Caleb Counterman, Grundy County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024

Full Name: Caleb Counterman

What office are you seeking? County Board

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Currently on the Board

City: Morris / Goose Lake

Occupation: Minister

Education: Bachelors Degree in Business Management

Masters Degree in Divinity

Masters Degree in Philosophy/Apologetics

Currently completing a Doctorate in Ministry

Campaign Website: Facebook page - Counterman for Grundy County

What actions can the Grundy County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while not sacrificing services?

The County Board has been actively looking at optimizing the service and oversight in each department to cut waste in government spending. In addition we have tried to cultivate a setting which encourages businesses to come to the county thereby increasing the revenue base. I have also been very active in making sure any new jobs positions are in fact needed to continue service quality while minimizing being fiscally responsible so as to not add strain upon the budgeted funds.

What county projects would you like to see addressed during your term?

I would like to continue on the 5 year plan to address upgrades to county buildings and services. In addition I would like to see further resources allocated to the heath services the County provides. Also I think it would be good to continue and if possible enhance the support for our veterans and first responders.

How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Grundy County?

Keep the tax levy low. Work with the Grundy Economic Development Council and other organizations like the Grundy Community Foundation to develop and cultivate relationships with businesses and enterprises that could come to, or grow within the county.

Grundy County has become a favorite location for solar farm companies setting up shop on local farmland. What impact do you think these green energy facilities will have.

They are a supplement to our energy production and therefore beneficial in some sense there. Overall the amount of solar farms is quite minimal in relation to the amount of farmland. Additionally, the areas that some of the solar farms are built upon is not a high quality farmland and thereby isn’t really taking much away as it relates to agricultural production.

Do you see the solar farm operations as a net gain or loss for the county?

At this point a net gain.

Expansion from the Chicago metro area is creeping toward Grundy County. Do you think this could be good or bad for the county?

It can be good as it brings revenue and business expansion. It could be detrimental in areas like increased crime.

What actions should the county take to either encourage the growth or help stave it off?

Encourage business growth for the benefit of the county, while also continuing to support local law enforcement endeavors to combat crime.

Grundy County has experienced a recent increase in drug activity. What actions should the county take to assist local government agencies, specifically law enforcement, to ensure the safety of the community and decrease crime rates?

The county has and should continue to support the local police and county sheriff departments in their efforts to combat the drug issue. Additionally there needs to be resources directed on addiction and recovery services. The use of Drug Court within the county is a great help in the effort to stem the tide as it relates to this issue. Additionally the continuation of the task force which local law enforcement agencies currently are involved with needs to be supported and enhanced if possible.

SB 818 Bill has become a hot topic at local school board meetings, do you support comprehensive sexual education, including LGBTQ-specific health information in public schools, K-12?

This is an issue for the school boards and is not something that the County Board has any say or insight in.

How do you plan to ensure local school districts have the resources needed to ensure teachers have the resources to properly educate their students on the subject?

This is really an issue dealt with by those elected to the school boards. The County Board can support the school boards as they work to deal with these issues.

Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?

I feel this was addressed in my earlier response.

What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?

The Highway Department does a good job of analyzing the needs as it relates to the roads and bridges. As it becomes aware of issues, they are brought to the attention of the Board at which time we have been very willing to address the needs. This past year due to flooding, some bridges were washed away or severely damaged (ie. the bridge on DuPont Rd.). When something like this happens, it pushes such bridges or roads to the forefront as to needed repairs.

Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?

I support keeping the tax levy as low as possible without sacrificing needed county services. Currently the County has not increased the tax levy for a number of years. Through responsible fiscal oversight by County Board members, and department heads within the County continuing to work within their budgets, I believe we can continue to keep the taxes low within the County.

Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?

I do support county government ethics laws.

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

I am supportive of transparency in government, which is why I am also supportive of the Illinois freedom of information act. Such regulations help bring about a measure of accountability within government.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

I continue to post summaries on my Facebook page of actions taken by the Board. This provides insights to the public who perhaps want to stay abreast of what I and other Board members are voting on. In addition, it helps people know what topics and actions are being discussed that may directly impact them. I also try to remain active in my community and accessible to any individuals that may want to speak to me.

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

I feel this was answered in an earlier question.

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

I am not sure. This would have to be an issue I would look into further.

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

See previous answer.