- Position sought: Will County Board, District 5
- E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Reed Bible for Will County Board District 5
- Phone: 815-254-8770
- Address: 15831 Cove Circle, Plainfield 60544
- Age: 58
- Family: Wife America Bible; three stepdaughters, four step-granddaughters and two step-great-granddaughters
- Education: Juris Doctor from University of Minnesota, Baccalaureate from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, Certificate of International Studies from Kansai University of Foreign Studies in Osaka, Japan
- Occupation: Supervisory criminal investigator/special agent (retired), U.S. Department of Homeland Security - investigations/attorney
- Political party: Democratic
- Previous elected or appointed offices: Plainfield Township Precinct Committeeman (Precinct 13)
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
As a consultant to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), I was instrumental in the development of training a program for state/local law enforcement officers. I also managed a multi-million dollar procurement budget for hardware and services. Taught immigration/naturalization law, investigative techniques, evidence and courtroom procedural to classes of law enforcement recruits at both the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia and various locations around the globe.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Promotion of job growth through infrastructure investment to expand our economic base and prepare for the anticipated growth in county population, delivery of affordable preventive health care and treatment for certain physical and mental chronic conditions, and improved county security.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I have over 25 years of public service experience as an employee of the Executive Branch of the federal government. Prior to my federal service, I worked towards addressing the housing, nutritional and legal needs of low-income people by managing subsidized housing, establishing a food bank and providing pro bono legal representation in family court. As a law enforcement officer, I saw the direct connection between economic deprivation and violent crimes. I saw, firsthand, how society pays in numerous ways—not just taxation—when opportunities for social mobility are lacking. I appreciate the crucial role that governmental policies can play in the promotion of job creation, preventive health care, education/training, neighborhood and domestic security. I am also the only candidate who has pledged to return 10 percent of my county salary to help stretch the budget.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Will County?
Investment in countywide infrastructure and technology, if done properly, in partnership with the private sector and tax incentives, can translate into both jobs and generate the tax revenues the county needs to prepare for the future. As a major freight logistic hub, accessible by waterways, Class I railways, five interstate expressways and airports, Will County can be a world-class intermodal crossroads of commerce.
Do you believe Cook County is encroaching on Will, and how would you make sure there isn't a negative influence from the city?
Cook County does encroach in the sense that Will County gets precluded from competition to be the sole recipient of various sources of federal grant monies, such as the Urban Area Security Initiative funds, due to being lumped into the same urban areas as the City of Chicago for consideration. In order to address this problem, one approach is to lobby the Illinois Congressional delegation to consider Will County as separate from the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Should it be Will County or a special commission in charge of a proposed airport? Why, and how would that work?
I am supportive of the development of a south suburban airport, as a means to create jobs and grow the economy of Will County. However, with respect to management of the facility, I am open to consideration of all proposals. At present, it seems to me that an independent airport authority, on which will sit public officials representing the six affected townships that comprise the site for the proposed airport, is an appropriate means of governance. This would afford a mechanism for the concerns of the surrounding residents to be taken into consideration, along with commercial interests.
All candidates have lauded the current board for work balancing the budget; what more would you do to practice fiscal responsibility?
The county is clearly in need of more tax revenues in order to serve both the current population and to finance the needed improvements in infrastructure to be prepared for the anticipated growth. No one wishes to see an increase in tax rates-property, sales or use taxes/fees-if it can be avoided. However, short-term solutions can oftentimes cost taxpayers much more over the long term in money, natural disasters and rising crime rates. Therefore, the county must expand its economic base in order to generate more revenues. This can be accomplished by adopting policies that promote job growth. Perhaps tax incentives such as expanded credits for small businesses, partnerships with private sector stakeholders and review of county operations to eliminate waste and redundancies can help grow the county budgetary revenues and reduce operational expenses.
Besides Renewing Will County, would you propose any projects related to sustainability in the county?
Yes! A modern and expanded Justice Complex, Law Enforcement Center, County Office Building, development of intermodal ports, light rail, airport, improved roadways, alternative and sustainable energy sources, modern informational technology systems to provide real time information needed to handle emergency situations, store data necessary to monitor infrastructure integrity and anticipated expansion.
What ideas do you have for improving the county's infrastructure and transportation?
Please refer to previous answer.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically?
Establishment of satellite county government and health care campuses so that services are in closer proximity to the citizenry. Among other benefits, this reduces wear and tear on roadways, saves time, use of energy and other benefits.
Development of information technology that tracks inter-modal freight commerce with respect to usage of ports and roads, newly developed regulations, etc. In addition, improved communications for emergency personnel to shorten response time, facilitate evacuation plans in the event of disaster and officer safety.