County incumbent faces challenge
What was once known as the 26th District on the Kane County Board is now folded into the 18th District. Incumbent Drew Frasz faces a challenge from Kerri Branson.
After 12 years volunteering on various community projects—including the steering community that helped develop La Fox and the La Fox Community Park—Drew Frasz joined the County Board to represent District 26. Now that area is drawn into District 18, and Frasz points to his continued community involvement as the reason he believes he deserves your vote.
“I am a life-long resident with the civic and elected experience mentioned above,” Frasz said. ”I am an active and engaged County Board member who responds to constituent’s needs. The position requires attending over 200 meetings per year both days and evenings. I have the best attendance record on the County Board, and have delivered on every campaign promise made in 2008.”
His goals for this term are clear-cut: 1) Hold or reduce the county’s portion of property tax bills and encourage other taxing bodies to do the same; 2) break ground on the Anderson Road bridge and road corridor in spring 2013; and 3) Continue to move forward with the Interstate 88/Route 47 interchange.
While the goals are clear-cut, the path to accomplishing these goals is not easy and will require the work ethic he has already exhibited during his time in office, he said.
To address the tax issue, Frasz said he would continue to pursue the conservative fiscal policies the County Board has been following. He would explore reducing non-mandated county services that the public may not deem affordable, and would look into potential new sources of revenue to reduce reliance on the county portion of property tax bills.
The Anderson Road bridge and road corridor project is more complex, and Frasz said he would encourage continued talks between the project developers and the village of Elburn, which recently voted to table the project.
“The county is ready to get bids on this project, and federal funding is in place but may be in jeopardy if not used soon,” he said.
Similarly, the Interstate 88/Route 47 interchange project will also require strong communication among various entities.
“This will be an active partnership between several governmental agencies including Sugar Grove, Elburn, Kane County, the Tollway Authority, and state/federal funding agencies,” he said.
His efforts are based on a simple premise, which serves as the foundation for his efforts both during his time on the County Board and previously.
“I am very proud of our area and want to see it grow in a positive way,” Frasz said.
After spending years volunteering in the community, Kerri Branson said she wants to run for County Board because she can identify with the challenges and successes that everyday citizens face.
“I am running as an average resident of Kane County who has experienced the same struggles as the people of our county and want to make a difference by raising questions to the board that our community has been asking,” she said.
She plans to continue coordinating efforts and communicating within the community, and as a County Board member she can make sure those voices get heard.
“As a public servant, it is my duty to listen to my constituents and bring their concerns before the board,” she said. “I believe in coming together as board members and making decisions about our county to make it a better place to live, work and be proud of.”
She would focus her efforts on cutting wasteful spending and allocating funds fairly and ethically. She would promote community health and education, including the preservation of farmland and forests. And to address an issue she has lived with first-hand, she would help those who are with exceptional needs.
“My biggest accomplishment in life are my four children, who have taught me the basics in life I can use towards solving any problem,” Branson said. “My two oldest twins are severely affected by cerebral palsy, which threw me in headfirst to an array of medical, insurance and organizational stresses.”
She said her family’s experience has taught her a lot about how people with special needs are treated in society.
“I have been a strong advocate for my sons and people who are at a disadvantage by relentlessly continuing to fight for their rights,” she said. “This will be my job for the rest of my life, and I feel honored God has given me this responsibility.”
She said her “everyday citizen” perspective is exactly what is needed on the Kane County Board.
“Inexperience can sometimes be a positive addition to an equation that needs solving,” Branson said. “If people are looking for change in our county, more of the same and requiring experience is not going to bring that. Fresh eyes to an old problem can help look at things creatively and logically without the influence of what has already taken place. I am not a politician, and have no desire to strive to be one. My interest is in relaying what I hear from our community to the County Board and advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”