Pair of candidates both seek to serve as tax money watch dogs
Republican incumbent Melisa Taylor is running for her second term representing District 5 on the Kane County Board. She faces Democrat challenger Norman Martin, who brings a background of public service as a former member of the United States Air Force and as a retired member of the Illinois State Police.
Taylor plans to continue the same priorities as what originally led her to run for the office two years ago—serving as a steward of county taxpayer money.
“I initially ran for Kane County Board to help more than just Sugar Grove,” Taylor said. “With a Kane County budget of over $70 million, I felt it important to oversee where our tax money is being spent.”
To serve in that watchdog role, she said she plans to continue looking into every process within every department of the county, searching for the most efficient ways to obtain cost savings. She also is focused on the Kane County Animal Control Department.
“I will also continue to assist with the restructuring of the Kane County Animal Control Department to ensure that our pets are treated and sheltered with the utmost of care,” she said.
Another priority is continuing her efforts to freeze Kane County property tax levies.
“It is important that our government reflects the utmost respect for the contribution of each taxpayer,” Taylor said.
Knowing that these goals will require the input of the other members of the Kane County Board, she remains dedicated to developing strong relationships with her fellow board members.
“It is necessary to work with the other board members, and therefore I will continue to foster working relationships with the other board members, whether experienced or new to the board,” she said.
Overall, her efforts are economy-focused.
“The role of a Kane County Board member is to be the steward and watchdog of the revenue generated within Kane County to ensure the money is used to the benefit of all Kane County residents, homeowners and business owners,” Taylor said.
In addition to her efforts to help increase efficiencies and freeze tax rates, she also plans to help her constituents, one person at a time if need be.
“(I) will continue to advise residents of the Kane County services that are available to help them with assistance through these trying economic times,” she said.
Norman Martin Sr.
While new to politics, Martin is not new to public service. Following his discharge from active duty in the Air Force, Martin served a full career as a police officer for the Illinois State Police, ultimately serving as Regional Commander, policing and patrolling Kane County for 13 years.
He chose to run for office because he sees a need for change at the county level, and he feels his past experience can help him directly address his concerns.
“As a taxpayer and resident, I am concerned about how our tax dollars are being spent, how responsive our elected officials are to the constituents they serve,” Martin said. “I want to use my knowledge and experiences to help ensure our county is doing the best it can to provide quality services to its customers who live, work and trade in the county and do so in a responsible and efficient manner.”
He said his first priority would be to control taxes, either keeping them the same or lowering them if possible. To help reduce the cost of government, he said the county should explore private/public partnerships.
He also wants to focus on making government act in an ethical manner.
“One that is responsible to its constituents. One that holds self and all county employees accountable for the consequences of their actions. One that governs transparently, and is a good steward to the assets and affairs of the county,” Martin said.
He also wants to help improve the quality of life for Kane County residents by promoting safe communities and developing a business-friendly climate.
“That will attract activities that support job creation,” Martin said. “(We need to) create sustainable, environmentally friendly policies and business practices.”
Addressing those priorities will require regular and effective communication with the residents within Martin’s district, something he looks forward to.
“I will work closely with my constituents to ensure the issues and concerns are clearly understood and their interests are properly represented. If elected, I pledge to use every resource available to me to help the county prosper,” Martin said. “Above all, I will operate with honesty and integrity at all times.”