Election

Rich Janor, DuPage County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

DuPage County Board candidate Rich Janor

Full Name: Rich Janor

What office are you seeking? DuPage County Board Member, District 5

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Naperville Park District Commissioner (2011 until Present) First Elected 2011. Reelected 2015 and 2019.

Elected President of the Naperville Park District Board three times by a UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN vote of the other commissioners.

City: Naperville

Occupation: Founder and President of Game Day USA (sports event management company) and Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Montini Catholic High School (Lombard, IL, DuPage County)

Education: University of Notre Dame (Bachelor of Business Administration)

Campaign Website: RichJanor.com

What steps should DuPage County health and sheriff’s departments take to prevent opioid addiction and overdose?

DuPage County should continue to support and raise awareness for the DuPage County Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce, which is a joint operation of the DuPage County Board and the DuPage County Board of Health. The task force is comprised of professionals focused on adjudication, education, law enforcement, mental health, prevention, and substance abuse treatment.

Tackling this serious problem in our communities will require a comprehensive approach, which is why the task force is so important.

What is your opinion of the county board’s actions and initiatives since Democrats assumed control of the board two years ago?

It appears Democrats on the DuPage County Board have struggled to get along with one another and have collectively been involved in infighting, bickering and drama that has ultimately led to a reduction of new ideas and innovations being brought forth from committees, board discussions, etc. This culture shift in recent years is concerning. It appears that the current County Board is resting on the laurels of the accomplishments of prior boards, which may be a recipe for short term success (1-2 years), but certainly isn’t sustainable long term.

Do you support the merger of additional county offices/departments?

Yes, I think the DuPage County Board should always look for ways to consolidate both internally and externally to reduce costs for the taxpayer, especially administrative costs and overhead. Over the past several years, the County Board has done a good job of looking at small, independent units of government (fire protection, mosquito abatement, water districts, sanitation, etc.) and this should continue. In particular, I’d like to study the Airport Authority more to determine if a different structure would be more advantageous for the taxpayer.

What are your overall thoughts of the sheriff’s department’s job performance?

I think Sheriff Mendrick has been outstanding, and the department has flourished under his leadership. He has created a culture that is focused and service and the safety of the citizenry, he has been open to germinating fresh ideas within the department, and he has been supportive of innovation and new technology to allow the personnel within the department to reach their full potential.

The county sheriff has taken several initiatives to help reform inmates (tattoo removal services, gardening classes, job placement). What other initiatives would you like to see in an effort to reform inmates?

I applaud Sheriff Mendrick for seeing and regarding inmates as human beings and not as animals, like prisoners are often considered. In addition to the tattoo removal services, gardening classes, and job placement opportunities, I would like to see a focus on training and education. For many citizens that find themselves in a difficult position in life, like imprisonment, education is often the path out of that negative situation.

DuPage County recently provided the DuPageFoundation$10.6 million for a grant program designed to support nonprofit organizations that address food and housing insecurity, mental health and substance use issues. Discuss the county’s role to further tackle these issues.

As a long-time business owner, my mind goes to return on investment first when reviewing a budget and establishing priorities. During my 10+ years as Naperville Park District Commissioner, I have learned that some important amenities that positively impact quality of life and property valuation may not necessarily generate favorable ROI. For example, within the Park District, we often install and renovate playgrounds despite the fact that playgrounds are obviously not revenue generating. Likewise, social services related to food, housing, mental health, and substance abuse issues are important, and we should continue to prioritize funding of organizations and departments that provide these critical services.

Assess the DuPage County Health Department’s actions to combat COVID-19.

The DuPage County Health department has always been a leader, and the professionals in the department are highly qualified and competent. I thought the Health Department’s response and communication approach were proactive, thorough, and well done despite the often vague and incomplete guidance coming from

What changes, if any, need to be made related to the pandemic?

DuPage County received considerable federal funding related to the pandemic. Whenever funds come into the County from the federal government, I would like to see the money spent wisely with an eye toward saving money for the taxpayer well into the future. As a business owner, I am always thinking about return on investment. The County Board members should ask themselves, how can we invest this money now into projects that will save the taxpayers money in the future. For example, if air conditioners and ventilation systems in our buildings were up for replacement in 3-5 years, since those systems can be connected to pandemic response, we can use federal funds to replace

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

The DuPage County Board should continue to innovate and look for ways to utilize technology to provide services in a better, more efficient, and less expensive manner.

Specifically, in the area of personnel, which is always a considerable line item on the County’s budget, we should look for ways to use innovation and technology to enable our personnel to do more with less.

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

DuPage County has tremendous resources for businesses of all sizes. Given all the crime and corruption in Chicago and Cook County, many businesses are looking to escape Chicago and move west. We should be prepared to welcome these businesses if they are a good fit for DuPage County. Likewise, we should govern with a pro-business approach, reducing red tape, keeping the tax burden low, and making sure DuPage County remains a place with economic opportunities for all.

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

Yes, there is absolutely a serious crime problem in DuPage County, which is exacerbated by “soft on crime” policies in Chicago and Cook County along with the completely ludicrous “Defund the Police” movement that became fashionable beginning in the summer of 2020. We’ve all seen the headlines about the shooting at Oak Brook Mall, carjackings, smash and grab crimes, etc. We need to continue to oppose HB 3653, publicly support our Sheriff’s office and community police departments, and publicly oppose the “Defund the Police” movement. Likewise, we need to make certain our law enforcement departments, including the Sheriff’s department and State’s Attorney’s office are appropriately funded.

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

The County Board should continue to resurface roads and perform preventative maintenance on bridges on a regular basis. These actions make for a smoother commute for our residents and prevent negative impact on the vehicles of our taxpayers and visitors. Additionally, the County Board should continue with its efforts to put right hand turn lanes on 75th Street and Eola Road. This actions will improve quality of life by getting commuters home quicker, enabling them to spend more time with their families, etc. as opposed to sitting in traffic. In addition to saving time, the turn lanes will keep drivers from consuming expensive gas while idling. Finally, trails and connectivity remain a high priority for residents of DuPage County, so we should continue to look for ways to make our communities more connected for bicyclists, walkers, runners, etc.

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

Yes, I support decreasing or holding property taxes flat whenever possible, and keeping the hard earned dollars of our residents in their own pockets as opposed to with government. DuPage County can make up the difference by first spending federal pandemic response dollars wisely.

Likewise, DuPage County can continue to innovate, leverage technology, and germinate new ideas to make our workforce more productive, allowing our personal to accomplish more with less.

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

Yes, of course, I support strong government ethics laws. Given the constant and steady stream of headlines about government corruption and cronyism across Illinois, having ethical elected officials with integrity is a high priority for our citizenry. I support an annual review of the County Board bylaws to make certain that they are up to date for the social media era, and to make certain that they create an appropriate structure to hold every County Board member accountable.

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

FOIA is an important element of government openness and transparency, and I think DuPage County does a good job of responding to FOIA requests as quickly and electronically as possible. Since DuPage County’s budget represents public money, the public has every right to know how their money is being spent, and what projects and priorities their elected offcials are working on.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

The DuPage County Board should ensure that all board meetings are available to the public via livestream, television, etc. Likewise, we should ensure that meeting agendas and information are available to the public in advance of meetings and decision points, so that the public has ample opportunity to review and comment on those materials.

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

At the County Board level, we should govern with a pro- business approach, reducing red tape, keeping the tax burden low, and making sure DuPage County remains a place with economic opportunities for all. Specifically, I support enterprise programs for veterans and small business owners, along with a continued push for residents of DuPage County to do business locally whenever possible.

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

I have an issue with non-disclosure agreements in that they are often used as a tool to get around FOIA and they obviously work against openness and transparency. There are, however, a limited number of circumstances when non-disclosure agreements are necessary and useful. For example, if a new business that would have a positive economic impact wishes to locate in DuPage County, and they require a non-disclosure agreement in order to come to the table to discuss and negotiate the terms of their entry, it may make sense for the County to comply and accept the meeting. Under these circumstances, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office should be involved with the request to ensure there is a valid reason for it.

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

I have an issue with non-disclosure agreements in that they are often used as a tool to get around FOIA and they obviously work against openness and transparency. There are, however, a limited number of circumstances when non-disclosure agreements are necessary and useful. For example, if a new business that would have a positive economic impact wishes to locate in DuPage County, and they require a non-disclosure agreement in order to come to the table to discuss and negotiate the terms of their entry, it may make sense for the County to comply and accept the meeting. Under these circumstances, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office should be involved with the request to ensure there is a valid reason for it.