- Position sought: Will County Board, District 5
- E-mail address: email@example.com
- Phone: 815-436-9410
- Age: 48
- Family: Wife Maria (Hondros) Argoudelis; children Elena, 14; and Alek, 12
- Education: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, BA in history 1986 and Juris Doctor 1989
- Occupation: Attorney
- Political party: Republican
- Previous elected or appointed offices: Plainfield Township Supervisor (first appointed in 2002); Plainfield Library Board
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
My education and experience as an attorney have helped me understand many of the land use and other legal issues that come before the county board. I also believe that as a lifelong resident of Plainfield I understand the history of the area, the way in which growth has changed many things and what the needs of our residents are because of this. As a small business owner in Plainfield, I also understand the business needs of District 5 as I have interacted with many residents through my law practice over many years.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Since I was first appointed and then elected to serve as Plainfield Township supervisor and now during the past two years that I’ve served on the county board, we have consistently passed balanced budgets, held the line on taxes yet expanded programs and enhanced our roadways and bridges to serve the needs of our residents. We have also achieved balanced budgets without layoffs. This is a track record of fiscally responsible representation for the residents who put their trust in me and for the county as a whole. You don’t have to speculate as to how I would represent you, you can judge me by my track record. I would continue to represent a voice of fiscal responsibility if re-elected.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
As stated above, my track record of fiscal responsibility speaks for itself. I’m not only advocating fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and keeping taxes as low as possible – I have a record of accomplishment which cannot be matched by my opponent.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Will County?
The county board has and I will continue to advocate doing everything we can to make Will County a business friendly environment. Government doesn’t create jobs – people do. Because of our past fiscal responsibility, we’ve had the resources to improve our transportation system which makes Will County an inviting place for people to locate their business and create jobs. As a member of the county land use committee, I’ve also worked hard to ensure that businesses, large and small, are not overly burdened by government be it bureaucracy or financial demands.
Do you believe Cook County is encroaching on Will, and how would you make sure there isn't a negative influence from the city?
Yes. During the recent redistricting, many of our Will County residents now find themselves a small portion of a Congressional district which is largely representing Cook County. A person from Peotone is represented in Washington by someone with an office in Chicago! Cook County politics is all about over taxation, patronage, nepotism and corruption. I’ve always been an advocate of local control. Fortunately, as a lifelong resident of my district, I’m not beholden to Cook County politicians or anyone else. I represent the interests and needs of our residents. IF an airport is ever built in Peotone, it must be controlled by a board which is controlled by the people of Will County. I’ve voted for local control on this issue as well as others. I will continue to oppose all attempts by Cook County to encroach upon our sovereignty.
Should it be Will County or a special commission in charge of a proposed airport? Why, and how would that work?
First, I’m opposed to a new airport until a real need is shown for it. Since 2008 and the downturn in our economy we’ve had to re-evaluate a lot of projects which simply don’t make sense in the current economy. Because we’ve been willing to do this, we’ve adjusted to the new economy and have been able to keep taxes down, balance the county budget and continue to provide and even enhance services for our residents. IF an airport is to be built, it should be controlled by Will County in some fashion: Either as a majority of the governing board or exclusively by Will County.
All candidates have lauded the current board for work balancing the budget; what more would you do to practice fiscal responsibility?
Fiscal responsibility is a habit. It many times is not the result of a grand plan but is in fact the sum of every act we take at the County. At the Will County Board level, we’ve set the tone and culture of fiscal responsibility and the staff at Will County have continued to do a great job in providing services to our residents and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. As each staff member works hard to competitively bid projects and services, to seek the most bang for our buck so to speak, the end result is a balanced budget, better services and lower taxation. Some of the other things we’ve done is refinance certain bonds to take advantage of the better rates available to us. Again, I’ve done the same thing at Plainfield Township for the last 10 years as well. It is how I was raised, how I’ve acted on behalf of the residents of our district and how I will continue to act.
Besides Renewing Will County, would you propose any projects related to sustainability in the county?
Conservation is not only in name, but in practice a conservative act. In addition to particular projects we have investigated many green and sustainable products and services which we can utilize in the performance of the county’s duties. As an example, recently we’ve investigated new, more energy efficient lighting, which is not only green but would save the tax payer in energy costs. These are the kinds of things we have and will continue to seek out and utilize.
What ideas do you have for improving the county's infrastructure and transportation?
The county board has been working hard on this for some years now. Our Build Will program has been funding various road and bridge projects throughout the county. In our district the county is funding a portion of the new Renwick Road bridge which is replacing the old iron bridge at Springbank. This is an example of the types of infrastructure improvements we’ve made and will continue to make which will not only make life better for our residents but also make Will County an attractive place for business which will in turn create more jobs.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically?
This is another example of balancing the budget and enhancing services for our residents. While we’ve kept a balance budget, and held the line on taxes, we’ve been able to budget a portion of existing revenue to purchase enhanced technology for our sheriff’s police. The county board has also enhanced the technology utilized by our health dept. These are just a couple of examples of what I’ve supported. Additionally, as a member of the judicial committee, I helped craft an Administrative Adjudication program which has been implemented and is operating on behalf of the county. The Administrative Adjudication program allows officers to write tickets for ordinance violations and instead of clogging up the courts with minor ordinance violations, these citations proceed before an administrator in a more informal process. The result is the county ordinances are enforced and our court system is more efficient by removing these cases from the formal judicial process.