Chris Norberg, Lee County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024

Lee County Board District 1 candidate Chris Norberg 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: Chris Norberg

What office are you seeking? County Board District !

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Harmon Township Supervisor (2015-Present)

Harmon/Nelson MTD Supervisor (2015-Present)

Chair of Admin and Renewable Energy Committee Lee County

City: Harmon

Occupation: Field Sales Rep Channel Seed

Education: Bachelors Ag Science emphasis in Agronomy from Western Illinois University 2008

Associates Sauk Valley 2006

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?

Housing development is driven at the city level. I continue to have conversations with Dixon to support any economic and housing developments that they are proposing. We need to pool our resources to think outside of the box to bring new business to the region and support the ones that are currently here today.

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?

Lee County identified broadband as an important use of ARPA money. After further research we are able to partner with other counties to apply for grant money to better communication in the Sauk Valley Area.

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?

As chair of the renewable energy committee I can recognize the importance of green energy to Lee County. It is a balancing act of land owner rights and non-participating residents. We continue to work with the ordinance in partnership with industry and local residents to make sure everything that is put in place will be beneficial for Lee County.

Should video of committees and board meetings be continued/expanded?

We are currently spending right around $200,000 to do just that.

Should the county website be updated?

Yes. It is something that needs to be and will be addressed when time permits.

Should board members be required to have email connections?

Yes. We recently went to iPads for all board members saving over 4000 pieces of paper each month. My goal after the election is to then work with IT to setup emails for everyone.

What technology upgrades and resource allocation is required to make it happen?

As stated earlier we already have the resources to do it. Just need to implement at the correct time.

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

Partnership. We have so many different buckets such as LCIDA, GRACO and Blackhawk Hills along with all the cities and villages in Lee County that we need to organize meetings to share plans and direction each organization is headed.

It appears inflation — in a way that hasn’t been experienced in a long time — is going to be an issue that could affect all local governments for the foreseeable future. What is the role of the county board as rising prices put a pinch on existing revenues?

We need to find alternate revenue sources. Economic development is the only way to not put the burden back on tax payers.

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?

ARPA has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because anytime we can invest $6.6 Million in Lee County that is a good thing. It has been a curse because over the year the way the money could be spent has changed three times making it difficult to make a long term plan and stick to it. Lee county has given roughly $500,000 to the community and ear tagged an additional $700,000 for county projects. I believe the money remaining money should be spent on fixing our aging infrastructure and economic development. This will benefit all residents equally.