Devin James Corbett: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 8
Office sought: Kane County Board District 8
Occupation: Retired federal employee
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: I do not support any new taxes to support the SAFE-T Act. I am fundamentally opposed to relaxed detention rules mandated in the act. Additionally, I believe the state should pay for any additional expenses that their legislation imposes on local communities.
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: This is a fundamental component of the board's duties. The board should determine the necessary goals and missions of the county government and its agencies, then monitor those agencies as they hire, maintain or reassign staff as necessary to fulfill those goals and missions, without creeping overreach. This is what I call "smart government."
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 have no opinion on selection process for county positions, as long as the process ensures transparency of and about the candidate, as well as the office, agency and the county government as a whole. I believe transparency and accountability are the keys to good, smart governance.
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: An increase in truck traffic is a good sign of a growing economy. I think smart measures to safely accommodate increased truck traffic are important and necessary for a thriving county economy.
In general, I would not support a moratorium on any development that might impede a growing economy.
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: I believe county buildings should be maintained as necessary to be safe and functional to conduct of county business, regardless of age.
I believe this can be done with a smart, cost-neutral facilities plan that avoids any tax increases. While I don't have a specific proposal ready, I believe this should be a high priority for the next board.
Q: How do you think the county should spend the remaining COVID-19 relief funds?
A: Since the president has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, I believe Kane County should focus on rebuilding its economy as quickly as possible. To the extent legal and possible, I believe COVID-19 funds should be used to create a business-friendly environment in Kane County.
This means, lowering taxes, restoring strong law enforcement, improving K-12 education (as measured, at least in part, by testing scores), removing any mandates that disqualify employment (such as any "health" mandates), and improving any infrastructure that promotes economic development.
Whatever balance of funds is not used or needed strictly for these purposes should be held or returned, as appropriate.
Q: The COVID pandemic also put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?
A: As mentioned above, the president has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Even during the pandemic, I strongly believed that the government never had a role in determining individual heath care decisions.
The government's role should be limited to providing accurate and actionable health information to the public, and possibly to make recommendations. But it should have ended there.
Instead, state agencies decided to mandate certain medical "remedies" or without allowing for consultation with their doctor, and even forcing kids to stay home for school. It wasn't so much the pandemic that caused this, it was the government's reaction to the pandemic that was the culprit.
I believe that we should completely remove all COVID-19 protocols, laws, mandates and other measures and return medical decision making to individuals and their own doctors. Addressing these root causes, mental health issues would ameliorate to normal levels.