements?
A: The county needs to update our current long range plan to include our entire inventory of existing buildings and what the plan is for each building.
In some cases we have buildings that are in very attractive locations and we can work with the communities to put those locations back into the retail market and potentially receive above average compensation for the properties and use that money in developing new locations.
Also we should be looking at future locations where they can help out those communities that suffering from lower economic growth. In addition we need to look at the current paradigm shift that the pandemic has introduced.
That is the practice of working from home. Some corporations have found that more than 75% of their employees can work from home. The county needs to identify which of the current county workforce positions could successful implement that solution. That could potentially reduce the county business location footprint and save the county money.
Q: How do you think the county should spend the remaining COVID-19 relief funds?
A: The county needs to look at the remaining relief fund as a onetime gift and spend it on those programs where we can get some big hits. We should not be spending it on new programs that will then require additional funding in the future.
Q: The COVID pandemic also put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?
A: Mental health services has been swept under the rugs for the last 50 years. We need to develop a plan on how to address those issues and develop best practices.
A lot of current expenditures such as homeless and crime have been caused by mental health issues that has been ignored for years. We need to work with the experts to put together best practices.