Maureen Little, DeKalb County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024
DeKalb County Board candidate Maureen Little

Full Name: Maureen Little

What office are you seeking? Dekalb County Board District 1

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Two terms with the Dekalb County Board.

A term with the Burlington Village Board.

City: Kingston

Occupation: Office Administrator at Hillcrest Covenant Church. Owner of Pigeon Hollow Antiques for 25 years.

Education: A Bachelor Degree in Business from Columbia College.

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 would like to see if we can possibly maintain the nursing home.

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

I would try to recoup the old medicare billing. I would also try to right size the staff.

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

The nursing home breaks even at 175 residents. For the last year the nursing home has only 127 residents and they would need to right size the staff. Another problem is that most of the staff is with a nursing agency that charges more money. Also, in the last few years most elderly people have been aging in place, meaning they are not going into a nursing facility. Covid made the problem worse.

Please provide specific ideas for how you would address these issues if elected, or solutions you would offer?

Right size the staff and try to find a way of hiring staff instead of using a staffing agency, that would save some money. Since the nursing home is at 127-130 residents, maybe the extra space could be rented out for a medical facility. Maybe Northwestern Medicine would be an investor.

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 served the County Board for 8 years. I have always made myself available to my community and helped them when they needed anything. I’m a business owner and understand the need for business opportunity’s in the county.

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 believe in solar energy. The planning and zoning committee has been working to update and tighten regulations around solar.

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?

The county has been fiscally conservative. I would not change anything at this time.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, DeKalb County’s population dropped by about 4,000 people over the past decade, mostly concentrated in the DeKalb area. Population sizes can directly impact revenue streams for municipal budgets such as local sales tax and motor fuel use, and economic development. How would you rank economic development as a priority within your campaign, and what, if elected, would you do to ensure DeKalb County progresses into the next decade?

The economic development committee has done an excellent job in bringing in opportunity’s. Economic development is a priority.

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 county health department did a great job. I can’t think of anything I would change.

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

Our economic development has great in the county. Many jobs have opened in the county. We need to encourage more technical development training in our schools.

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

I think we have more drug crime. More drug enforcement.

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

The county has a list of roads and bridges they work on each year.

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

It would be nice to lower property taxes, but that would be hard to do. The only other option is to tax income. I cringe when the property tax bill comes in the mail.

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

I do support stronger county government ethics. I support having an ethics advisor, ethics commission, and fines for violations.

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

The county has classes on FOIA.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

Complying with FOIA, and being ethical.

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

I encourage everyone to shop local.

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

No I don’t.