Full Name: Zach Bachmann
What office are you seeking? Kendall County Board District 2
What offices, if any, have you previously held? None.
Occupation: Software Developer
Education: I attended and graduated from Oswego High School. I then went on to attend Bradley University, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Data Science and a minor in mathematics.
Campaign Website: https://www.facebook.com/ZachForKendallCountyBoard
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?
As a board member I would do my best to attract new businesses while also searching for and removing any fats in the county budget. The aims of the acts would be to help soften the weight of the taxes shouldered by the people of Kendall.
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.
After reviewing the budgets of the last few years, it seems the Board has done a great job of keeping fat out of the budget. Going forward, I would like to meet with elected officials and department heads to gain their insight on what can be done to further the efficiency of our budget.
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?
The Sheriff’s office has made significant progress with their presence in the area with increased patrols and an office in the area. COVID19 hurt the number so four local police force, it led to retirements, and temporarily closed the police academy. With the police academy ramping back up, and the our police staff numbers returning to normal, I have complete confidence in our sheriffs office to continue their great work.
As a county board member, would you support increased funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?
Yes, the Kendall County Health Department is a fantastic resource for the people of Kendall County. COVID 19 heightened the need for mental health services as well as services provided by the Community Action department. I support increasing funding to ensure that KCHD can meet the needs of our residents whether it’s for mental health or services such as housing assistance, nutritional guidance, and programs to aid in paying utility bills.
Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?
Yes, I would love to see an extension of Metra into Kendall County. Providing easier access to public transport helps decongest roads and parking, will give people more choices in how they choose to commute, and helps us combat pollution.
Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?
Rather than joining RTA, I would be in favor of seeking opportunities to collaborate with RTA that do not involve a tax increase for our residents.
How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?
I would like to see a dedicated person for economic development. By creating a dedicated position instead of including it as part of the county administrator’s duties, this person would have additional time to network with potential businesses and develop a comprehensive economic development plan with the board’s economic development committee.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
The county can work with local chambers of commerce to develop initiatives to increase exposure for local businesses, including through the county’s social media presence. These can range from a weekly business spotlight on Facebook to a buy-local campaign.
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?
The board can continue to pass fiscally responsible budgets, which will not require an increase in the property tax levy. By increasing economic development, some of the tax burden will transfer from homeowners to businesses. The county can continue its lobbying efforts on a state and national basis to receive funding to pay for larger projects.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
Yes, I would like to decrease property taxes. To do this properly, we need to ensure that the result is not our residents paying the same, if not more, in other forms of taxes or fees. The introduction or expansion of new businesses would be a good way to make up the difference.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Kendall County?
I am a strong advocate for business friendly practices, with the aim of bringing in new businesses, products, and jobs to our county. I would also like to build upon our local career services, by providing them with more resources, so that they can help our residents with career flexibility and growth. As I mentioned earlier, I am in favor of a dedicated economic development position to help market the benefit of bringing a business to Kendall County.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
The Sheriff’s office efforts to increase patrols and their presence to combat crime is a good start. I would like to see the county support efforts started by local residents to build community, i.e. the Boulder Hill Annual Picnic and Neighborhood Watch groups.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
While Wolf’s Crossing is not the county’s responsibility, the need to expand that road is incredibly important. The county Highway Department should lend its expertise at building roads to collaborate with the Village of Oswego and Oswego Township Highway Department.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
Yes! I believe ethics laws are a great way to hold our elected officials accountable. I am in favor of the County’s Whistleblower Reporting and Anti-Retaliation Ordinance as it provides necessary protections for those trying to combat corruption.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
It is completely necessary. We are in a time where trust in government is in a strong decline. Transparency and public access to information are paramount to rebuilding public trust and ensuring accountability of our elected officials.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
I plan to continue the practices that the county already has enacted while also making an effort to ensure ongoing political activities and decisions more accessible to the public.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non- disclosure agreements with private businesses?
No. This practice allows elected officials and government employees to potentially act outside of the public’s interest.
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
I would push against non-disclosure agreements for all elected officials and government employees.