Full Name: Scott Gengler
What office are you seeking? Kendall County Board, District 1
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Kendall County Board, June 2019- Current
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Education: Bachelor’s in Science, Illinois State University Master’s in Science, Educational Leadership
Associates in Science, Waubonsee Community College
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?
Kendall County is the best County in the State! We continue to grow in both population, over 14% the past decade, and in business; in order to keep Kendall County at the top we need to make sure that our infrastructure is also the best. From the water we consume, to the highways we drive on, and to the internet we use. For the last 5 years the County has not taken the tax extension, or CPI increase, and we continue to balance the budget by not taking the tax extension. I will continue to work with the Board members to limit continued increases on the residents property tax bills.
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.
Every year, typically in September, we come together as a Board and listen to all of the Kendall County elected officials and department heads to present their budgets for their specific office or department. Each budget is then analyzed by every Board member to address concerns of overspending with opportunity to ask questions. Any extra spending can be addressed at this time.
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?
Sheriff Baird and all in the sheriff’s office do a phenomenal job keeping the residents and non-residents of our county safe! Boulder Hill does consist of one-third of the unincorporated residents in the County and often does require more attention than other parts of the County. I trust our sheriffs office to do what is best for our residents and their safety.
As a county board member, would you support increased funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?
Our health department and the Executive Director Rae Ann Van Gundy have done an outstanding job serving the residents of our County since I have served on the Board. Our health department had one of the first large scale vaccination clinics in the state and continue to provide the best healthcare opportunities for all residents of Kendall County. Director Van Gundy is cognizant of her budget and the needs of her department, with that being said, if there is a need to provide residents a better service or if she sees a position that might need to be added so that residents are the benefit we as a Board will hear her requests.
Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?
The Metra rail service is an idea that I am willing to discuss. If we can provide this service without raising taxes I would be a proponent of the commuter rail service. Since the pandemic, the amount of people that commute to the eastern suburbs and the City of Chicago has diminished. Corporations are moving to employees working from home and many employees like having the flexibility to use video conferencing while working remotely. If the need and discussion resurfaces I am will to entertain the idea, but there are other infrastructure needs that I feel require our attention such as high quality internet to all of the residents of Kendall County.
Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?
If the residents of Kendall County are interested in adding commuter rail service to the County and if we are able to find a revenue stream so that the residents are not additionally taxed for the service I would be in support of joining the RTA.
How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?
I believe that it has been very good but I also think that we can do better, especially by updating the County’s Land Resource Management Plan(LRMP). The LRMP is what guides and helps to promote the business growth in the County. Our infrastructure is also another key factor to business growth in the County. We need to make sure that our infrastructure supports the business growth within the County.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
Since I have been on the Kendall County Board I have been an advocate for small and local business growth within the proper zoning areas. Local businesses in the unincorporated areas need to have the proper zoning to operate a business.
Local businesses have been hit hard by the economic shutdown and as a member of the County Board I was an advocate to support the businesses in Kendall County to get them the grant money so that they can continue to provide a service for the residents of the County. I have supported short-term tax incentives to boost large businesses into the County as well.
If elected, will you enroll in the county employee health insurance program?
The current health insurance program for employees is a very good option and would consider enrolling in the program.
What actions can the Kendall County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while, not sacrificing services?
We can look to attract large business that create revenue streams to our county so that we can use those funds to support services of our residents. We can look to partner with local municipalities to provide services that are not creating new or overlapping tax burdens. Another option would be to look for state and federal grant funding to help support the increased cost of services to our residents. We can also partner with our state and US government elected officials to find ways to help fund services without passing the burden onto our property owners. Most recently Kendall Area Transit received a $4 million state grant to build a new facility.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
I am very much in favor of looking to reduce the burden of local property tax payers. As previously stated if we can find additional revenue streams, such as the revenues from large business developments to help cover the cost of services to the County. .
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Kendall County?
1) Update our LRMP.
2) Partner with local municipalities to provide opportunities for growth.
3) Work to improve our infrastructure that supports economic growth.
4) Continue to support local Chambers of Commerce.
5) Ensure that proper zoning is in place that supports smart growth.
6) Look to create new highways that promote corporate growth.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
I believe that our Sheriff’s office and the local authorities go above and beyond to keep our County and communities a safe place for families to live and raise their kids. I am a proud supporter of all law enforcement, especially in our County.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
In District 1, I would like to see the widening of State Route 47 from Caton Farm Road, south of Yorkville, all the way to Sugar Grove, north of Kendall County. The aforementioned improvement will then improve the intersection at Galena Road(County highway) and State Route 47. I would like to see the curve on Cannonball Trail flattened so that it is less dangerous. I would also like to see the intersection of Cannonball Trail and Galena Road improved as well. It is also exciting to see the progress of the Eldamain Road bridge and I look to see the completion of the bridge by the end of 2022.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
All government officials need to be held to a high standard when they make decisions for their constituents and employees. Transparency is key and I support transparent ethical government.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
FOIA is an important part of transparency within Illinois government. We also need to be sure that FOIA is not abused as well.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
We are always looking for ways to get information to our residents. We have recently improved our County’s website including the methods of information that we use to present information on the website and look to more efficiently get information to our residents. Most recently, we are improving our codification at the County level and are working with a firm to get the codification on our County’s website. Our County Administrator and staff do an excellent job to ensure that transparency is the top priority.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non- disclosure agreements with private businesses?
Every situation is different and needs to be handled correctly. With respect to NDA’s, we work closely with, and use the guidance of our State’s Attorney’s Office and our County Administration.
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
I would use the advice of our County Administrator and our State’s Attorney’s Office(SAO) whether government officials or employees would need to sign a NDA. Personally, I have not had the need to sign a NDA since I have been on the Board. In some situations, they may be needed to protect the parties involved. As a County Board member we have the attorney-client privilege with the SAO.