December 01, 2022
Election


Election

Diane Selmer, Kendall County Board District 2 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Kendall County Board District 2 candidate Diane Selmer

Full Name: DIANE SELMER

What office are you seeking? Kendall County Board

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Oswego Township Trustee

City: Oswego

Occupation: Retired--Executive Secretary/Admin. Asst. to V.P. Human Resources, Pechiney Services America, formerly American National Can Company

Education: Roosevelt University, Employee Benefits, Legal Research, 2 yr. equivalent

Campaign Website: Find me on Facebook--Diane Selmer

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?

I agree with this statement, and would see what I could do to lower the property taxes after being elected since you need to be in the office to see where changes can be made at the county level, while still maintaining the services our residents expect. As a Trustee for Oswego Township, and the prior board, I voted for and was pleased that we were able to lower the township levy 2%, while maintaining services. We sold the property on Rt. 71 as well as the 84 Templeton property, placing both of those back on the tax roll, lessening some of the tax burden for our residents and I would do my best to help everyone with lower property taxes, especially my fellow seniors.

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.

It is difficult to identify if and where there is fat unless you are an active county board member, but I certainly would work to be sure all county departments are effectively working to provide our residents with cost effective services in a timely fashion..

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?

Safety of our county residents, especially those living in unincorporated Boulder Hill is of utmost importance. Since many of the Sheriff’s deputies are or will be retiring in the near future, these dedicated officers will need to be replaced in order to maintain safety. As a Township Trustee, when we saw a need benefitting the deputies and the community, we approved having a portion of the new township building located at 99 Boulder Hill Pass dedicated to the sheriff’s deputies. It is a convenience for our Boulder Hill residents who wished to speak with a deputy and not having a squad car in front of their home, as well a “home base” for completing paperwork and faster response times. The deputies also store their bikes at the location for convenience when on summer bike patrol within the Boulder Hill community.

As a county board member, would you support increased funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?

I’m unable to respond to that question without having knowledge about current staffing, statistical data and justification for added staffing and funding regarding the needs of the Kendall County Health Department might be.

Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?

Substantial amounts of money have been spent on studies by local, municipal and county officials, it’s time to send a referendum to the voters to see if a majority of them would utilize the Metra on a daily basis.

Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?

Since it is another tax prior to receiving a service, this is a personal matter to be considered by all of our residents, and needs to go to referendum for a resolution.

How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?

Having worked at a corporate level large can manufacturing company, doing due diligence, some factors looked at when building a new can manufacturing plant, it’s location, location, location, close proximity to major highways, nearby locations from which the workforce will come, land acquisition feasibility, and I doubt that a large manufacturing facility would build or relocate to the county. Perhaps a mid sized or smaller manufacturing facility would consider locating to the county. Amazon built their warehouse in Joliet due to close proximity to I-80. There is an industrial park in Minooka.

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

Please patronize your local small businesses, and restaurants.

If elected, will you enroll in the county employee health insurance program?

NO

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

Look at every department, sometimes it is small changes from everyone which can make the big difference for our residents.

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

I do support decreasing local property taxes. Each taxing body has their own levy , budget and requirements to operate efficiently while providing needed services. What are “needed” services versus “wants”.

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

Both Yorkville and Oswego are seeing a lot of activity with developers bringing in more housing, and unincorporated areas within the county will be annexed into the municipalities. Obviously there is a need for more housing, existing homes are selling rapidly. Since COVID, many residents who had been working from home still are. More housing, brings with it a need for more grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc. which also require employees, adding to employment growth, and likely the need for more police officers within these municipalities.

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

I do follow the weekly police reports in the Ledger and basically thus far there does not seem to be a local crime problem, and issues are promptly addressed by the police. A single high profile media covered incident does not mean there is a local crime problem. We do need to keep up with hiring replacement officers for those retiring in all the municipalities, and county. We likely will need to hire more officers in Oswego due to the anticipated growth, since we do not want to stretch our officers too thinly. A sheriff’s deputy provides an updated report at the monthly Oswego township meeting and conducts a monthly Boulder Hill Neighborhood Watch meeting for those residents with incident updates. Safety of our residents is of utmost importance.

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

WOLF CROSSING --- Minkler Bridge over Morgan Creek and Collins Road

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

ABSOLUTELY. I was pleased to see the newly revised “Statement of Economic Interests” form to be filed with the County Clerk for all candidates and incumbent electeds. This form requires providing more detailed information about businesses, and assets held and is public information.

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

I love it! Residents and or media outlets may have difficulty getting information from a public body and with the implementation of the FOIA Act, it gives the public a tool by which a response is required to the public within the appropriate timeline. It’s called TRANSPARENCY in government, and I am a huge proponent of government transparency. Taxpayers are entitled to know how those tax dollars are spent as well as knowing if their elected officials are operating in an ethical manner.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

When I was elected Oswego Township Trustee, my goal was to implement a fully transparent, user friendly, website not only for township residents, but anyone seeking information about the township. I’m very proud of the fact that our website has been recognized by the township officials of Illinois as among the best in the state, Oswegotownship.org, You can find Assessor information, Road District information, Township agendas, minutes, job postings, all bills paid, etc. as well as information about the 6 cemeteries the township is responsible for maintaining. I would like to be sure the same level of transparency occurs at the county level. Our residents deserve government transparency.

Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non- disclosure agreements with private businesses?

NO

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

Government officials and employees should NOT be signing non disclosure agreements with private businesses.

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