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Candidates Speak at Kane County Chairman Panel Discussion

GOP candidates Kevin Burns and Chris Lauzen and Democratic candidates William Sarto and Sue Klinkhamer come together for a luncheon.

Coverage updated regularly. 

Brian Townsend January 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Here are the main points that I took away from the forum: Chris Lauzen - very much about freezing tax levy for Kane County government (including the Forest Preserve District), ethics, and transparency. I know that he has been consistent in his message so far. He didn’t stray off point during the event. Chris made it clear he would change the way county government operates and reject political deal-making. Also, Chris said that he would never support raising taxes for any function of county government. Kevin Burns – took some shots at Chris Lauzen, but also focused on his accomplishments in Geneva and what he would do, if elected Chairman. Kevin discussed the need to enhance the County’s economic development program and hire an Economic Development Director to work with area businesses and cities. He cited redevelopment of the former jail site on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva as an important initiative. Kevin said that he would not raise taxes to fund economic development, but that there are important areas where you need to keep an open mind. Public safety and open space preservation were two such areas.
Brian Townsend January 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Sue Klinkhamer – stressed the need to hire professional, apolitical manager (e.g., County Administrator) to oversee the day-to-day operations of county government. Also, advocated for reduction in size of the County Board. Sue indicated that Kane County is different from surrounding counties in both respects and it makes Kane County more inefficient and less effective. Also, indicated that transportation and transit are important to Kane County. Sue related that you can “never say never” about raising taxes, because you just don’t know what the future may hold. You also don’t know that the people of Kane County may want additional programs or services that may require more revenue to pay for them. Bill Sarto – stressed his experience in working with a divided and “hostile” Village Board in Carpentersville and how he would use that experience to work with the County Board and other elected officials. Bill stated that Kane County needs to re-energize the economic development function at Kane County. He would do this by creating an Economic Development Department and a committee that would include representatives from every Kane County city/village/town. Bill went beyond Lauzen’s pledge to freeze the tax levy and advocated for a reduction in the property tax rate for Kane County government. He said there is no need to raise taxes.
Nick Swedberg January 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Thanks Brian!

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