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Election: 50th District State Representative

in Nov. 4, 2014 by

Candidates Keith Wheeler (Republican) and Valerie Burd (Democrat) on Nov. 4 will vie for the seat of 50th District State Representative

Keith Wheeler
Keith Wheeler sees the role of 50th District Representative as the people’s representation in the General Assembly in Springfield.

“While the General Assembly is seen primarily in its role of making laws, a state representative is also a resource for constituents when it comes to state government issues, problems and concerns,” he said.

Wheeler on Nov. 4 will seek the 50th District Representative seat.

Wheeler currently owns Responsive Network Services, LLC., and serves as a Bristol Township trustee and Bristol 5 Republican Precinct committeeman. He’s also a past board chairman for Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, board chairman for Kendall County Food Pantry, Illinois Leadership Council chairman for National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), current board treasurer for Oswego Bears Youth Football and Cheer Pop Warner program, District 308 Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee member.

As a small business owner in Illinois, Wheeler said he has seen first-hand the damage that Springfield has done to the Illinois business community.

“Employers, jobs and families are leaving Illinois at a frightening pace. In my past role as board chairman of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and current board chairman of the Illinois Leadership Council for NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), I hear from fellow business owners that Illinois is not competitive as we should be. Unemployment in Illinois is too high and is among the highest in the Midwest. We see it locally by the increase in the demand for food at local food pantries. I pay close attention to this in my role as the Kendall County Food Pantry board chairman. I am running to help create and support Illinois jobs for Illinois families—that’s actually the theme of my campaign.”

Twenty-three years as a small-business owner means that Wheeler signs the front of paychecks; not just the back. It also means he understands what job creators are dealing with in today’s business climate. He believes he has a pulse on the business community and has working relationships with the organizations that understand what needs to change in order to improve the business and hiring climate in Illinois.

And as a parent with young children, Wheeler’s eye is on the future.

“We need to make Illinois a state with an education system of which we are proud and that we can count on for preparing the next generation for success here in Illinois,” he said.

If elected, Wheeler’s priorities will include job creation, a focus on state spending and pension reform.

“While our state has been struggling to pay its bills and we suffered through a 67 percent increase in income taxes, the Democrats in Springfield increased state spending instead of paying off the outstanding bills,” Wheeler said. “This is the wrong approach to improving the balance sheet of the state of Illinois. We need to examine runaway Medicaid fraud and perform a forensic audit of state spending to root out waste, fraud, abuse and duplicative spending.

In regard to pension reform, Wheeler believes the only way to truly solve the pension mess would be to move to a defined contribution system so that payment to and on behalf of the employee will be complete at the same time the employee is working.

“For this reason, I will support massive expansion of the new defined-contribution program that was introduced in the recent pension bill,” he said.

An important step Wheeler would like to lead with is creation of a bipartisan Small Business Caucus to give the job-creating small business community in Illinois a louder voice in Springfield.

Wheeler created a plan called “Illinois Jobs for Illinois Families” in order to make the state “more competitive and give companies, entrepreneurs and hard-working citizens a reason to make Illinois their home.” The outline of Wheeler’s plan includes:
• Make Illinois a more affordable place to do business—stop the progressive income tax which would raise taxes on 85 percent of Illinois families
• Clean up the pension and bill payment mess in Springfield
• Perform a forensic audit to clear out waste, fraud, abuse and duplicative state spending
• Restore state funding promised to local school districts to keep our promise to our kids and prevent further increases in property taxes

Valerie Burd
Valerie Burd will compete for the 50th District Representative seat on Nov. 4.

Burd, a 25-year resident of Yorkville, served on the Yorkville City Council from 1998 to 2011, with nine years as Ward 2 alderman and four years as mayor. She’s currently on the Environmental Advisory Board for the Kendall County Health Department, a member of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk’s Woman’s Advisory Committee, and a member of the Board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society. She was recently appointed the Public Guardian and Public Administrator for Kendall County. She’s also a member of the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Green Committee.

Burd defines the role of 50th District Representative as a two-way job.

“First, a representative needs to listen and be accessible and available for his or her constituents to help resolve issues,” she said. “Second, a representative needs to keep residents of the district informed on what is happening in Springfield—how it affects them. A state representative is one of 118 people filling that role in Springfield, so people running for this spot need to focus on working with people on both sides of the aisle if they want to get something done. Collaboration is the key.”

Burd said she was a long-time supporter of Kay Hatcher, who is the current 50th District Representative.

“When I learned she was retiring, I was concerned that her position might not be filled by someone like Kay— a pro-choice, socially moderate candidate,” Burd said. “When I was asked to run, I decided that I would go forward and give people that choice in the November election.”

Burd said her decision to run for office stems from her love of this country, its constitution and the political process. She said she hears many people saying negative things about politicians—wanting to kick them all out of office. But when she looks back on this country’s history and sees the leaders who have stepped forward when they were most needed to solve problems, she said she has to feel that God has blessed this country and its citizens many times. “There are many good people, Democrats and Republicans, working to solve the problems we are facing,” Burd said. “We need to support these people, not the ones who are trying to tear us part. This is our government, created by us, and we are responsible for it.

Burd believes she is the best candidate for 50th District Representative because, as a former alderman and mayor of Yorkville for 13 years, she understands the needs of local municipalities and the residents in the district. She said she had the opportunity to talk to many people, listen to their comments and try to help them solve their problems.

“I served on Metro West Council of Government and the Metropolitan Council of Mayors, where we studied many of the problems Springfield is still facing today—like how to better fund education and pension reform,” Burd said. “I also am the owner of a small business and have been very involved with the local chamber and was formerly on the board of the Yorkville Economic Development Commission. I am not driven by an ideology. I am used to working with people on both sides of the aisle to find solutions to problems.”

One of the administration accomplishments Burd is most proud of is the consortium created by Yorkville’s Plan Commission. Plan Commission members from Yorkville and adjacent municipalities worked together and helped each other with planning issues. According to Burd, this helped heal the distrust that had been created by a previous administration and plans to site a landfill in Yorkville.

If elected, Burd’s priorities as 50th District Representative include job growth, a fairer property tax system, and working to fix Illinois’ financial problems. In terms of job growth, Burd said she intends to support and encourage existing and new education programs that help retrain the workforce for jobs that are available now and in the near future. She also intends to support infrastructure improvements, work with local chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and local elected officials in their efforts to attract new businesses and help retain existing businesses. Her other listed priorities affect job growth, she said.

“Kane and Kendall counties have some of the highest property tax rates in the U.S.,” she said. “This hurts us when we are trying to attract businesses to our area. The property tax is inequitable—it hurts people on fixed incomes and those who have lost their jobs, and it is passed on to businesses in high rental costs. We can’t just promise to cut taxes, because the taxes are needed to fund schools, municipalities, libraries, park districts, etc. Encouraging taxing bodies to cut their costs is one way to go, but during the recession, many of these taxing bodies made deep cuts. The only option is to look for alternate ways to fund some of them.

Burd said Illinois’ financial crisis is discouraging businesses from coming to the state. According to one report she’s read, as much as 70 percent of Illinois taxpayers’ dollars goes to pay for pensions.

“This needs to continue to be addressed, but people receiving pensions need to be represented at the table for the discussion,” she said. “We need to cut waste from our budget, but we don’t need to spend money on any audits or litigation. We need to carefully review all budgets and all expenditures, and hold employees accountable. But we need to ensure that education and infrastructure and other necessary programs are funded. If it were easy, it would have been solved already.”

Burd and her husband, Paul, have five children, three of whom are currently on active duty. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, with a minor in political science, from Northern Illinois University. She worked as a newspaper reporter, was managing editor of two weekly newspapers for the Naperville SUN, was a marketing director for a Batavia architectural firm, and worked in Waubonsee Community College’s Public Relations department. She currently owns Positive Media Solutions, Inc., a Yorkville marketing firm that does community guides, maps, advertising pieces and photography.

According to Burd, her campaign has received endorsements from the AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood and Personal Pac.

Kostelny to not proceed with re-count procedure

in March 18, 2014 by

KANE COUNTY—John Countryman, the attorney for Judge Marmarie Kostelny, recently announced that Kostelny has decided not to proceed further with the re-count procedures in a race to win a Kane County circuit judgeship in sub-circuit No. 3.

Countryman said that Illinois law provides for a discovery recount of 25 percent of the precincts in an election where a candidate for one office comes within 95 percent of the vote of the other candidate.

Kostelny had requested that discovery recount, which by the law cannot change the certified results.

The Illinois State Board of Elections on April 18 certified the results showing Donald (DJ) Tegeler the winner by seven votes. The discovery recount showed slight changes in outcomes and questionable ballots in a few precincts. However, Countryman went on to say that in order to proceed to a full and complete recount, “We need to allege that we have sufficient evidence that the outcome would be changed by a complete recount. After a careful review of all of the factors, even though we found differences in the counts that were reported both for and against Judge Kostelny we have determined that those differences are not sufficient to likely warrant a full recount.”

In addition to other considerations, Judge Kostelny asked Countryman not to proceed any further in order to avoid taxpayer expense in conducting a full recount of all the votes.

“In my experience, there will always be some minor discrepancies and oversights in the process of conducting elections,” said Countryman, a former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Elections. “Most elections are not this close, so this discovery review does not occur. However, generally good and dedicated people are working as election judges, and we believe that they are basically honest. Even though there might have been oversights on their part, we do not believe here they would change the ultimate result.

“Judge Kostelny made clear to me that she wishes to extend her appreciation to her supporters and the voters for both candidates for their support and patience during this process.”

Election: U.S. Senate

in March 18, 2014 by

Two candidates on March 18 will battle it out for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Jim_+oberweisJim Oberweis
Sugar Grove native Jim Oberweis defines the position of U.S. Senator as one with equally important roles: protecting the security of our nation, and helping to create an economic environment under which entrepreneurs and business people will risk their time, energy and capital to start and grow businesses, creating jobs and opportunity for everyone.

“We must get our economy moving forward again at a more rapid pace to help boost our middle class,” he said. “I think the protection of our nation both militarily and financially is something every person understands, but when it comes to our senator looking out for Illinois residents, I believe Illinois has been shortchanged in the leadership it has sent to the Senate because our Democrat senators tend to lean more toward the goals of special interest lobbying groups instead of the needs of our workers and families in need. That will change if I am elected.”

Oberweis believes Illinois needs a senator with experience in finance and business. While he grew up in the family milk and ice cream business, he had an older brother who went into the family business, so Jim chose to seek a different path. He started out as a math and science teacher, but soon moved into the financial services business as a stockbroker. He created a financial newsletter, the Oberweis Report, to document his track record as a stock picker. Oberweis then started his own stockbrokerage firm, money management company and investment mutual fund family.

Today, Oberweis Asset Management manages over $1 billion in pension assets. His son, Jim, manages that business today.

“I believe this is the kind of background that will help Illinois and our nation develop policies, which will help create jobs,” Oberweis said.

Oberweis said that given the financial crisis the country is in, it’s time for someone with financial and business experience. When his older brother, John, had a stroke and was unable to continue running the family dairy business, Jim purchased it. At the time, Oberweis Dairy had about 50 employees with a single store and home delivery service. Today Oberweis Dairy has 44 ice cream stores that also sell its milk and dairy products, and they are prominently featured in both the traditional chain supermarkets and some of the newer organic markets, such as Whole Foods.

In addition, they’ve just started a second concept called TBJ, or That Burger Joint, and the newest stores are dual concept Oberweis Ice Cream and That Burger Joint locations.

If elected, Oberweis’ highest priority is to get a truly balanced budget for the United States government in conjunction with a long-term sustainable financial model for the government to operate under for a prolonged period of time.

“What is most disturbing to me is that most Federal public officials have a meaningful understanding of world and American history, and they are aware that many successful nations throughout history have faltered or collapsed due to an unsustainable financial system or economic model,” he said. “I believe that unless we drastically change the planning, financing and operation of the Federal government—by both the Congress and the White House—we are seriously jeopardizing the ability of our nation to continue as it has for the last 250 years. For my children and grandchildren and, as of yet, unborn great-grandchildren, I want to help reverse that trend.”

Oberweis said he believes in passing a truly balanced budget for the United States government in conjunction with a long term sustainable financial model for the government to operate under indefinitely. He also wants to help “repair the damage done by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“The ACA was so badly conceived that I do not believe it can be fixed,” he said. “The premise that government knows best about what insurance we should be allowed to buy is fatally flawed. Therefore, we have no choice but to work with reasonable Democrats to produce a workable compromise plan that makes sense for all.”

To achieve those goals, Oberweis said he would keep an open mind in the spirit of one of the country’s greatest presidents.

“The greatest Republican to go to Washington from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, looked to people with divergent viewpoints, and even his political rivals, to learn every aspect of an issue and learn why people believed in a specific goal or strategy, regardless of whether he agreed with them or not,” Oberweis said. “I believe (in) keeping an open mind about how to best reach our collective current governmental goals, and will continue to follow the Lincoln process.”

Oberweis said he would work to return Congress to a more “collegial environment,” and believes legislators should vote yes on legislation they believe is good for the country and not on legislation they believe to be bad for the country, regardless of political consequences, as Oberweis has tried to do in the Illinois Senate.

“In addition to helping grow two successful businesses which employ over 1,200 people, I never get tired of being known as the “ice cream man” by the kids I meet,” Oberweis said. “They will roll their eyes if you tell them you’re just a senator, but you should see them light up when I tell them I own 44 ice cream stores.”

doug_truaxDoug Truax
Doug Truax sees the position of U.S. senator as an important representative of the people who seeks to preserve and protect freedoms and make sure that every citizen has the maximum opportunity to achieve the prosperity they desire.

As a former West Point and Army Ranger school grad and Army veteran, Truax has always believed in public service. What specifically motivated him to run for U.S. Senate was the way Democrats made Obamacare “the law of the land on a partisan procedural maneuver” on Christmas Eve, 2009.

“At that moment I decided I couldn’t stand on the sidelines any longer complaining about Washington,” Truax said. “I needed to get into the ring and fight for the America I believe in—the one that our Founding Fathers and so many others risked or gave their lives to create and preserve.”

Truax said he is running for U.S. Senate because he believes the current leadership in Washington and Illinois “has let us all down.”

And while it “purports to help the poor and the middle class,” Truax believes that the policies undertaken have done the opposite.

“We are stuck in an endless loop of ideological failure when it comes to our economy, education, our transportation system and energy,” he said. “Our unprecedented debt and record spending, combined with runaway regulation is strangling our future. Technological advancements in medicine, transportation and energy give us reason to hope for a brighter future, but we need leaders who are not stuck in a 1960s time warp and believe government is the driver for all goodness in our country.

“We need leaders who believe as the Founding Fathers did that the true greatness of America is found in its people and their resourcefulness and that government, while necessary, can be a detriment if allowed to grow too large.”

Truax said he is the best candidate in this race because the incumbent (Dick Durbin) has been in politics nearly his entire adult life and continues to rely on tired ideas and philosophies that have failed repeatedly in the public arena, yet continues to advocate those same failed policies with a curious disconnection to the results.

“He has rarely met a program, a spending plan, a tax or a regulation that he hasn’t embraced and enthusiastically supported,” Truax said. “My primary opponent (Jim Oberweis) has not been in public office as long, but not for lack of trying—he has lost five major elections in the last 11 years, and has “reinvented” himself several times along the way.

“I have little in common with either one of them. I have a military background, have never held public office and believe the ways of Washington and Springfield must change dramatically if we are to get our state and country back on track.”

Truax said he believes in results and has “little use for flowery words and good intentions that produce bad results for people.”

“We must break the cycle of sound bite politics that drive our public policy toward policies that have surface appeal but produce the opposite results,” he said. “We must break with the past, and my two opponents are less likely to see that dynamic and are more likely to favor policy prescriptions that don’t work well for Illinois families. I will be open-minded toward new thinking and new policies that break free from the old left-right paradigms.”

Should he be elected, Truax’s priorities will include reduction of the size and scope of government and reduction of the regulatory burden on all Americans; a repeal and replacement of Obamacare with market-driven health care reform that benefits all Americans; and achieving job growth by simplifying and lowering tax rates and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens on small business.

“The people of Illinois are tired of their leaders failing them,”Truax said. “Instead of following failed ideologies and blindly following party leaders, I pledge to always protect taxpayers, follow the Constitution, keep our nation strong and strive for results instead of hollow rhetoric. I believe my military background, my private sector experience and my passion to improve the lives of individuals and families makes me suited to be U.S. Senator. We have enough career politicians in Washington and they are making our lives worse.”

Election: Kane County Clerk

in March 18, 2014 by

Two candidates on March 18 will vie to become the Republican nominee for Kane County Clerk.

Jack_CunninghamJack Cunningham
Jack Cunningham has served three terms as Kane County Clerk since 2002. He considers himself as a public servant at heart and would like the opportunity to finish the job he began 12 years ago.

“While we’ve certainly brought the Clerk’s Office into the 21st century, there’s more to be done,” he said.

According to Cunningham, the Clerk’s Office motto of “You’re always welcome at the County Clerk’s Office” can’t just be words on paper. And whether it’s a first-time candidate, someone seeking a marriage license or death certificate, or a citizen redeeming his property taxes, they must be welcomed with competence, faithfully served and treated with respect.

“Since all of Kane County eventually comes through the Clerk’s Office, this is very important to me,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham believes experience is why he’s the best candidate for the County Clerk position. In addition to 20 years as a public administrator, he has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in business and public service, two jurisprudence doctorates, and he’s served as chairman of the board for three banks.

“My law background has been instrumental in interpreting and implementing the various state statutes and mandates that regularly impact our office,” he said. “Serving on the bank board taught me about finance and the importance of teamwork. And as you might imagine, I’ve learned quite a bit serving in the clerk’s capacity for 11 years.”

According to Cunningham, to be truly effective, the county clerk has to work with people of all political persuasions, and he’s proud to say he’s done exactly that for the last decade.

“In fact, it was this very experience that helped me broker the recent budget accord between the county chairman and coroner,” he said. “A good county clerk uses his or her experience to make the office run smoothly and bring people together.”

Should he win re-election, Cunningham’s priorities will include satellite offices in Aurora and Elgin, Ill., expansion of early voting and continuing to maintain the lowest per capita clerk’s budget in the collar counties.

“Should the Kane County Clerk assume the Aurora Election Commission’s responsibilities, it would be in the best interest of our constituents to establish (satellite) offices in Illinois’ second and eighth largest cities,” he said.

In terms of early voting expansion, Cunningham said the Clerk’s Office is looking at increasing the number of sites, the available hours at those sites, and strategic use of its mobile voting unit, the “Votemobile.” And he’d maintain a fiscally sound budget through the “prudent use of technological innovation, applying for grants whenever possible and adding new efficiencies to the election process.

“We will continue to keep the Kane County taxpayers’ best fiscal interest in mind,” he said.

Cunningham also noted that the Clerk’s Office has brought in $3.7 million in HAVA (Help America Vote Act) and other grants to help modernize voting equipment at no cost to Kane County taxpayers since 2002. And all birth, death and marriage records from 1836 to present have been scanned and will soon be available for genealogical research.

Mark_DavoustMark Davoust
Mark Davoust believes the county clerk position serves three major functions: maintenance of vital records, preparing tax extensions and running elections.

“In addition to performing these functions, I believe that the clerk should take a pro-active role in educating voters and working to include more voters in the electoral process,” he said.

A graduate of Naperville North High School, Davoust is the vice president of Brasel Products, Inc., where he began working in 1981. He’s also served as a commissioner for Kane County Board District 14 and the Kane County Forest Preserve since 2004. He holds an associates degree from Waubonsee Community College, and completed additional coursework at Western Illinois University and Aurora University.

In terms of community involvement, Davoust is a member of the National Federation of Independent Business and Illinois Manufacturer’s Association. He’s a former coach of youth softball and soccer, a former director of the Illinois Bar Foundation and a former member of the Downtown Batavia Task Force.

Davoust said he seeks the Republican nomination for Kane County clerk because he “witnessed a downward spiral in the number of participating voters and recognized a need within the Clerk’s Office to reach out to voters.”

“With voter turnout hovering at around 10 percent, we can and should do a better job of educating and engaging voters,” he said. “We need to remind voters of the importance of local government.”

Davoust considers himself the best candidate for the county clerk position because he will “bring a new energy and a fresh perspective to the office.”

“I bring a record of accomplishment from my time on the Kane County Board and from running a successful small business, in Kane County, to the table,” he said. “I will be a better steward of taxpayer’s dollars and work to save taxpayers money.”

If elected, Davoust’s top three priorities as county clerk will include working to combine the offices of clerk and recorder to increase efficiencies and save taxpayers money; working to identify effective polling places and secure long-term commitments to those locations; and developing a consistent message to be delivered to the schools and communities, year-round, to educate and encourage voter participation.

To achieve those goals, Davoust said he plans to work closely with his current colleagues on the Kane County Board, taking advantage of their local knowledge of each of their respective districts.

“I plan to approach the Regional Office of Education and school superintendants throughout the county in order to begin a program designed to raise awareness of the importance of local government and thereby increase voter participation,” Davoust said.

‘Show You Care Kane’ public question

in March 18, 2014 by

KANE COUNTY—The Show You Care Kane Committee will seek support for residents with mental and physical disabilities with a referendum item on the March 18 ballot.

Once people with disabilities reach the age of 22, they are no longer eligible for school programs and support. The Show You Care Kane initiative is intended to support young adults with mental or physical disabilities such as down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

With the funding, adults with mental and physical disabilities would receive training they need for a job. Adults that are capable would be able to get a job and receive a pay check.

“Many of the young adults with disabilities do not care about the size of the pay check they receive. They feel a sense of accomplishment because they earned it,” said Gil Fonger, president and CEO of Marklund, a day school for children with special needs, and a Life Skills training academy for teens diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum.

The young adults would also have a regular schedule that would have them out of the house from 9 a.m. to at least 3 p.m. They would also enjoy various activities and events that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Should the referendum pass, the Kane County board will appoint three members for a board called the Care and Treatment of Persons with Disabilities, which would meet this July to determine the levy rate and how the funds are distributed. It is estimated that a home in Kane County with a value of $182,000 would pay around $55 per year, or $1 per week.

SG Library seeks limiting rate increase

in March 18, 2014/Sugar Grove by

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library hopes to increase its limiting rate an additional $2.14 per month, or $25 more per year (for a home valued at $100,000), through a referendum on the March 18 ballot. The library needs additional funds to maintain the facility and grounds, support a number of current programs, departments and new programs it would like to add this year. The additional money would help the library afford the purchase of more materials in physical and downloadable formats, as well as the purchase of new computers to replace aging ones.

The library has attempted to raise the limiting rate in the past to no avail. It needs to increase that rate this year to replenish its budget. The additional several dollars per month would also extend the library’s hours.

“If the limiting rate passed during the referendum, we could have the library open every day with consistent hours,” said Library Director Carol Dolin. “Right now, we are open some mornings and some evenings. People would be able to remember our hours easily.”

The library staff is concerned with the library’s current budget.

“Our budget is almost depleted after we threw the party celebrating the library being open for 50 years,” Dolin said. “We would really like to see this referendum pass so that we can also have money to fund our summer programs.”

The library celebrated its 50-year milestone last July, and provided food, beverages and entertainment from the a cappella group Ac Rock.

The Sugar Grove library currently has the lowest limiting rate in the area, with Kaneville, Oswego, Elburn, Aurora and Batavia all possessing higher rates. With a vast amount of services offered, the library staff hopes that the public will vote to pass the referendum to ensure that the library can continue to offer a large variety of programs and materials.

Should the referendum pass, the library staff will survey the public to understand their needs and expectations for library hours, programs and materials.

Energy savings program for unincorporated Kane residents

in March 18, 2014 by

KANE COUNTY—The Department of Environmental & Water Resources is looking to pass an electric aggregation referendum that would reduce the cost of electric bills for residents of unincorporated Kane County. In an effort to create awareness about the referendum, Kane County sent out 16,000 letters to residents of unincorporated Kane County to let them know they have the opportunity to pass a referendum that would save them money on their electric bill.

Ken Anderson Jr., director of the Environmental & Water Resources, would like to see the residents take advantage of this energy savings program.

“The program is totally voluntary, and anyone can opt out at anytime at no cost,” he said. “The goal is to save residents of unincorparted Kane County money on their electric bills.”

This energy savings opportunity was made possible through the last part of the deregulation process that originally only allowed larger customers such as individual commercial and government entities to participate. It’s now open to residential and small businesses.

If the electrical aggregation referendum does pass, ComEd will have to compete with power suppliers from around the midwest in order to continue to supply electricity to small business owners and residential homes of Kane County. There are 5 to 8 other suppliers that will bid for this opportunity, according to Anderson.

The Kane County Board would administer a small administrative fee for the energy savings program, which would cost residents between $.10 to $.50 per month, or per 1,000 kilowatts. On average a home uses around 1,000 kilowatts per month, according to Anderson.

“We are wanting to use the big numbers that we have in unincorporated Kane County to obtain a good price from a provider,” Anderson said.

Election: 50th District Representative

in March 18, 2014 by

Four candidates on March 18 will compete for the 50th District Representative Republican nomination.

juliecosimoJulie Cosimo
Julie Cosimo defines the role of the 50th District Representative as serving the constituents of its district on a full-time basis, in addition to introducing bills and resolutions and serving on committees.

“A representative in any district should be the eyes and ears of the constituents they serve and that of the community,” she said.

Cosimo will challenge for the 50th District Representative Republican nomination on the March 18 General Primary Election ballot. She’s the director of Career Development and a lecturer at Benedictine University, and currently serves as the first vice president of the Kendall County Republican Women, president of the Illinois Small College Placement Association and as a board member for the Kendall County Historical Society.

“In my current position, I speak to employers and job seekers everyday who express their frustrations with the job market and the current state of the economy,” Cosimo said. “I am running (for office) to move Springfield in a better direction by reducing spending, spurring job growth, holding down taxes and improving educational opportunities.”

Cosimo believes she’s the best candidate for 50th District Representative because she has over 17 years of experience in education; extensive experience in workforce development and job creation, including work with thousands of job seekers and employers to create job opportunities; and she founded and ran a successful business, providing her with a strong foundation in understanding the challenges that both employees and employers face.

“I believe that the combination of all of these experiences will be instrumental in moving our state in the right direction. Additionally, over the years, I have served on many committees and boards, of which I believe to be an asset to being able to serve the voters in this district,” Cosimo said.

If elected, Cosimo’s priorities will include creating an environment that will improve the economy and create good-paying jobs; developing a business-friendly environment by removing unnecessary regulations and reducing taxation that prevent businesses from hiring and retaining employees; and putting the Medicaid system under the microscope.

“With the rise in Medicaid fraud, our state needs to strongly look at eligibility requirements and ensure that people that should not be on Medicaid are not receiving it,” Cosimo said. “A system needs to be put in place where there needs to be better oversight for those that receive Medicaid.”

In terms of improving the economy and creating jobs that pay well, Cosimo said it can be done by partnering with businesses and colleges to develop workforce-training programs that will prepare our community residence for a 21st century global workforce.

“We need to get people back to work,” she said.

Cosimo would also join a coalition of “like-minded legislators in Springfield who can work together.”

“There are good elected officials in Springfield that want to make a difference. I will find them, join them and work with them to create a team to provide a better solution for the good of Illinois,” she said. “We will do this by becoming a vocal minority that gets the attention of the media, voters and eventually the legislators in Springfield.”

Cosimo is running for the 50th District Representative Republican nomination because she wants to be influential in restoring Illinois to its natural health while focusing on building a better job market and improving the educational system.

“I have never held an elected office, nor have I ever received or requested any money from taxpayers,” she said.

Beth_GoncherBeth Goncher
When it comes to discussing her qualifications for office, 50th District Representative Republican candidate Beth Gonchar is humble and straightforward.

“There is very little my opponents and I disagree on but I’m the only candidate who can hit the ground running in Springfield,” Goncher said. “This is not the time for on-the-job training. I understand the legislative process. I know the issues and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked. More importantly, I understand how bad legislation affects our families and our employers. Springfield is out of gimmicks, and the issues facing our state are urgent.”

A graduate of Rosary High School and Dominican University, Goncher spent numerous years working in human resources before she took a job as Legislative and Constituent Services director for State Representative Tim Schmitz in 2001—a position she holds to this day. She also served on the Board of Directors for The Compassion Foundation, a not-for-profit, before she was named executive director of the organization in January 2014.

Goncher believes the role of the office of State Representative is to be a voice and a resource for the people of the district, as well as the state. She said the position of State Representative should not be looked at as a career, but rather as a privilege.

“I’m outraged at business as usual in Illinois politics,” she said. “I’ve spent years talking with friends and neighbors from all different backgrounds. I know there are others like me who are outraged by the dysfunction in Springfield. Members of the Illinois Legislature seem to care more about getting re-elected than dealing with out-of-control spending, and satisfying special interests than they do about families and jobs. I’ve had enough, and I’m not the only one.”

If elected, Goncher’s priorities will include the state budget, promoting job policies and reforming the pension system while enacting term limits for all state politicians in order to “stop career politicians who got us in this mess.”

“I strongly support and will push for a balanced budget amendment and crystal-clear transparency in the state budget to end the shell games that have put us in this mess,” she said. “(Promotion of job policies) will make Illinois competitive again with our neighboring states. We’re getting left behind and we must have forward-thinking leadership before it’s too late for us.”

Gonchar knows full well what it will take to achieve her goals if she takes office.

“I’m going to work tirelessly to be the voice of communities in our area,” she said. “Places like Elburn and Sugar Grove, Batavia and Yorkville, where common sense still matters and you simply don’t spend more money than you have. I’m outraged at the lack of common sense in Springfield, and I want people to know that our voices will be heard.”

bill_keckWilliam Keck
In his candidacy for the 50th District Representative Republican nomination this spring, candidate William Keck’s message is simple and to the point.

“I want to represent the citizens of District 50 in the Illinois General Assembly,” he said.

Keck served as Kane County Auditor from 1992 to 2012, but that’s hardly where his resume ends. He’s currently treasurer for the Kane County Central Committee and Kane County Western Township, and has served as a charter member of the Sugar Grove Lions Club since 1969. He was the founding director of Mutual Ground in 1975, Sugar Grove Troop 41 Boy Scout leader from 1968 to 1970, and currently on the St. Gall Church Finance Committee and as secretary treasurer for the Sugar Grove Cemetery Association.

Keck is a lifelong resident of Sugar Grove, and describes himself as a fiscal and social conservative who believes strongly in the platform of the Republican Party. He holds a BBA in management from Notre Dame University and a Master of Science in accountancy from Northern Illinois University.

Keck said he is concerned about the state of Illinois’ financial condition and believes that an audit professional can make a difference.

“I am the only candidate with experience managing government budgets,” he said.

Should he be elected, Keck’s priorities will include creating a balanced budget with a revenue stream for each expenditure; honoring agreements and fully funding the pension liability; and encouraging small-business development with tax incentives and a reduction of regulations.

Keck would also work with fellow Republicans and Democrats who are concerned with the condition of Illinois’ finances and want to save the state from bankruptcy.

“Having served five terms as Kane County Auditor, I believe that an audit professional can make a difference in the Illinois General Assembly,” Keck said. “I do not agree with a tax increase at this time. We need to reduce costs and increase efficiency in Illinois government.”

Keck also opposes a progressive income tax.

“Illinois needs to return to the flat 3 percent income tax.”

Wheeler_KeithKeith Wheeler
Keith Wheeler sees the role of 50th District Representative as the people’s representation in the General Assembly in Springfield.

“While the General Assembly is seen primarily in its role of making laws, a state representative is also a resource for constituents when it comes to state government issues, problems and concerns,” he said.

Wheeler on March 18 will seek the 50th District Representative Republican nomination.

He currently owns Responsive Network Services, LLC., and serves as a Bristol Township trustee and Bristol 5 Republican Precinct committeeman.

He’s also currently the board chairman for Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, board chairman for Kendall County Food Pantry, Illinois Leadership Council chairman for National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), current board treasurer for Oswego Bears Youth Football and Cheer Pop Warner program, District 308 Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee member.

As a small business owner in Illinois, Wheeler said he has seen first-hand the damage that Springfield has done to the Illinois business community.

“Employers, jobs and families are leaving Illinois at a frightening pace. In my role as board chairman of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Leadership Council for NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), I hear from fellow business owners that Illinois is not as competitive as we should be. That is demonstrated by our unemployment rate being higher than any of our neighboring states. We see it locally by the increase in the demand for food at local food pantries. I pay close attention to this in my role as the Kendall County Food Pantry board chairman. I am running to help create and support Illinois jobs for Illinois families—that’s actually the theme of my campaign.”

Twenty-two years as a small-business owner means that Wheeler signs the front of paychecks; not just the back. It also means he understands what job creators are dealing with in today’s business climate. He believes he has a pulse on the business community and has working relationships with the organizations that understand what needs to change in order to improve the business and hiring climate in Illinois.

And as a parent with young children, Wheeler’s eye is on the future.

“We need to make Illinois a state with an education system of which we are proud and that we can count on for preparing the next generation for success here in Illinois,” he said.

If elected, Wheeler’s priorities will include job creation, a focus on state spending and pension reform.

“While our state has been struggling to pay its bills and we suffered through a 67 percent increase in income taxes, the Democrats in Springfield increased state spending instead of paying off the outstanding bills,” Wheeler said. “This is the wrong approach to improving the balance sheet of the state of Illinois. We need to examine runaway Medicaid fraud and perform a forensic audit of state spending to root out waste, fraud, abuse and duplicative spending.

In regard to pension reform, Wheeler believes the only way to truly solve the pension mess would be to move to a defined contribution system so that payment to and on behalf of the employee will be complete at the same time the employee is working.

“For this reason, I will support massive expansion of the new defined contribution program that was introduced in the recent pension bill,” he said.

An important step Wheeler would like to lead with is creation of a bipartisan Small Business Caucus to give the job-creating small-business community in Illinois a louder voice in Springfield.

Wheeler created a plan called “Illinois Jobs for Illinois Families” in order to make the state “more competitive and give companies, entrepreneurs and hard-working citizens a reason to make Illinois their home.” The outline of Wheeler’s plan includes:
• Make Illinois a more affordable place to do business—stop the progressive income tax which would raise taxes on 85 percent of Illinois families
• Clean up the pension and bill payment mess in Springfield
• Perform a forensic audit to clear out waste, fraud, abuse and duplicative state spending
• Restore state funding promised to local school districts to keep our promise to our kids and prevent further increases in property taxes

Election: Kane County Board District 5

in March 18, 2014 by

The race for the Kane County Board District 5 Republican nomination in the March 18 General Primary Election will come down to incumbent Melisa Taylor and challenger Bill Lenert

Bill_LenertBill Lenert
Bill Lenert believes Kane County Board members are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the interests and desires of the residents of Kane County.

Lenert on March 18 will seek the board’s District 5 seat and the opportunity to represent its 22,000 residents.

“I would work to ensure that our taxpayers receive the best possible return on every tax dollar they spend,” he said.

In order to accomplish this, Lenert, a Sugar Grove resident, said he will listen to the needs and desires of his constituents to make sure the board is utilizing its county resources in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible to improve the daily lives of its residents.

Lenert has a wife, Mary; three kids, Katie, Bill and Mike; and six grandchildren. He’s been a small-business owner in Kane County for over 29 years, and has seen the way that burdensome regulations and high taxes can cripple business expansion and job growth in our community. He owns Lenert Insurance Agency in Aurora.

“I believe the same sound, fiscal principles that I have utilized personally and in my business should be implemented by our County Board to ensure responsible and proper use of our taxes,” he said.

Lenert believes that being a first-time candidate for political office will provide the citizens of District 5 with a new voice on issues impacting our local community.

“I am running because I know I can be an asset to the County Board in working to make our community an even more desirable place to live and work,” he said.

He also believes his business, educational (M.B.A., Illinois Benedictine University), and community leadership experience distinguish him from his opponent. Over the past 30 years, Lenert’s been an active community participant, serving as co-chair of the successful 2004 West Aurora School District Referendum, co-chair of the successful 2013 Saint Katharine Drexel “Open Wide Your Hearts” building campaign, board member of the Rockford Diocese Finance Council since 2006, as well as former president of the Holy Angels School Board, and former board member of the Aurora Family Counseling Service.

“These experiences allow me to offer a fresh perspective to the County Board that is most reflective of the desires and needs of our residents,” Lenert said. “My professional demeanor will make me a more effective representative in working with community leaders and our taxpayers to serve the needs of the residents of District 5.”

If elected, Lenert’s top three priorities will include lowering taxes, extending Metra to Sugar Grove, and promoting more jobs and better wages.

“I fully support maintaining a frozen property tax levy indefinitely,” he said. “It is imperative that our County Board members continue to exercise sound fiscal management in eliminating financial waste to lessen the ever increasing tax burdens placed upon our residents.”

In terms of the Metra-to-Sugar Grove project, Lenert sees the improvement of transportation as a critical component to the economic well-being of any community. And by extending Metra to Sugar Grove, he believes the citizens of District 5 will be provided with a convenient means of transportation that is lacking.

“Accomplishing this goal will connect our residents with surrounding suburbs and Chicago, making District 5 more attractive to commuters and businesses alike,” he said. “In order to promote more jobs and better wages in Kane County, we must attract new businesses to our community. Having been a lifelong Kane County resident and local business owner, I have developed relationships with many successful individuals and businesses in our community. My ability to comfortably conduct myself in a professionally diplomatic manner makes me the best candidate to attract new development and business opportunities to District 5.”

Lenert sees an environment of professional collaboration and mutual respect between County Board members and department directors as critical to the successful operations of the county, and believes its leaders must be able to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner if they wish to work together to improve the quality of life for residents.

“My business and community experiences allow me to best professionally, competently and diplomatically represent the interests of District 5,” he said. “Additionally, our community leaders must make themselves available to address the needs and concerns of their constituents. If elected, my constituents can expect to be treated with the same respect and attentiveness I have provided to my insurance clients for the past 30 years. I will make every effort to promptly respond to their questions and concerns and will work to make sure their needs are properly addressed.”

Lenert defines his motivation for seeking the District 5 County Board seat with a simple reason.

“I believe that my experiences as a lifelong Kane County resident and local business owner will assist the County Board in working collaboratively to improve the quality of life for all Kane County residents,” he said.

Melissa_TaylorMelisa Taylor
Kane County Board District 5 member Melisa Taylor sees the role of community volunteer as essential to public service.

As founder of Sugar Grove’s Between Friends Food Pantry, Taylor’s seen firsthand the obstacles and pain felt in families in the 5th District and elsewhere throughout Kane County.

“(That) is forefront in my mind when I take a vote or a position on issues affecting us,” Taylor said. “I have worked with taxpayers to ask our assessor why she is raising our assessments when our taxes are going nowhere but up. I think about our fiscal condition when I ask difficult questions. Why can’t we merge these services and make our government work more efficiently?”

As a community volunteer, Taylor became involved with educational issues while raising two daughters with her husband, Rich. Before long she was elected to serve as a trustee on the Sugar Grove Village Board.

“As I realized that our county government demanded an independent voice, free from influence, nepotism and conflicts, I moved toward consideration of a County Board seat,” she said.

Elected to the County Board in fall 2010 and re-elected in 2012, Melisa has helped residents battle local flooding problems, and she’s worked hard for an expanded commercial development along Randall Road. She said she wants to avoid additional costs to business owners when they want to develop in Kane County.

Taylor said the average American family statistically has $3,000 in average savings, so every penny that they give to the county as taxpayers to government, especially locally, makes the County Board’s responsibility to them serious and sacred.

“Our job as County Board members is to remember that we must stand up, do the right thing and ensure that we are always aware that our allegiance is to our districts, and that our job is to work cooperatively with those on the board to ensure that our district is well represented,” Taylor said.

Taylor also believes she’s done her best to stay involved in district outreach activities, including volunteerism, local public service, church expansion and rebuilding. She was involved in finding an alternative building while St. Katherine’s Parish was under construction, and served on the Solheim Cup Committee. She also helped the county veteran’s coordinator to organize the Veteran’s Honor Day at the Kane County Wall honoring service men and women.

“I enjoy staying in touch with people in the 5th District,” she said.

Taylor has traveled downstate to represent her district, organized tax appeal meetings, and she’s assisted in sending messages out about subdivision, village and township needs. She’s also made it a priority to question “needless county waste and spending.”

“I have never denied that I investigate, inquire and want to ensure that my constituents know that the money they give to their county government is being utilized for solid projects, plans, and programs, which will serve the needs of the district,” Taylor said. “My investigations seek to ensure that my peers and I work cooperatively so valuable projects sought in our district are met favorably by my colleagues.”

Taylor also notes that she believes she has no personal conflicts that may interfere with her decisions to represent the people in her district.

“My opponent does have clear conflicts of interest, which would arise during voting and decision making as a board member,” Taylor said. “Being a childhood friend of the county chairman, a major donor for (Kane County Board Chairman Chris) Lauzen’s campaigns and also his longtime insurance agent means he will likely follow his lead in any issue and vote as told to. My opponent’s son also works for the law firm representing the county chairman, the County Board and the Forest Preserve, which also brings up more issues of nepotism and pay-to-play politics.”

If re-elected, Taylor wants to focus on the completion of the Route 47/I-88 interchange by working as a team with local, state, federal and private entities, and she’s also interested in the extension of Dauberman Road, stressing the need to re-establish communication and teamwork to explore the process and the possibility of any potential outside financing.

Taylor also wants to continue working with Metra on its Sugar Grove extension by progressing talks in order to keep the project on the forefront of the company’s project list.

“If re-elected, Taylor pledges to research the issues and ask the appropriate questions, and said she supports her fellow board members to do the same.

“I pledged when I took office that I would remain vigilant in regard to needless spending, consolidate government service when needed and treat your money as if it is the last dollar available. This has not always been popular, but my resolve is to do whatever is right for my district. They are my employers, and my dedication to them is my first priority.”

Election: Kane County Sheriff

in March 18, 2014 by

Two candidates on the March 18 General Primary Election ballot will vie for the Kane County Sheriff Republican nomination.

Kramer_DonDonald Kramer
Donald Kramer defines the role of Kane County Sheriff as the responsibility to protect the rights of all citizens and uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of Illinois.

Kramer, a retired lieutenant and the Republican nominee for Kane County Sheriff in 2010, is committed to making a difference in the community by keeping Kane County a great place to live and work.

“I will strive to provide excellence in the service we provide our community in protection of your property and family, the efficient operation of the county jail and the security of county government buildings,” Kramer said. “I will also be a fair and honest leader to the 300 employees of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and a good steward of the $26 million dollar budget.”

Kramer’s role model in law enforcement is his father, retired sheriff George Kramer, who was a juvenile officer at Batavia Police Department before becoming sheriff.

“I watched as he helped kids get their lives back on track,” Kramer said.

Kramer is also active with Kane County Safe Kids, Suicide Prevention Services and the Geneva Rotary Club to give back to his community and serve the needs of its youth.

“I have seen too many young people lose their lives to poor decisions and, like my father, have made a lifetime commitment to helping our youth succeed in life,” Kramer said.

If elected, Kramer said he would set goals for officers and create an administrative structure that oversees the daily functions and plans for the unexpected. He hopes to improve the personal relationships the Sheriff’s Office has built with the community and expand the opportunities for its officers to better serve the needs of neighborhoods and businesses.

“It is important for me to run for sheriff because I believe there are many improvements that can be made to reduce crime and increase the quality of life in our county,” Kramer said.

Kramer has also worked on many projects within the Sheriff’s Office and organizations in the community, with the focus on solving problems that confront Kane County citizens.

“It is very important that law enforcement work closely with the community to address our concerns and resolve them through partnerships,” he said.

Kramer has 30 years of police experience, all with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, and he believes the leadership roles during his career have prepared him for the challenges of operating a large fiscal budget and managing 300 employees. Over a period of eight years as a lieutenant, he was responsible for department training, computer network administration, new recruit training, community policing, civil process and grant writing.

As a sergeant, Kramer led a county-wide traffic safety program that was recognized nationally for reducing deaths and injuries.

“I am the only candidate with a master’s degree (criminal justice, Chicago State University) and also advanced certificates in police administration and computer network administration,” he said. “(And) I have made a commitment to serve the community for over 20 years in many non-profit and community-based organizations to improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

Kramer’s list of priorities as sheriff would include improvement of the flow of information to our officers and the public by the command staff (lieutenants); participation with other local law enforcement agencies and community organizations in promoting educational programs that address bullying, drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide; and identification of ways to reduce costs and lessen the burden to taxpayers.

“I would like to see the Sheriff’s Office become more green, thereby reducing energy costs and monthly expenditures,” Kramer said. “I have examined alternative fuels for fleet vehicles and believe we can reduce our overall budget each year after the initial cost of conversion to natural gas or propane. I believe we should also incorporate wind and solar power at our facilities to reduce traditional energy costs.”

To achieve those items, Kramer believes his goals must reflect the needs of the community and involve input from office employees.

“I have listened to the concerns of citizens and have been considering action plans to solve these problems,” he said. But through experience, I know I need the input of the workforce to be successful. I believe in team-building and encouraging all staff members to participate in making the organization more efficient and productive.”

In terms of the sheriff’s current state of coverage for western portions of the county during nighttime hours, Kramer said the number of patrol officers assigned to each shift is best determined by the number of calls received during the shift and the available time officers have to devote to crime prevention.

“I believe that we could improve coverage all over the county with additional deputies, but that would require an increase in the budget and the raising of your taxes,” he said. “Instead, I have plans to distribute officers more evenly across all three shifts and stagger the shift changes so officers are available in all areas of the county. This is important because it will reduce the amount of time it takes for officers to respond to calls and assure coverage in western townships.”

Kramer said everyone has a stake in keeping local neighborhoods safe so that families can enjoy security at nearby schools, parks and businesses.

“We also need to confront some very unpleasant issues dealing with drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence,” he said. “I believe that my career as a police officer for over 30 years and the commitment to several community organizations for the last 20 years, have prepared me to take on this leadership role.”

Williams_KevinKevin Williams
Kane County Sheriff candidate Kevin Williams sees the position of sheriff as the top law enforcement officer in the county—one that oversees three branches: the courts, corrections and public safety.

“The sheriff’s role is building partnerships with the Kane County Board, the community, local school officials, law enforcement agencies, local governments, townships and civic organizations,” he said. “The sheriff must also be a good leader and manager in order to run an efficient and effective office.”

Williams currently serves as lieutenant of Community Policing and Crime Prevention at the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. He was the Republican nominee for Kane County Sheriff in 2006. He holds a Police Staff and Command Certification from Northwestern University, a Corrections Officers Certification from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as additional certifications in Northeast Multi-Regional Training, gang specialist investigations, drug investigations, suburban law enforcement, human resource development and internal affairs.

In terms of community, Williams is a member of Friends of Jason Gould leukemia and lymphoma fundraising organization, and he’s a Special Olympics volunteer. Williams and his wife Tracy have three children and two grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way.

Williams seeks the position of Kane County Sheriff because of his strong passion for public service, as well as his 35 years of civil service, 22 of which has been through the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

“I am running for Kane County Sheriff because I have the knowledge, skill and the abilities needed to manage a complex, professional law enforcement organization that is dedicated to the community’s needs,” Williams said. “I am running for Kane County Sheriff because I have a long-standing passion to pursue those who do harm against the residents of Kane County. I am devoted to Kane County and will strive to keep it a safe place in which to live, work and raise our families.”

As a lieutenant with numerous administrative assignments, Williams believes he has proven to be a good manager utilizing his organizational, planning, and reasoning abilities, and that he has demonstrated the character to build trust and the competence to lead.

“I have the right temperament to work with my fellow employees, other government bodies and community members,” he said. “I have arrested more criminals who have committed felonies in Kane County than my opponent. I have criminal investigative experience, a thorough knowledge of crime scene protection/evidence collection, investigations of dangerous street gangs and as an undercover narcotics officer.

Williams said he has built law enforcement and community coalitions throughout his tenure with the Sheriff’s Office to achieve “greater impact on gang and drug problems, improve senior safety, school safety and neighborhood watch programs.”

“My dedication to communities for over 20 years uniquely qualifies me to understand the impact that crime is having on our communities,” he said. “I have a strong record of getting to the core of the problem and coming to achievable solutions.”

If elected, Williams’ priorities will include combatting the growing heroin and prescription drug abuse problem in Kane County.

“Having served on a panel with law enforcement, recovering addicts and families who have lost loved ones, I know that the best way to combat the growing use of heroin is to work with the community, schools and local law enforcement to educate the community on the changing face of heroin abuse,” he said. “I will continue to educate the community on the dangers of heroin and prescription drug abuse.”

Williams would also prioritize the protection of Kane County’s most vulnerable citizens, including its growing senior population and its children.

“I will continue to work with senior service programs, TRIAD programs, and other local law enforcement programs to protect Kane County’s growing senior population,” he said. “I will also continue to work closely with school administrators to protect our children against intruders, bullying, and continue education on substance abuse.”

Williams also wants to run an efficient and fiscally responsible office, and work closely with the County Board and the Command Staff at the Sheriff’s Office to ensure that the office is “running as fiscally responsible as possible.”

“Success as a sheriff hinges on the ability to build partnerships with the employees of the Sheriff’s Office, the community, local municipalities and the county government,” Williams said. “I have been doing just that for the past 20 years and will continue to strive for better and stronger partnerships in order to be a successful Sheriff.”

In terms of the Kane County Sheriff’s ability to adequately patrol western portions of the county during nighttime hours, Williams believes the Sheriff’s Office has done its best to protect the citizens of Kane County despite being understaffed.

“Sheriff Perez has done a great job with the resources he has,” Williams said. “This is why community involvement, through the form of programs like Neighborhood Watch and senior safety crime education programs, are important. I have been working with such programs as lieutenant of Community Policing and will continue to facilitate good working relationships with communities as sheriff. Continuing to build partnerships with the community is the biggest force enhancer law enforcement has.”

Williams has been nominated three times for the Kane County Sheriff’s Officer of the Year Award. He’s accepted the Courage Award for risking his life, as he entered a structure fire in an attempt to locate a handicapped subject. He received the Meritorious Award for driving his personal four-wheel drive vehicle to rescue numerous deputies who were stranded for over 24 hours in the blizzard of 2011, and was the recipient of the Leadership Award for his direction, organization and planning of responding and assisting officers to a home invasion/attempted murder incident, and also the Life Saving Award for locating and saving a citizen who was about to commit suicide with a shotgun.
Accolades aside, Williams’ message is simple.

“I am the best choice for Kane County Sheriff,” he said.

Editorial: The results are in

in April 9, 2013/Editorial/Opinion by

… And just like that, 2013 Consolidated Election season is over. Kaput. Finito.

Tuesday’s election festivities resulted in some familiar officials staying put in their current position, as well as some new faces hitting the local government scene via big wins at the polls. Here’s what we know:

• A highly competitive, combative village president race in Sugar Grove resulted in incumbent Sean Michels retaining his seat for another four years. Michels, defeated village trustee Kevin Geary by collecting 55.72 percent of the vote.
• Tom Rowe is the new Sugar Grove Township supervisor, thanks to an election performance in which he carried over 44 percent of the vote in a four-man race.
• The Sugar Grove Village Board retained two trustees in Rick Montalto and Robert Bohler, and added a new one in Sean Herron, who outlasted trustee hopefuls Gayle Deja-Schultz and Stephanie Landorf.
• Elburn, too, retained two of its village trustees—Kenneth Anderson Jr. and Jeffrey Walter—and added village plan commissioner Pat Schuberg. Be sure to check out reporter Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill’s write-up of Schuberg on page 1A of this week’s issue.
• Patricia Hill is Kaneville’s next village president, as she edged Rick Peck by just three votes on Tuesday evening. Peck served as interim village president following the passing of Bob Rodney in July 2012.
• Maple Park will have a newcomer on its Village Board, as Lucas Goucher was one of three candidates elected to a four-term position on Tuesday evening. Greg Cutsinger and Terry Borg were also elected to four-year seats in Maple Park.

Commentary follows election
aftermath in Sugar Grove
Michels said he’s excited for the opportunity to serve four more years as Sugar Grove village president.

“It was great to have the support of the rest of the board, and we worked together,” he said. “I think people are tired of the negativity and the complaining. The residents have said that things are progressing in Sugar Grove. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we have a lot more to accomplish as we move forward. I am looking forward to the opportunity. I think my opponent has some fence-mending to do.”

Geary on Tuesday night was gracious in defeat, and noted that he still has two years left in his current term—time that he plans to spend representing Sugar Grove and “being their champion for issues and concerns.”

“A lot of things have been said throughout this campaign, but we’re all Sugar Grove residents, and we need to pull together and make this the world-class community that we desire to make it,” Geary said.

Rowe makes it count
with election night win
What can $600 get you these days? If you’re Tom Rowe, plenty.

That’s the total Rowe spent on his grassroots campaign for Sugar Grove Township supervisor, and it will go down as the best $600 he’s ever spent. Rowe came out way ahead of his three opponents in Tuesday night’s election.

“It’s a big relief (to win the election). I really didn’t know it would come out this way,” Rowe said. “I thought I had a good campaign, and the race was mostly clean and positive. The voters have spoken, and I look forward to beginning a new chapter for Sugar Grove Township.”

On Tuesday morning, it was discovered that someone had tried to burn one of Rowe’s campaign signs.

Anderson, Walter thankful for re-election
Elburn trustee re-elect Kennth Anderson said he’s thankful and blessed to have the support of the residents of the village of Elburn.

“It has been a pleasure to have represented them for the past four years, (and) I look forward to representing them for four more.”

Walter said public service is truly a calling, and even just running takes a huge commitment to your community.

“Elburn is in an incredible position for future growth that needs to be managed properly,” he said. “My commitment to the village is to continue to be the voice of my constituents in managing the village with a sense of fiscal responsibility and an eye toward smart growth.”

Of course, these election results were made possible by residents getting out and hitting the polls. We applaud everyone who made the effort to ensure that their voice was heard this election season, and we hope voter turnout will be even greater next time around.

Until then, farewell 2013 Consolidated Election season. Though our time together was brief, we absolutely enjoyed every second of it.

Mallard Point still an issue of contention for Geary

in April 9, 2013/Sugar Grove by

by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—Long-simmering tensions between Village President Sean Michels and his challenger, trustee Kevin Geary, spilled into public view just weeks prior to the April 9 election for Village President.

Geary has accused Michels of arranging “a backroom deal” that caused Mallard Point residents to experience another decade of groundwater problems.

Though Geary ultimately retracted his accusation that Michels and the village had acted illegally after the Village Board approved the public release of minutes from a 2003 executive session at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, he continues to maintain that residents have not yet received the truth.

The issue
Geary has long been critical of the village’s handling of drainage problems in the Mallard Point subdivision, which caused flooding in some residents’ basements for years and caused nearby farms to lose acreage to flooding. He originally charged that “a backroom deal” had taken place between Michels; Engineering Enterprises, Inc., a company owned by Michel’s father, Jim Michels; and Village Attorney Peter Wilson.

Geary released hundreds of pages of documents to the Elburn Herald, including a May 19, 2003, letter that released MB Financial, the development bank that completed the troubled subdivision after the original developer abandoned it, from responsibility for completing the bypass storm sewer line. Geary said the agreement led to Mallard Point residents experiencing another decade of flooding and groundwater problems.

“What the village did is a backroom deal without the consent or knowledge of the board members not to have that drainage point put in, (and) this is the result of all the flooding,” Geary said. “What makes it a backroom deal is that in order for this to be a legal maneuver by the village, it has to be brought before the entire Village Board, and the board has to vote on the transaction and it never was. I’ve been on the board for 14 years, and I never saw this until I started digging deeper and deeper.”

Michels dismissed Geary’s claims as “bogus” and a “wild turkey shoot.”

“He’s looking to sensationalize the election,” Michels said. “It’s an election ploy. He’s trailing significantly, so he’s trying to do a Hail Mary … it’s bogus. Why is Kevin coming out with this now? Why just before the election? It makes me upset because there’s nothing to it, but yet Kevin keeps trying to bring something out of it.”

When the board voted on Tuesday to release the minutes from an April 15, 2003, executive session, which discussed the village’s agreement not to continue pressing MB Financial to install the drainage, Geary backed off his accusation that the board’s actions had been illegal, but maintained that the village still refused to take responsibility for failing to ensure the subdivision had proper drainage.

“Maybe I was a bit harsh with that analysis (that the village’s actions were illegal), but I think the residents need to have the truth, the God’s honest truth, of what happened,” he said.

Michels said that Geary’s retraction didn’t surprise him.

“It’s typical of Kevin. He’s usually the first to accuse and the last to get the other side of the story,” Michels said. “Unfortunately, it’s a normal response from Kevin. There’s usually more to the story than what Kevin presents.”

The Mallard Point story
The story of Mallard Point is a complex one.

The subdivision’s original developer, Apex Development Corporation, went bankrupt in 1996 after encountering high groundwater levels in Mallard Point that quickly became an expensive problem. When Apex abandoned the subdivision without installing the necessary drainage or creating the homeowner’s association that was supposed to maintain it, it left behind half-completed houses, residents with flooded basements, farmers with flooded fields and a legal nightmare.

It took 16 years for the issue to get resolved, as a complicated legal standoff took place between the village, the Rob Roy Drainage District, the banks and developers involved, Kane County, the residents and the farmers who lived downstream. Though the 30-inch diameter drainage pipe installed in 2012 resolved the flooding problems for all but a handful of Mallard Point residents, Geary has continued to pursue the issue.

Geary said that there was “something stinky” about the way the village handled the release of MB Financial’s letter of credit in 2003.

The bank came in with the second developer, the James Corporation, and took over the completion of the subdivision in 1996. MB Financial had to submit a letter of credit, guaranteeing the village millions of dollars as security that a list of public improvements, such as roads and sidewalks, would be completed.

When the village released the bank’s letter of credit in 2003 without the bypass storm sewer line being completed, Geary said the village was “deliberately protecting engineering firms, law firms, everybody but the residents.”

Wilson said the charges that he, Michels and the board had acted improperly in releasing MB Financial from completing the bypass storm sewer line are false.

“The question of whether it was a secret thing is baloney,” Wilson said.
The newly released minutes from the April 15, 2003, executive session show that the board met in closed session to discuss threatened litigation from MB Financial—a meeting that was perfectly legal—and that no action was taken in that session.

Wilson explained in an interview that the terms of MB Financial’s letter of credit did not require the bank to complete the drainage line—that responsibility still belonged to Apex, the original developer—but that the village had tried to “strong arm” the bank into completing it anyway by refusing to release its letter of credit.

For a time this appeared to work and MB Financial completed about two-thirds of the drainage line, but when the bank ran into groundwater from an underground aquifer that escalated the cost, it refused to go further and threatened to sue the village unless its letter of credit was released. The village had no choice but to comply, Wilson said, and the May 19, 2003, letter—the one that Geary originally alleged was evidence of “a backroom deal”—documents that acknowledgement to MB Financial.

“They had an absolute right to have that letter released once they completed (everything required by the letter),” Wilson said. “(The board) couldn’t take action in the executive session, and they didn’t have to take action in the open session until the bank asked to have the letter of credit released. The drain tile was not covered by the letter of credit, and everybody knew that at the time. The village knew it, Kevin knew it and the bank knew it.”

The minutes from the 2003 executive session show that Michels asked whether the work had to be completed, and Village Engineer Dave Burroughs of EEI said no, that the drainage work was part of the Rob Roy Drainage District and that not fixing it would only affect the wetland area.

“This drainage area does not affect the current subdivision,” the notes record Burroughs as saying. “Fixing it will not alleviate the sump pumps that run continuously in the Mallard Point subdivision.”

Geary was absent from the meeting that night.

Discord on the board
Village trustee Mari Johnson, who is supporting Michels in the election, said that Geary’s allegations were false and upsetting.

She pointed out that the board had reviewed the release of the letter of credit in open session on Sept. 2 and Sept. 16, 2003, before releasing it, and that Geary had seconded the motion to release the letter of credit.

“When trustee Geary does these things, he’s impugning the integrity of our board, our engineer, our lawyer, every member on the board,” Johnson said. “He’s pointing the finger at himself—he is the village. He wants the people to think that he is on the outside. He keeps saying, ‘the village, the village, the village.’ You cannot serve on the board for 14 years, vote yes on everything, and then make yourself out to be an outsider.”

Johnson said she found Geary’s accusations personally offensive.

“I don’t understand why he’s making this an election issue, and he’s impugned my integrity, because I am the village, and I am not happy about it. If I was sitting on that board and thought that it was not right, I wouldn’t vote yes. I’m upset. Why would you try to make a board that you’ve been part of all this time look bad? What does he have to gain from this? I feel like I’m fed up. Enough is enough.”

Geary was not at the April 15, 2003, executive session and said that he had been misled into thinking that the drainage issues had been resolved at the board meeting on Sept. 16, 2003. The minutes from that meeting show that Geary inquired whether the retention pond at Mallard Point was operating as it was designed to; Burroughs answered that it was. Had he known the drainage issues had not been resolved, Geary said that he never would have voted to release the letter of credit.

“I specifically asked about the drainage, and I wanted to know if the drainage system was working properly so that people’s basements didn’t flood, and I was told yes. So I guess shame on me for not inquiring as to whether, prior to that meeting, there was an executive meeting, and shame on me for not knowing that there was. But that still doesn’t excuse the village for not providing full information at the meeting about the plan to not have the bank put that pipe in.”

He said that even though the board had released the minutes from the 2003 executive session, it still did not answer the question of responsibility.

“So the bank is released from liability for putting that pipe in, so who is responsible?” Geary asked. “If the village was asleep at the wheel and forgot to have the drainage pipe put in the letter of credit, then I believe that the village would be responsible, but then the village got a letter from EEI stating that the pipe didn’t need to go in.”

Michels said that the village had done all it could do to resolve the drainage problems.

“I think the board has done everything in its power to help the residents of Mallard Point and to represent all the residents that it serves,” he said.

The real problem, Michels said, was that Geary simply didn’t remember the details about what happened 10 years ago.

“Kevin is lying in the fact that he says he did not know anything about it. He just probably forgot, but it was approved in open session,” Michels said. “We’ve never done anything to jeopardize the public’s trust in the government. We did not do anything illegal, that’s why we have a council and a village clerk and we keep everything public. I think Kevin’s just not realizing or remembering what actually happened. It wouldn’t be the first time … Kevin has a pretty selective memory.”

Michels also pointed out that he has recused himself from voting on any contract involving EEI to prevent conflicts of interest, but that Geary had voted in favor of every proposal put before the board involving EEI.

Claims of secrecy
Geary also said that the village had withheld documents about Mallard Point from him and that, even as a trustee, he needed to submit Freedom of Information Act requests in order to get copies of emails, letters and other documents related to Mallard Point.

Trustee Rick Montalto said that Geary had been gathering documents about Mallard Point from the village for a long time and was unwilling to let the Mallard Point issue go.

“I know Kevin, I get along with him. I know Sean, I get along with him,” Montalto said. “Any (documents) we want, we can pretty much get. Kevin felt that something was being kept from him personally; he thinks that there’s some big conspiracy theory. He was given all of the emails (between Village officials about Mallard Point), and repeatedly I’ve heard the village attorney say that he’s gotten everything.”

Geary said that all he wanted was the truth.

“I’m all about the truth. If we can get down to what the truth of this matter is, then I’ll be happy,” he said. “I think the village owes it to every one of those residents down in Mallard Point. I still feel that even through this, with the release of the information, we haven’t gotten to the truth. There’s still not a complete picture of what went on down there.”

Geary also countered Johnson’s assertion that he was the village.

“While I have been elected to serve on the board, I am not the village. I am a representative of the people. If that makes me an outcast or someone who is not part of that group, so be it,” he said.

Blackberry Township Supervisor

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Two candidates will challenge for the seat of Blackberry Township supervisor on April 9

Fred Dornback
Fred Dornback, by his own account, hasn’t been active in partisan politics, but has donated to state representatives and Kane County Board members. He believes that local government races should be non-partisan, which is one of the reasons why he announced his candidacy for Blackberry Township supervisor prior to the Republican caucus.

Dornback, 73, holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from Illinois State University, and has over 60 additional advance degree credits in psychology and administration. He has been a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois since 1975. And as an administrator in both public and private schools, he feels he’s successfully managed both budgets and people.

Dornback and his wife, Mary, are active in assisting neighbors and friends with medical needs, snow clearance, meals, general handyman work, etc. Fred is also a founding member and current board member of LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, and has volunteered at Hessed House in Aurora for many years.

Fred served as a volunteer for the first three years of his appointment as superintendent/sexton of Blackberry Township Cemetery. He now receives a stipend to serve as sexton, but the majority of time he spends sorting cemetery records and updating the database is still on a volunteer basis.

Fred defines the role of supervisor as the chief executive office of the township—someone who chairs the board of trustees.

“The supervisor also administers the general assistance program, and is the treasurer of all town funds,” he said. “I intend to be a good steward of township resources and be available to learn about township needs, and work to respond to those needs within the resources of the township,” he said.

Fred decided to run for township supervisor because he believes he offers the combination of professional training and experience that the township “needs and deserves.”

“My day-to-day participation in the township affairs allows me to have a unique perspective,” he said. “I observed the position of supervisor being influenced by partisan politics rather than listening to the wishes of the people. I think the supervisor should be available on a regular basis to encourage the public to share its views.”

Fred has attended every Blackberry Township meeting since 2007, and has been elected the township moderator at the annual township meeting for over 10 years.

If elected, Fred’s priorities as supervisor would include working with the board, highway commissioner and public to develop a long-term solution to deteriorating roads.

“I see the issue as the people’s roads and the people’s choice,” he said.

Fred also wants to create a series of education sessions at board and town meetings to learn the community’s priorities, and hopes to improve the efficiency of the supervisor’s office by depositing all checks on a daily basis and having regular hours, as well as hours by appointment, to encourage community participation.

“I plan to offer the public, at little or no cost to the township, a series of program options, particularly for seniors,” he said.

He plans to achieve his goals through a tried and true method.

“Listen, ask, discuss, propose, plan, implement and review,” he said.

Dennis C. Ryan
Dennis C. Ryan will challenge for the seat of Blackberry Township supervisor on the April 9 General Election ballot.

Ryan, 66, is currently the chairman of Western Kane County Republicans. He has served as Republican committeeman of Blackberry Pct. 3, and secretary for the Western Kane County Republican Organization.

Ryan’s community involvement includes service as president, vice president and board member of the Elburn Town and Country Library. He’s also assisted with Elburn Ambulance Service and served as a volunteer firefighter for Kaneville.

Ryan said he wants the seat of township supervisor in order to be of further service to his community.

“I have experience from operating two small businesses (to) various jobs in the working world and community service,” he said. “My life has been one of practical experience and problem solving in many situations.”

If elected, Ryan’s top priorities as township supervisor would include continuing the policies that “have kept Blackberry Township government within its budget, as those before me have done.”

Ryan would also seek additional funding from outside sources to maintain and repair township roads, as he said the township only has funds to repave a mile of road per year and remain within its budget. He will also look into the possible future expansion of Blackberry Cemetery, as more space will be needed as the population of Blackberry Township grows.

Ryan plans to achieve his goals via investigation of alternative solutions to get the jobs done without adding to the property tax burden of Blackberry Township residents.

“This includes cooperation with other governmental bodies whenever possible,” he said.

Ryan said his ideal ordinance would be one that requires all new subdivisions located in unincorporated areas of the township to have names after local geographic features, and “all new streets established within them to be named for families or persons with local historic significance, as Elburn is currently doing.”

Elburn Fire Protection trustee

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Two candidates will vie for a seat on the Elburn Fire Protection Trustee Board

Steve Fuller
Steve Fuller is one of two candidates challenging for an open trustee seat on the Elburn Fire Protection District Board on April 9.

Fuller’s education includes an associates degree in applied science and environmental control from Waubonsee Community College, training at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, and fire officer training at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. He’s also an Illinois State Commercial Driver’s License examiner for fire apparatus drivers.

Fuller, 62, is currently employed by the Kane County Regional Office of Education as a health and life safety Inspector for all Kane County public schools.

As a former fire marshal and assistant fire chief, Fuller was active with the Safety Town Program and many other public education forums on fire safety. He performed a public service of reviewing building and fire codes, ensuring that all new construction and current buildings in the community were safe from fire. And he’s a current member of the St. Charles Firefighter Pension Fund Board of Trustees.

Fuller defines the role of Fire Protection District trustee as a board member who is respectable, and a responsible fiduciary to the citizen taxpayers of the Fire Protection District.

“As a former fire command officer, I realize a commitment to the basic principles of providing emergency services to the community,” he said. “‘Protection’ represents a wide range of emergency services the fire department provides to protect its citizens. These include fire suppression, rescue, emergency medical services, and other essential operations—all in the name of reducing the loss of life and the incidents and effects of fire.”

He feels he can make a difference in assisting citizens in making decisions concerning Elburn’s fire protection.

“I will assist citizens in making decisions concerning budgets; fire protection officials must accurately describe the effect on total cost if additional or fewer resources are applied to particular prevention or suppression efforts,” Fuller said. “If elected, I will do my best to see (that) this happens during my term.”

Fuller said he has an extensive background in all matters relating to fire service and municipal government. He retired after spending 38 years in the fire service, rising through the ranks to the position of assistant fire chief. And during his career, he was appointed to the fire marshal position, responsible for code administration and fire investigations.

“I served as the Fire Department’s operations officer, training division and support services, where I was in charge of managing the specifications and acceptance service testing of all new fire apparatus. and the maintenance of station facilities,” he said. “My record of exemplary service speaks for itself.”

If elected, Fuller’s top priorities will include expanding the Fire District’s Board of Trustees to a five-member panel.

“The action will allow for better business to be conducted on important matters related to the district,” he said.

Additionally, Fuller wants to study the effects of future growth issues facing the Elburn Fire Protection District—issues that, in his words, will be “a real concern when the economy improves.” He also notes the need to improve response times to the Fire District in the northwest area.

“I am not surprised about the many complaints generated from the far west areas of the district,” he said. “Residents pay a substantial amount of money for fire and ambulance service, and expect arrival of emergency equipment within a reasonable time frame.“

In order to achieve such goals, Fuller said he’ll need better cooperation with neighboring departments for mutual aid, while entertaining a study for a future land purchase suitable in the northwest region of the Fire District.

“The goal is to improve emergency response times and continue to educate the community on fire safety,” he said.

Elburn Fire Protection District trustee candidate James Childress did not reply to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.

Kaneville Twp. Hwy. commissioner

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Two candidates on April 9 will challenge for the position of Kaneville Township highway commissioner.

Dennis Long
Kaneville Township Highway Commissioner Dennis Long will seek re-election on April 9.

Long, 70, is a Kaneland High School graduate and a farmer, and is a member of Kaneville United Methodist Church.

He defines the role of highway commissioner as maintaining and repairing township roads and bridges and keeping them clear of snow and ice, as well as mowing ditches and keeping them free of debris.

“I have lived in Kaneville my whole life, and I care about the township,” he said. “My qualifications make me the best candidate (for the position).”

Long has years of experience with the position, and he’s self-employed, which he said allows him to fully commit to serving as highway commissioner.

If re-elected, his top priorities for the township would include road work in the Pineview and Kaneland Estates subdivisions (specifically blacktop seal), roof improvements on township buildings to preserve machinery, and an update of the surface on Schrader Road.

Long wants to seal as many roads as possible to “preserve them from moisture.”

“Kaneville Township’s tax money only allows for one-half mile of new blacktopped roads per year,” he said.

Long’s ultimate goal for the township is to limit the amount of weight allowed on roads in order to prevent destruction.

Dale Pierson
Kaneville Township highway commissioner candidate Dale Pierson, 57, is the definition of a local guy. He graduated from Kaneland High School, received an associate degree in ag mechanics from Kishwaukee Community College, and serves on the Kaneville Plan Commission.

Pierson is a retired Kaneville firefighter, and has also served on the village’s Memorial Day Committee, and as a cemetery trustee.

He defines the role of highway commissioner as “overseeing and maintaining roads in the township,” and said he’s always had a desire to help the community.

“I can fulfill all the duties as required,” he said.

If elected to the position, Pierson’s top priorities for the township would include snowplowing and salting to keep township roads safe and clear, maintaining roads and mowing ditches on a timely basis, and working with other highway departments to help keep costs down.

He plans on achieving his goals by working with the township board on cost-effective measures. He defines his ultimate goal as finding “better cooperation between Kaneville’s village and township on highway issues.”

SG Fire Protection District trustee

in April 9, 2013 by

John Guddendorf Jr.
John Guddendorf Jr. is one of three candidates who will seek a Sugar Grove Fire Protection District trustee seat on April 9.

Guddendorf, 53, has over 34 years of experience working with local government and municipalities in the transportation field.

“During that time, I gained experience in bringing projects to completion on time and within budget, problem solving and working with others to resolve everyday issues in a timely fashion,” he said.

If elected, Guddendorf’s top priorities as a Fire Protection District trustee will include maintaining a balanced budget and present services, and addressing long-range planning. He said he wouldn’t support the freezing of his district’s tax levy as a way to cope with the struggling housing market.

“While the popular vote may be to freeze the levy in this depressed economy, expenses for the Fire District continue to increase,” he said.

Guddendorf said that, in order to assure continuation of critical services at required levels, the Fire District must have access to adequate resources to provide life safety services, maintain equipment, provide continuing training for personnel and retain skilled staff.

Guddendorf is seeking the trustee position because he believes the Fire District has done a good job of using village tax dollars as efficiently as possible, and he wants that to continue.

“l have lived in the township for over 40 years and have volunteered many hours to local organizations,” he said. “I would like the opportunity to serve the community as a trustee for the Fire District.”

Sugar Grove Fire Protection District trustee candidates David Linden and Cheryl Wojciechowski did not reply to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.

SG Township Supervisor

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Four candidates are seeking the seat of Sugar Grove township supervisor.

Tom Rowe
Former Sugar Grove Township clerk and current trustee Tom Rowe is a candidate for the position of township supervisor on the April 9 General Election ballot.

Rowe holds a Bachelor of Science in recreation administration from George Williams College, and was Warrenville Park District’s superintendent of recreation from 2007 to 2012. He’s also an inaugural member of St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church in Sugar Grove.

Rowe views the position of township supervisor as the chief executive officer of the township. He said a supervisor, as treasurer of the township and road district funds, has numerous financial reporting responsibilities, as townships are the governmental entities charged with three basic functions: general assistance for the needy, the assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation, and the maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state and other local jurisdiction.

“Township government may provide other vital services to their residents, including senior citizen programs, youth programs, assistance to the disabled, parks and recreational facilities, health services, local transportation, open space and cemetery maintenance,” Rowe said.

Rowe recently retired from the field of parks and recreation after 36 years, and decided to run for the position vacated by former township supervisor Dan Nagel in October 2012. In terms of qualifications, Rowe is the longest-serving member currently on the Township Board, and he has worked in the public sector and local government his entire career, having held various positions at the supervisory and management level.

“(I’ve) worked face to face with many community groups, organizations and taxpayers, and understand their needs and concerns,” he said.

If elected, Rowe’s top priorities on the Township Board would include supporting and expanding youth and senior services at the Township Senior Center and Community House through collaboration with the Park District, Public Library, Waubonsee Community College and other local agencies and non-profit organizations.

Rowe wants to automate township operations to make information and services more accessible residents while improving transparency and accountability. He also intends to collaborate with other Sugar Grove taxing bodies to determine interest on a joint purchase of the Prairie Glen property as a future sports complex.

“With the uncertainty of the current Sugar Grove Sports Complex on Wheeler Road, it is important to communicate with other partners in Sugar Grove to explore future options,” he said.

Rowe plans to achieve his goal via open and honest communication with residents, and goals that are achievable and affordable. He also wants to strategize and plan accordingly by incorporating projects into the annual budget, and review goals and check progress regularly, making adjustments when necessary.

Curt Karas
Sugar Grove Township supervisor candidate Curt Karas has worked the past 20 years as a business and tax consultant for small- to medium-sized companies—the past 10 in investment advisory services.

Karas holds a MBA from Northern Illinois University, earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business and marketing from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc. In terms of community involvement, Karas has coached youth baseball for six years and football for five years, and has served as a Cub Scout leader for four years.

Karas believes the role of township supervisor is meant to efficiently and effectively manage the operations of the township, improve and maintain internal controls over township assets, provide the current level of services delegated to the township, and investigate alternatives for the future needs of township taxpayers.

“I would like to be more involved in the community,” Karas said. “For the past 20 years I concentrated on raising my two sons. I enjoy helping people and businesses become successful. I believe my experience with private sector business can be just as useful in the public sector.”

Karas believes he is an ideal candidate for the supervisor position because he has interest in the functions of the township, and is “enlightened with the opportunity of meeting township management.”

“With the knowledge gained from their experiences and from my education and business background, I believe I can be a successful township supervisor,” he said.

If elected, Karas’ top priorities for the township would include development of an accounting system that accurately represents each township department’s monthly operations, assets and liabilities. He also wants to provide township trustees with in-depth information on monthly operations and allow them to make cost-effective decisions.

“The accounting system would also allow each department to create more accurate budgets,” Karas said. “These budgets will be used to identify overlapping expenses, which could be corrected, reducing property taxes.”

Scott Jesseman
Sugar Grove Township trustee Scott Jesseman will look to make the jump to the role of township supervisor on April 9.

The owner of Prairie Fence and Landscape Co., Jesseman holds a degree in business management from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He has served on two drainage districts in Sugar Grove, and has also volunteered his time to many area groups and causes over the past 20 years.

“My contributions range from loaning equipment for projects to donating materials—and a lot of personal hours—to better our community,” he said. “I seek to add wherever and whenever I am able.”

Jesseman said he wants to get the township’s accounting in order and make the process transparent and fiscally responsible.

“I plan to reduce the levy for the township,” he said. “Currently there is a large surplus, and we need not tax people more to increase a surplus.”

Jesseman believes he is an ideal candidate for the supervisor position because he can “unify the bodies of local government to optimize services for residents.”

“A strong board, participation by all members and input from residents to build consensus will achieve these goals,” he said.

According to Jesseman, the supervisor role is one component of the township democracy, and leadership to uphold our principles and values is crucial to good management of the township.

“The township consists of a supervisor and a board, and a vote needs to occur before action and expenditures.”

Township supervisor candidate Harry Davis did not reply back to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.

Virgil Twp. Hwy. commissioner

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Two candidates vie for the seat of Virgil Township highway commissioner on April 9.

Larry Peterson
Virgil Township Highway Commissioner Larry Peterson will run for re-election on April 9.

Peterson, 59, has served as highway commissioner for the past eight years. He also notched 17 years of experience working as an emergency medical technician and firefighter for the Maple Park Fire Department.

Peterson said that, as highway commissioner, it is important to maintain safe roads year-round, as well as mow ditches, remove tree and brush, and keep road signs updated and in good condition.

“As highway commissioner, it’s important to stay within the road district budget,” he said.

Peterson wants to see township tax dollars spent sensibly to improve roads. He believes he is an ideal candidate for highway commissioner because he has eight years of experience working within the road district budget to improve roads and keep township equipment updated.

If re-elected, Peterson wants to focus on upgrading the township’s gravel roads, placing new wearing surface on the township’s four subdivision roads, and continuing work on brush clearing and drainage ditch issues.

“This must be done with diligent use of taxpayer money,” he said.

Peterson said he is happy with the township’s style of government.

“It is the form of government that is closest to the people, and also the most transparent to the taxpayers,” he said.

Peter Fabrizius
Peter Fabrizius will challenge for the seat of Virgil Township highway commissioner on April 9.

Fabrizius, 55, is a business owner, and has served as a Virgil Township trustee for over 20 years. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park, Kane County 4-H Foundation, Kane County 4-H Blue Ribbon Sale Committee, Township Officials of Kane County, Township Officials of Illinois, Kane County Farm Bureau and Maple Park Lions Club. He also volunteers with the Elburn Lions Club.

He believes a highway commissioner is responsible for construction, maintenance and repair of roads within the district, and should oversee contracts, employ labor, and purchase materials and machinery.

Fabrizius said it’s the right time in his personal life for him to commit the time and talent necessary for the responsibility of highway commissioner.

“I am a third-generation resident of Virgil Township, and I travel the roads on a daily basis. I have 20 years experience as a trustee on the Township Board, overseeing the day-to-day and short- and long-term operations of Virgil Township,” he said. “As a business owner, I also bring a strong background in both labor and maintenance management skills to this position.”

If elected, Fabrizius will focus on the condition of township roads, achieving fiscal responsibility by working within the parameters of the budget, and using a common-sense approach to the tasks at hand, as well as prioritizing projects and keeping lines of communication open to the people served.

Fabrizius said he also wants to eliminate deficit spending and make all tiers of government—national, state and local—have to be held to the same level of fiscal responsibility as township government.

Kaneville Twp. supervisor

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Two candidates will vie for the Kaneville Township supervisor seat on April 9.

Dan Ebert
Kaneville Township Supervisor Dan Ebert will seek re-election on April 9.

Ebert, 65, has served as Fire Board trustee, president, secretary and treasurer, township trustee and supervisor. He’s a past chairman of Country Evangelical Covenant Church, and has served as a Kaneville volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician, as well as a fire investigator for Kane County. He’s also a member of the “Good Ol’ Boys Gospel Singers” group.

Ebert defines the role of township supervisor as a CEO.

“Township supervisors are responsible for all of the funds that come into the township and the General Assistance Program, and (they) run the township board meeting,” he said.

Ebert was appointed to the position of township supervisor after the passing of former Kaneville Township supervisor Leon Gramley, and said he wants to serve another term to complete some projects that have begun during his time as township supervisor.

Should he realize re-election, Ebert’s top priorities as township supervisor will include ensuring that the township remain financially sound, and continuing to make improvements to the Kaneville Community Center. He also wants to encourage residents to attend board meetings and get involved in local government.

“The taxpayers trust us with their money; we must use it wisely,” he said.

Ebert plans to achieve his goals through hard work while serving the residents of Kaneville Township.

Kaneville Township supervisor candidate Alvah Withey did not reply back to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.

Kaneville Twp. supervisor

in April 9, 2013 by

Two candidates will vie for the Kaneville Township supervisor seat on April 9.

Dan Ebert
Kaneville Township Supervisor Dan Ebert will seek re-election on April 9.

Ebert, 65, has served as Fire Board trustee, president, secretary and treasurer, township trustee and supervisor. He’s a past chairman of Country Evangelical Covenant Church, and has served as a Kaneville volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician, as well as a fire investigator for Kane County. He’s also a member of the “Good Ol’ Boys Gospel Singers” group.

Ebert defines the role of township supervisor as a CEO.

“Township supervisors are responsible for all of the funds that come into the township and the General Assistance Program, and (they) run the township board meeting,” he said.

Ebert was appointed to the position of township supervisor after the passing of former Kaneville Township supervisor Leon Gramley, and said he wants to serve another term to complete some projects that have begun during his time as township supervisor.

Should he realize re-election, Ebert’s top priorities as township supervisor will include ensuring that the township remain financially sound, and continuing to make improvements to the Kaneville Community Center. He also wants to encourage residents to attend board meetings and get involved in local government.

“The taxpayers trust us with their money; we must use it wisely,” he said.

Ebert plans to achieve his goals through hard work while serving the residents of Kaneville Township.

Kaneville Township supervisor candidate Alvah Withey did not reply back to the Elburn Herald’s election questionnaire.

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