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Kane County Board - District 5 (Republican)

Voting will take place Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Voters will be able to select 1 candidates in this race. The 1 candidates with the most votes will be elected.

Winner in this race will be elected for a term of 4 years.

Click a question below to display the candidates' answers to that question.

Why are you running to represent Kane County Board District 5?

Bill Lenert

Having been a small business owner in Kane County for over twenty-nine years, I have seen the way that burdensome regulations and high taxes can cripple business expansion and job growth in our community. 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. 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.

Melisa Taylor

I have been actively involved in the 5th District community for over twenty years. One summer when my daughters had "nothing to do" they put together a plan to actively help those near home who need it most. This is how the Between Friends Food Pantry was formed. We experience firsthand many taxpayers and their families at the end of their collective financial ropes. I vowed to protect the property tax levy freeze and remain committed to ensure that your money and resources are protected from waste, mismanagement, political nepotism and neglect. Not one penny more, is more than just a campaign phrase to me. When the average American family only has $3,000 in savings we need to do more with less, ask the questions that may be unpopular but need to be asked and keep the tax sacrifices in the 5th district at the forefront of our minds. If given the privilege to represent you in the future, I pledge to research the issues, ask the appropriate questions and support my 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.

What experience do you have that qualifies you to be a Kane County Board member?

Bill Lenert

My experience owning a small business in Kane County, including my educational experience (M.B.A., Illinois Benedictine University), allows me to offer a new perspective to the County Board that is lacking. Over the past thirty years, I have 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, former president of the Holy Angels School Board, and former board member of the Aurora Family Counseling Service.

Melisa Taylor

I was raised and have lived in virtually every part of the 5th district. I attended Holy Angels school in Aurora, raised a family in Sugar Grove after Rich and I built our home together. I have been fortunate to work with charities, have been involved in finding and alternative building while St. Katherine's Parish was under construction and served ont eh Solheim Cup Committee. I helped the county veteran's coordinator to organize the Veteran's Honor Day at the Kane County Wall honoring our service men and women. I was honored to be elected to the school board, the Village Board and recently to the Kane County Board. I have worked cooperatively with local and state leaders to work on improvements and projects beneficial to our district. I think community service is a fulfilling way of knowing the various concerns of those in my district. I communicate regularly with them and work hard to be accessible to residents when a need arises. I admittedly ask questions, seek answers and have pledged to do so as these questions and personal inquiries are found to be helpful to find efficiency and cost effectiveness, as in the case of the Health Department programming and the Animal Control Administrative transition.

If elected/reelected, what would you do to ensure the county is run in a fiscally responsible manner?

Bill Lenert

If elected, I would call upon my over thirty years of experience and expertise in managing and operating my business. I believe the taxpayers should be treated with the same respect and values I have provided to my clients throughout my business career. In other words, I am committed to ensuring that our taxpayers receive the best possible return on every tax dollar they spend. In order to accomplish this, I will employ the same fiscal principles I have applied to my business ensuring that we maintain a balanced budget and eliminate unnecessary waste.

Melisa Taylor

I will uphold my pledge to keep the tax levy frozen, use common sense and respect the sacrifices that the 5th district residents make in regard to taxes, needed projects and the protection of their quality of life. As an informed board member I will investigate and learn all that is necessary on county and state issues so that I can keep the district informed. I believe that doing my homework ensures that the 5th district is ensured of having a board member with the fortitude to work hard, ask questions and protect their pocketbooks

What – specifically – could you do to improve county operations?

Bill Lenert

An environment of professional collaboration and mutual respect between the county board members and department directors is critical to the successful operations of the county. The county board must allow the county's administrators to perform their duties without unnecessarily impeding their day-to-day operations. My experience supervising and delegating responsibilities to my valued employees is a skill that I will bring to the Kane County Board in order to accomplish this goal.

Melisa Taylor

I believe that a full and thorough vetting is necessary before hiring senior staff for recommendation. For various reasons we have lost qualified and experienced employees in the past year. We must ensure that the workplace we provide is conducive to harmonious professional relationships. Competitive bids need to be sought for all services. We must ensure that our qualification demands for goods and products are not so restrictive that only one member may qualify. Competition brings about savings and in this instance the more Kane County businesses involved in that competition the better. I would advocate that our existing county website also be used as a host for community outreach rather than utilized as a duplication of effort using precious riverboat revenues best used with helping people. The revenue could be placed back into the fund which assists our county residents with educational and environmental needs.

What project in your district, which includes parts of Sugar Grove, Aurora and Big Rock, would you most want to accomplish, if elected/reelected?

Bill Lenert

Improving transportation is a critical component to the economic well-being of any community. By extending Metra to Sugar Grove, 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.

Melisa Taylor

I would like to see the Metra line extended. I have been an advocate for the Metra line as a Sugar Grove trustee and have worked alongside others that have diligently worked toward this end as well.

How could you help bring more development to District 5?

Bill Lenert

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 developers to District 5.

Melisa Taylor

I would like to reduce prohibitive road impact fees which don't promote economic development but prohibit needed economic growth. I am working to ensure fair and equitable representation in regard to representation for drainage districts.

How are you different from your primary opponent in this race?

Bill Lenert

My business, educational, and community experience distinguish me from my opponent. This experience allows me to offer a fresh perspective to the County Board that is most reflective of the desires and needs of our residents. 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.

Melisa Taylor

First, I have dedicated my service full time to my duties as a board representative. I am on 8 different committees, am well equipped and well versed in regard to the needs of my district. My full time commitment allows me this privilege. There are several important differences between us. My opponent may have some actual conflicts which could present itself as a deterrent in being able to vote independent of conflict of interest. My opponent's son currently remains as an attorney for the law firm Kinnally, Flaherty and Krentz. This firm currently represents us as forest preserve and county board commissioners. My opponent represents the insurance interests of the county's law firm, the county chairman's health care and even writes liability coverage for the Chairman's campaign events. Could this be problematic should there be conflicts between any of these participating parties in ongoing government operations? Finally, the chairman stated that my opponent is his business associate, close personal friend as well as his insurance man. This may lead him to support the Chairman when an important vote needs to be taken when an independent decision should be made for proper board representation. I have never had to recuse myself from a vote due to a conflict of interest and continue to feel free to act independently on behalf of my district.

How are you different from your primary opponent in this race?

Bill Lenert

My business, educational, and community experience distinguish me from my opponent. This experience allows me to offer a fresh perspective to the County Board that is most reflective of the desires and needs of our residents. 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.

Melisa Taylor

First, I have dedicated my service full time to my duties as a board representative. I am on 8 different committees, am well equipped and well versed in regard to the needs of my district. My full time commitment allows me this privilege. There are several important differences between us. My opponent may have some actual conflicts which could present itself as a deterrent in being able to vote independent of conflict of interest. My opponent's son currently remains as an attorney for the law firm Kinnally, Flaherty and Krentz. This firm currently represents us as forest preserve and county board commissioners. My opponent represents the insurance interests of the county's law firm, the county chairman's health care and even writes liability coverage for the Chairman's campaign events. Could this be problematic should there be conflicts between any of these participating parties in ongoing government operations? Finally, the chairman stated that my opponent is his business associate, close personal friend as well as his insurance man. This may lead him to support the Chairman when an important vote needs to be taken when an independent decision should be made for proper board representation. I have never had to recuse myself from a vote due to a conflict of interest and continue to feel free to act independently on behalf of my district.

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