John Frieders, DeKalb County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024
DeKalb County Board Chairman John Frieders calls on members of the audience who would like to speak during public comment at the DeKalb County Board's Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at the DeKalb County Legislative Center in Sycamore.

Full Name: John Frieders

What office are you seeking? DeKalb County Board

What offices, if any, have you previously held? DeKalb County Board 10 years

Sandwich School District 430 Board of Education 20 years

DeKalb County Farm Bureau Board of Directors 16 years

City: Sandwich

Occupation: Farmer

Education: Graduate East Aurora High School

Campaign Website: No

The DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a public facility owned by DeKalb County government, is under financial distress, according to county officials. Budget constraints brought to light in 2021 made it difficult for the center to maintain its financial independence. The county board last year dissolved the center’s operating board, and hired a consultant to help determine the future of the facility: Whether to sell it (current county leadership says that is not the preference), or how to maintain its financial autonomy. If elected, what would you want to see become of the county nursing home?

I believe the county nursing home will need to be sold and become privately operated.

How would you address financial constraints at the nursing home as a county board member?

The county nursing home connot continue to be subsidized with millions of dollars by taxpayers as it is not self- sustaining. I feel the nursing home and its residents would be better served as a facility in the private sector.

What are the three biggest challenges facing the DeKalb County Board?

The Nursing Home

The Budget

Solar Zoning

What makes you specifically qualified to run for DeKalb County Board? What would you bring to the table, and how would it benefit the board? Please provide specific examples.

I have experience working on several boards in DeKalb County, including the current DeKalb County Board. I have been a resident in DeKalb County for 44 years as a self- employed farmer, raising 3 children and have the residents’ best interests in mind when making decisions that will affect all of our lives. I try to make decisions though not always popular, that will be positive for most citizens.

In 2021, the DeKalb County Board took up votes for several solar energy farms of significant size. The projects, which were approved amid some lengthy debate, spawned a significant amount of community feedback, some negative, some positive, some related to county board regulations for future farms. Where do you stand on the topic of solar energy, and what role do you believe the county board should play in that?

I think there are definitely some questions about setbacks that need to be addressed. How the siting of batteries or if the siting of batteries will fit into a project is important. Food production is a very important part of the equation also.

The DeKalb County Board’s budget was passed for Fiscal Year 2022 at $96 million. Would you advocate to change it or make cuts? If so, where? Why or why not?

For the first time in years the board did not increase the tax levy on anything but new construction and I would hope to at least do that next year.

Inflation across the nation has greatly impacted the price of gasoline, food and supplies. Recent rent hikes also are affecting local communities, forcing relocation for those reliant on subsidized housing in DeKalb County, according to a recent Daily Chronicle report and the DeKalb County Housing Authority, which is a branch of county government. What can the DeKalb County Board do to address relief of everyday expenses, and reduce the tax burden on local residents?

The DeKalb County Housing Authority is not part of DeKalb County Government. The only input that the DeKalb County Board has is to appoint directors to the Housing Authority. I would work with the DeKalb County Board to act responsibly to hold and/or reduce costs for the county as possible.

Assess the DeKalb County Health Department’s actions to combat COVID-19? What changes, if any, need to be made related to the pandemic?

The Health Department I think has worked hard to see that everyone who wanted a vaccination was able to get one as well as a multitude of information. Many vaccination clinics were held at various parts of the county and were well organized. The Health Department was in communication with the State Health Department and CDC for current information and updated the county as necessary.

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

The law enforcement departments in the county municipalities seem to be working hard to control crime as much as possible, but in the larger populated areas crime does seem to be more of a problem. I would defer to the individual law enforcement departments and States Attorneys for their expertise.

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

The County Engeneer has a revolving schedule to resurface roads,bridges are inspected regularly but can move up if need be. Iam please to see the county making headway on 80000 LBS roads but it is a long process.

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

It would be great to decease property taxes but that has been talked about for at least 50 years and no one has come up with an answer!

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

It seems to me in paying attention to the news we can handle the problem in DeKalb County it’s Springfield and WashingtonDC that need help

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

No problems I think it works fine.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

Continue to do what ever is needed

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

I would push to leave them alone and not hassle them with more regulations or taxs but just listen to them they know best what they need.

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

Sometimes it is important when trying to put together a complex project.

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

I think it is a necessary evil.