Kendall County Board District 2 candidate Dan Koukol answered Shaw Local’s election questionnaire for the Kendall County Board primary election.
Voting ends for the primary election on the evening of June 28.
Full Name: Dan Koukol
What office are you seeking? Kendall County Board Dist. 2
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Kendall County Board
Occupation: Managing Real estate Broker/ Small Business owner
Education: Alumnus of W.I.U, Waubonsee, Stewart R.E. Institute and IPAI, with emphasis in agriculture, real estate and property tax assessment.
Campaign Website: FB. Dan Koukol
Property taxes in Kendall County are consistently among the highest in Illinois. What would you do as a county board member to limit the continued increases residents see on their property tax bills?
Encourage economic development thru out the county but with high concentration at our main corridors that were planned for large box warehouse buildings and other business. Communicate to other taxing bodies to keep a sharp pencil on expenses, this is NO time to be raising property TAXES.
Is there fat in the county budget? If so, please identify which departments or programs that you would work to either curtail or eliminate to save funds.
I believe all the departments are running very lean at the county, Federal Covid monies are available to us so we have done a few small projects to date that we have put a stamp of approval on that have been on the books to do since ‘08. No tax increases to run the county!
Does the county sheriff’s office require additional funding and/or staff to combat crime in the unincorporated Boulder Hill subdivision or elsewhere in the county? If yes, where would those funds come from and how should they be used?
The sheriff office and county board has put extra resources in to patrolling unincorporated areas of the county. I have met with the sheriff and under sheriff many times to stay in the know on what is going on and solutions to any problems. Boulder Hill is always on the radar for ways to improve our service in that area, not only sheriff office but building/zoning office as well. Current county sheriff has always had an excellent budget proposal with focus on these subjects. Unfunded mandates from the state are the hard line items to get funded.
As a county board member, would you support increased funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?
We did hire more staff during the pandemic thru contracting, normal hiring practices to get the covid mandates done. I would support hiring more mental health workers, I see the need for that in our county almost daily.
Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?
We cannot ignore it by all means, BUT the RTA tax that must go with Metra can be mapped. Ex. Someone that lives in the Minooka part of Kendall should not have to pay a tax for Metra....never use it. Maybe a senior exemption on the tax as well.
Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?
RTA tax has the ability to be mapped. (carve out an area) where it will be most utilized. Not all of Kendall should be ever asked to pay this tax. This project also needs 300plus million on the local share to make it happen. I realize many developers sold our area on the idea this was gonna happen a lot sooner, it’s not. It’s on the books but not funded.
How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?
I am the Economic Development Chairman for Kendall County. We have projects going on now, Ridge and 80 we have two large scale warehouses in the works. One of the warehouses will pay 1 million plus in property taxes. This will provide more jobs, more people eating, and in turn sales tax as well. It is open land now that pays little property taxes now.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
The beautiful county we have, forest preserves, open lands, good educated hard working people and low crime. We are a community built on small business, our people take care of them and utilize them daily. My district is a fast growing area with the small town feeling. Encourage business to get active in the community to ensure success!
If elected, will you enroll in the county employee health insurance program?
I am self employed I have a policy I am happy with. Things change in a heartbeat, so I am constantly doing comparisons. I am on the HR COMMITTEE that watches over this area, we get quarterly reports and monthly updates. By law we have to offer health insurance to employees, we have changed coverages, providers and agents several times thru the years for cost saving measures.
What actions can the Kendall County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while, not sacrificing services?
The one way one could vote to raise taxes is voting to raise the over all levy on the taxes for County portion of your taxes. The tax bill is broke down by taxing bodies, county, schools, library and etc. I have NEVER voted to raise your county levy. It is the only levy this body controls.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
I would like all taxing bodies to lower there portion of the tax bill. Never has there been a time than now that people of this county need relief. Cut budgets, hold off on capital projects and give it back to the tax payer in a lower tax bill. Government needs to cut red tape for development projects of large buildings that produce no KIDS and pay lots of property taxes. The county is one of the smallest bills on your overall tax bill. At this time most of the burden is on rooftops (homes) and not much industrial tax base.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Kendall County?
I have, by working with the economic development departments thru out the county and region. We let real estate head hunters for major large companies know we are friendly and OPEN for business. I am involved in a local chamber, I listen and help when I can to direct business to our county. I helped get Macy’s and Electrolux to the county located in Minooka business park.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
Every community has a crime level, as we grow that does too. I support our local police and county sheriff office. I personally believe in keeping the police funded with the proper levy to keep a safe community. People and businesses want to come to safe communities, they check these out before they move or start building million square foot buildings. I support the police! I also think we need to develop a more extensive program to cater to our disabled and senior population of home repair, financial scams and cleaning scams etc. To many times I hear of stories where our local seniors have been taken advantage of in one way or another.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
Johnson and Ridge Rd stoplight is in the works, City of Plainfield is the lead agency.
WOLF ROAD, is one the largest and needed projects in district 2. As you all know this is a traffic nightmare! Most of that road is Village of Oswego but has been a topic at all taxing bodies It is in the works as funding is being appropriated.
We are excited to have another bridge over the Fox River! Eldamain Rd bridge over the Fox is ahead of schedule and on track to open this late fall. Kendall County is the lead agency on this bridge. It will help north and south traffic all over the county!
Route 30 in district 2 needs help. It is a heavy traveled state route.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
Yes and the county just hired with cooperation with sheriff office an inspector general, he/she will not only help with sheriff situations he/she will work on the county side as she/he is needed. County does have an ethics committee made up of community members as well.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
I think it is a great source for the public to get information they need for whatever reason. BUT it should not be abused by anyone, this is very costly to taxing bodies to produce in some cases. Most things are basic. Anyone can call me and I will give them what I can.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
Keep a watchful eye on budgets and projects that come thru the county board. Do the research on the topics that come across our desks. I do often drive and physically look at projects and situations all over the county. Ask questions of directors and elected officials and get information on how departments work...
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign nondisclosure agreements with private businesses?
Yes, otherwise big companies that are researching our county will pass it right by to the next, period.
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
If you as the tax payer want business to come we have to allow for non disclosure. Ex. I had a company ask me how far a Jimmy Johns sandwich shop was from where they were looking......important factor with the staff. They ask and do much research we do not even think of and take for granite. They do not want the competition to know the in and outs of what they are doing in the research stage....