Election 2024 Questionnaire: Mark Davoust, Kane County Board District 14

Election 2024
Kane County Board incumbent Mark Davoust speaks during a candidates' forum hosted by the League of Women Voters on Tuesday Feb. 20, 2024, at Batavia’s City Hall.

Mark Davoust, a candidate for Kane County Board District 14 in the March 19 primary election, answered these questions from the Shaw Local News Network.

Full name: Mark Davoust

What office are you seeking? Kane County Board District 14

What public offices, if any, have you previously held? Kane County Board District 14 incumbent

City: St. Charles

Occupation: President of Brasel Products, Inc.; head golf coach at Kaneland High School

Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/Gengler4KendallCountyBoard?mibextid=opq0tG

In light of the increasing influx of migrants to Illinois, how do you propose the county should address the challenges?

The issue of illegal migration is certainly at the forefront of our concerns in Kane County. Regretfully, there is little that can be done about the situation at the county level. In 2017, Gov. [Bruce] Rauner signed the Illinois Trust Act, which prohibited law enforcement from questioning anyone about their immigration status. This has hamstrung law enforcement from effectively checking immigration status or taking action to stop immigrants who are dropped on our doorsteps. Many municipalities have attempted to enact ordinances regulating the immigrants who have been bussed to the outskirts of the city. The Republicans on the Kane County Board sought to pass a resolution with regard to these immigrants only to be told by the state’s attorney that such a resolution would be unenforceable. We then sought a proclamation, which failed to pass when the chairman refused to break a tie vote, thereby defeating it.

What are the top issues facing your county and what would you like to do to address those issues?

The top issues facing Kane County are the use of taxpayer dollars, holding the line on spending and staying within budget. As mentioned above, immigration is also a currently pressing issue. And support for our law enforcement should continue to be a priority.

Should counties do more to expand access to county government?

Kane County is a leader in transparency and will continue to provide excellent access to the public. We livestream all county meetings and citizens are further connected to county business by Kane County Connects. Additionally, all meetings and agendas are posted online for all to see.

What challenges is the region facing in terms of attracting business and tourism?

Challenges in attracting businesses and tourism to Kane County is something that the county has focused on for many years. We have a Jobs Committee that deals with these issues monthly. We also work closely with the WIB – Workplace Investment Board – which helps match employers and employees. The Fabulous Fox Water Trail has been nationally recognized and draws tourists to the county.

Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign nondisclosure agreements with private businesses?

People holding county office should not enter into nondisclosure agreements with regard to any business done with the county.

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

As in any developed area, Kane County has its fair share of crime. And while that is true, Kane County is a leader in alternative programs such as pretrial diversion, drug treatment and mental health treatment plans. The use of these alternatives helps to keep our crime levels down. Additionally, we must continue to support our law enforcement and public safety officials.

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

Kane County has a long list of desired road and bridge projects. These are prioritized by importance and sometimes by available funding. For example, we have received $25 million in federal funding for the at-grade crossing at Randall and Hopps Roads. This project will be prioritized. We also have plans to realign Meredith and Dauberman roads near Kaneland High School to improve safety at that troublesome area. We are currently working with the city of St. Charles on a cooperative agreement with regard to development at the corners of Randall Road and Route 64 to improve public safety. These projects will be slotted as funding becomes available.

Do you support the Illinois gun ban? Why or why not?

While the Illinois gun ban is well-intentioned, it is broad, overreaching and likely unenforceable. In its present state, I cannot support it.

What is your opinion of the role of tax incentives in economic development and business growth? Should tax incentives be offered to corporations to entice them to plant roots in local communities? Why or why not?

The role of tax incentives to encourage business growth and development must we carefully weighed against the cost of such incentives. New businesses bring new challenges to our infrastructure and we must not offer incentives that do not account for the impact of these enterprises on our infrastructure. While new businesses create jobs and tax revenue, we need to make sure that we do not place an increased burden on our taxpayers without appropriate contribution from new arrivals.

How would you classify the state of public health in your county? Do you believe access to affordable health care is an issue? Why or why not? If you believe it’s an issue, what ideas do you have to remedy it?

Kane County ranks highly in public health. The Kane County Department of Health provides vital, local services for our residents. Many issues related to public health are handled at the state and federal level in cooperation with our health department. Affordable health care is an example of a policy that falls within the state and federal levels. As an example of this cooperation, our health department receives vaccines from federal and state agencies but those are administered locally. No county has the means to truly afford or provide universal health care.