Full Name: Jason Peterson
What office are you seeking? Kendall County District 1
What offices, if any, have you previously held? United City of Yorkville Alderman Ward 4
Education: Associate Degree from Waubonsee Community college and Bachelors Degree from Illinois State University
Campaign Website: None
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?
First, I would go over the budget with a fine tooth comb to better understand our deficits. I’d promote a more common sense approach to spending. Interview department heads to identify areas that need attention and areas that can be trimmed. As a Real Estate broker for the past 16 years, the number one question I received was “Why are Kendall County taxes so high?” It’s also the number one question I’ve received recently while walking neighborhoods and meeting people in District 1.
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.
From What I understand the county is running fairly efficiently. Question is, for how long? With my expertise from the City council level, I can make sure these departments/programs are being utilized and ran more efficiently. This is also where interviewing department heads will come into play.
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?
I would have to believe they could use additional resources to combat crime. Other than looking into the current budget, we may be able to utilize state/federal grant programs to offset these expenses. Given the uptick in mental health issues/suicides among police officers/first responders, a strong emphasis should be given to officer/first responder support.
As a county board member, would you support increasing funding and the hiring of additional staff for the Kendall County Health Department?
With mental health issues on the rise, we’d need to really look into how the county can assist. This is an area of concern that needs to be addressed and validated for utilizing funds.
Do you support ongoing efforts by local municipal and county officials to bring Metra commuter rail service to Kendall County?
Kendall County has seen great amounts of growth over the past 2 decades. This can be an excellent asset to the area as long as it’s not a significant tax payer burden. This was conveyed to me by Yorkville residents over the past several years. At the City council level, I supported the Metra rail service.
Would you support the county joining the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a condition for obtaining the service?
Possibly, depending on circumstances and on the tax repercussions. Once again, keeping taxpayers interested in mind. Generally people would love to have Metra, unless it means a significant increase in taxes.
How would you assess the county’s efforts to date to lure new businesses and industries to the county?
I am currently the chairman of the Economic Development committee for the United City of Yorkville. I will ensure that Kendall County is business/industry friendly. By listening and better understanding the pinch points business industry has with working with Kendall County can greatly benefit. We need new businesses and industries to offset our high taxes.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
As an Alderman, I am a big supporter of local businesses. We helped many local businesses thrive during the pandemic. I would continue to support small businesses by identifying areas in which small business’ are struggling. Then create solutions where the County can assist. Examples are grants/funding/ease on fees etc that are causing businesses to struggle.
If elected, will you enroll in the county employee health insurance program?
I do not foresee using this program as we both have our own health benefits.
What actions can the Kendall County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while, not sacrificing services?
Having Economic Development experience, I would help make a push to drive more business/industry into Kendall County. This is another example of leaning on department heads to establish and excess/needs and better understanding of current program use.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
Decreasing property taxes would be a huge feat. This too would need the input of all department chairs along with the possibility of holding off on large projects-if reasonable. Also, attracting new business/industry to offset.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within Kendall County?
As we’ve seen at the City of Yorkville level infrastructure/roads help attract business. We also need to listen to businesses and help better understand their needs. Work closely with cities in Kendall County to help attract new businesses.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
I think the Kendall County Sheriff’s department does a commendable job keeping our community safe. We’d like to make sure they have the resources they need to do their job safely (physically, mentally). We also need to make sure they are not overworked/over-stressed.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
Work with IDOT on Route 47 from Yorkville to Sugar Grove project, this should be set as a high priority. I’ve fielded many concerns from area residents about the poor conditions and backed up traffic etc. Also continue to push the Eldamain extension bridge to completion.
Do you support stronger government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
I do support stronger government ethics laws. I believe in transparency and keeping people ethical.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information ACT is a very integral part of government transparency.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
Asking questions an doing research to better understand big topics so that we can relay that information on to the residents. Making sure they have proper access to that information. We need to be able to explain the decision(s) that were made.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
As the current chairman of the Economic Development committee for Yorkville, I see how NDA’s could help keep businesses private information private. However, this would need to be looked at on an individual basis and not by a “rubber stamped” approach.
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
I think each scenario deserves to be looked at separately. We certainly would not want to deter businesses from coming to Kendall County by broadcasting their private information.