Bill Palen, Lee County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024

Lee County Board District 4 candidate Bill Palen answered Shaw Local’s election questionnaire for the Lee County Board primary election.

Voting ends for the primary election on the evening of June 28.

Full Name: Bill Palen

What office are you seeking? Lee County Board

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Dixon Water Board, Lee County Board

City: Dixon

Occupation: Retired

Education: BA Degree LorasCollege

One of the biggest local issues curtailing economic development and growth is available affordable housing. The 2022 Census showed Lee and Whiteside both with more than 90% occupancy of existing residences. What is the role of the county to ensure there is available housing as it works to attract new businesses to the region?

Multiple tracts of land have recently become avalible in the I-88 corridor within the south of Dixon, creating opportunity for housing, business, and industry, which will benefit all of Lee County.

Northern Illinois counties are woefully behind when it comes to broadband and modern communications. What role does the county government have in equipping the region to meet the communication needs of the future?

A seven county committee has been formed for this purpose. Funding souces are being investigated.

Northern Illinois is seen as having a great deal of potential in developing/expanding green energy in the form of solar and wind. How can the county government play a role in expanding this? At the same time, growers and property owners often express the need to preserve land for crops. Is there a balance to be struck? What are possible solutions?

Green Energy is vital in the reduction of the carbon footprint, but each request must be throughly investigated.

Should the county website be updated?

The Lee County website is regularly updated.

Should board members be required to have email connections?

Telephone and/or email connections are presently provided on our website.

What challenges is the region facing in terms of attracting business and tourism?

We have an active Tourism Council, and the opening of the I88 corridor is very promising.

What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?

The Act may be uncomfortible to some, but it is the law.

What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?

Support local business whenever possible.

Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign nondisclosure agreements with private businesses?


Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?


Lee County received $6.6 million in ARPA funds. What do you think of how the county has used the funds so far, and what do you think the county’s remaining ARPA money should be used for?

A portion has been given to education, capital improvements, and not for profit organizations, such as Meals on Wheels. The remainder will be allocated until the termination at 2025.