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Responses to League of Women Voters of Naperville VOTE411 Online Voter Guide

I was recently asked to answer some questions for the League of Women Voters of Naperville's VOTE411 Online Voter Guide. Here are my answers:

What are your qualifications for the Will County Board Member position?

I am committed to serving your interests as a community leader and public servant. As an attorney, I will bring to the Board my legal and policymaking experience and training in asking tough questions, negotiating, and persuading. Those skills will help me work across the aisle to ensure that county government gets results for you.

I currently serve as the Wheatland Township Tax Collector and on Naperville's Special Events & Community Arts Commission. Both jobs have taught me how to cautiously manage public funds and work with folks with competing interests and different backgrounds. I have also led sports and arts organizations in our community.

My wife Kathy and our two sons, Henry and Charlie, have lived in Will County for over 20 years.

What are the county's most significant challenges, and how would you address them?

I am amazed at the people and tremendous opportunities in this community. Yet, out-of-control inflation and unfair taxes cause our families to struggle to meet their financial obligations and pay for college. Crime threatens our businesses and schools. Many of our children face emotional distress.

I will work for taxes that are fair, stop government overreach, promote economic development, and keep jobs in our county. I will support law enforcement to keep our community safe and ensure that our community gets the mental health resources we need.

But government doesn't have all the answers. As a county board member, I will partner with and promote the many nonprofit organizations and businesses doing great work in our community.

If elected to the County Board, what additional committees would you like to serve on and why?

My legal experience would be particularly useful on the Land Use & Development Committee, Legislative Committee, Public Works & Transportation Committee, or Public Health & Public Safety Committee. As an attorney, I have a particular focus on the construction industry, so I understand the practical and legal issues relating to infrastructure and development projects. I also have practiced environmental law my entire career and therefore understand how solar and other alternative energy projects work. Since the time I took a legislative process class in law school, I have drafted and analyzed legislation in my practice and as a volunteer with the American Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association's Legislative Committee.

What are your top budget priorities if elected?

My top budget priorities are public safety, infrastructure and economic development, and public health. We have a right to be safe in our neighborhoods, drive on roads and bridges that are well-maintained, and have access to the services we need to be healthy. We must keep businesses in Will County and attract new businesses to our area.

The government's spending power is not unlimited, however. We must find ways to make the tax burden fair to all our residents, and I will be searching for areas where the government is overreaching and spending too much. I will be asking tough questions of the County Executive and staff to ensure that public money is spent wisely and that the budget process takes into account the needs of all taxpayers.

What steps do you support to increase public engagement with and increase the transparency of the county board?

Public engagement and government transparency lead to more effective and fair decisions, greater accountability, and an increased understanding of how government works. These are critical issues, and that is why I began my campaign surveying our community to find out what issues are most concerning.

I am committed to serving you, will be available to answer questions, and will be a resource for county programs you need access to. I will offer in-person and virtual office hours and hold regular chats with Will County residents. I will post on social media regular summaries of government meetings and invite the public to comment on key issues. We should invite the public to meet key county elected officials, staff, and employees.

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