Full Name: Donna Sawicki
What office are you seeking? Kendall County Board District 2
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Oswego Township Trustee
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Education: B.S. Degree in Apparel Merchandising from Illinois State University
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/Sawicki4Liberty
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?
In order to limit property tax increases I would take a hard look at our budget to see where we might be able to reduce costs and make sure we’re being efficient in our current and future spending. Plus, I would push for local economic development to also help alleviate the burden on taxpayers.
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 definitely have questions about some of the County’s expenditures, but they require a little more investigating. As a county board member I would ask these questions and find out if these certain expenditures are first justified and second if they can be adjusted or eliminated.
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?
As a current Oswego Township Trustee, I am very aware of the crime and other issues regarding Boulder Hill. We did just get 2 ordinances passed for Boulder Hill that could bring in money from the fines relating to those ordinances. I would be in favor of putting any money gained from those fines back into combating the crime or other issues of Boulder Hill. Before deciding on whether or not the sheriff’s office needs more funding, I would like to talk to them and get their input on solutions and if they feel they need more staffing.
As a county board member, would you support increased funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?
I do not see a need for increased funding or additional staff currently.
Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?
Based on the studies already done, I would consider bringing Metra as far as Yorkville. The studies didn’t show a significant ridership for Plano and Sandwich. However, I would also want the publics input and also be interested in knowing how the pandemic and increase in remote jobs would now impact the need and those riderships currently and into the future.
Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?
If we were to bring Metra service to Kendall County, then I think it would be very beneficial to join the RTA rather than taking on that burden of cost and maintenance alone.
How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?
I would say that their efforts have been pretty good, considering that Kendall County has had the highest percentage of growth in all of Illinois for the past decade and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
For starters, I would continue to support our local businesses in being able to stay open and NOT enforce any fines or restrictions like the ones the governor was trying to place on small businesses during the pandemic.
If elected, will you enroll in the county employee health insurance program?
What actions can the Kendall County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while, not sacrificing services?
I think the most logical way to start to minimize the tax burden on residents would be to increase the economic development and bring more businesses to Kendall County.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
Yes, I absolutely support decreasing local property taxes. Again, we can make up the difference with continuing to bring new business and industry to Kendall County. Another thing to consider is that more than half of our property taxes goes to the schools. However, being a parent of two kids in SD 308, I’m not in favor of taking funds away from the school district, but I have recently heard of ways that other counties are obtaining funds for schools and lessening the amount from property taxes. This is something I am still researching.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Kendall County?
Luckily we already have the population growth, which we can keep using to lure new businesses and industry to Kendall County. Second, would be examining the possibilities and opportunities we can use for economic development from any assets received through the federal infrastructure bill.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
I think the pandemic and related events have created an increase in crime and unfortunately a leniency in the punishment for these crimes. I think we need to re-gain stricter punishments and then actually follow through with seeing that these punishments are carried out.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
I would say finishing the current Eldamain Road Bridge project is obviously a priority, and I am glad that they are looking into the safety concerns for Plainfield Road between Grove and Collins road.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
Yes, I do support strong government ethics laws. I would support the current Class A Misdemeanor fine of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 be increased, at least in the dollar amount to $10,000 or more. My biggest concern would be where legislatures have been influenced by medical and/or pharmaceutical lobbyists.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
I’m glad we have the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. I think there absolutely needs to be transparency between the public and government.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
I think the Kendall County website does a pretty good job of staying updated and providing access to government documents and county business. I could only enhance that by sharing and/or providing current information through social media. Plus, I would be very open to hearing the public’s input and talking with people.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non- disclosure agreements with private businesses?
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
I would be against this