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When it comes to the Settlers Hill Cross Country Facility, I have been consistent in my message:

...Operating the facility in the black, or at least a break-even number is the only way the project will get the support of Commissioner Kurt Kojzarek. He is the chairman of the county board's Development Committee, which is handling most of the legwork on the project...

..."If it takes another two years, so be it," he said...

Well, it took more than 2 years, but with today's unanimous vote at Development Committee, the project is now on track (pun intended) for completion well under budget with projections to operate at a revenue neutral capacity.  

After serving as Kane County Republican Chairman for two terms, Tom Hartwell resigned in December in order to become a candidate for Judge in the 16th Circuit.  Statute does not allow a judicial candidate to hold a partisan position, so Tom was forced to resign as both Party Chair and Republican Committeeman.  

St. Charles Township Republican Party Chairman Ken Shepro was selected to replace him and serve in the role until the County Republican Convention. 

I would like to wish both gentlemen the very best of luck and success in their new roles.  

As we head into the home stretch of 2017, it's time to once again take a look at the year that was.  Last year, Daily Herald reporter Jim Fuller did an article on the challenges facing Kane County.  Four specific issues fell under committees in which I either chair, or am a member.  These include:

  1. Energy efficiencies to reduce operational costs
  2. Economically viable solution to the Settlers Hill development
  3. Reduction in Property Taxes
  4. Continued progress on Longmeadow Parkway

It is with great pride that I can report that Kane County has had positive results in each of these four items.

Monday November 27th kicked off the official start to the 2018 elections with the first day of petition filing.  We filed double the required number of signatures, and have secured the Republican nomination.  

I am excited to run on my strong record, and hope that the warm welcome I received at the doors carries through for the entire campaign.  Our community is being taxed to death, and Kane County has stood apart as a beacon of fiscal responsibility. Don't let others distort our strong record.  We continue to do more with only a fraction of taxes collected by neighboring counties, while reducing our bond obligations by over 2/3rds since I took office.   

The 2018 General Election will offer our voters a clear choice in the direction they wish to see Kane County take. Do you want reckless spending, or a steady voice of reason?  

On November 14th the Kane County Board narrowly passed a balanced budget, which will once again NOT raise the tax levy on our residents.  The budget included an across the Board cut in all departments and elected offices.  I fully understand that these cuts were not easy for the departments, nor were they popular.  But adding additional tax burden upon our already high property taxes is easy or popular for our residents. 

The FY2018 budget avoids the complete depletion of our reserves with no means to replenish them.  What does that mean?  Simply put, the budget allows us to maintain adequate contingency funds to accommodate budget variances throughout the year as well cover the ever present unfunded mandates the good folks in Springfield love to send our way. Less that a month later, this move was proven to be prudent as Sheriff Kramer has already come back to the Judicial Public Safety Committee requesting approximately $300,000 in additional funds after the bids for inmate medical services came back higher than anticipated (Daily Herald Article Link).  

Had we approved the alternative plan, the Board would have completely drained the contingency funds designed to cover those unexpected pitfalls.  This is the equivalent of wiping out your savings to pay your December gas bill.  What happens when January has a record cold snap?  As an elected official, we do not have the luxury of only thinking about the present.  We have to always consider the impact of our votes on the future, both immediate and long term.  

Remember, we do not inherit this world from our parents.  Rather we borrow it from our children.