Republican candidates Henry County District 2


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Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2012, 9:27 pm
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Name: Roger Gradert

Party: Republican

Address: 11224 E. 900th St., Cambridge

Age: 59

Education: Cambridge High School, Black Hawk East College

Occupation: Driver for Ford & Sons in Geneseo

Prior elected office: Elected to three terms county board, also library board

Family: Wife Bobbi, blended family of six children, four grandchildren

In your opinion, how should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

We still need to make continued repairs (to the courthouse), but hopefully the wind farm revenue will allow us to make these within annual budgets. We need to participate more in economic development programs, and the income from the farms should help with that.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

I would be happy if we can keep from raising the levy.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I believe it should continue to be on a volunteer basis.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

Right now the main item is the negotiation of all the labor contracts. The employees need a fair work environment based on the strength of the county and in respect of the private workforce. With the support of county employees to work with the board to reach an agreement that balances labor costs and the other costs of the county, I believe labor and taxpayers (which employees are also) can both benefit.



Name: Kippy Nelson

Party: Republican

Address: 13227 N. 700th Ave., Cambridge

Age: 52

Education: Cambridge High School and Blackhawk Travel School

Occupation: Travel agent for 25 years, employed by Best Travel in Geneseo.

Prior elected office: Incumbent on the county board, past trustee for Geneseo Township and current trustee for Cambridge Township

Family: Husband is deceased; blended family of two sons and two daughters, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren

In your opinion, how should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

The county needs to continue with the restoration work of the courthouse. We will also have to use that revenue to cover the cost of our day-to-day expenses and continue to keep a three-month operating expense in the general fund account.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

No, not with a deficit budget. I will say both parties are working together to keep the deficit down as much as possible and yet offer the high quality of services the residents of this county have come to know.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I have voluntarily refused my per diem and mileage on several meetings. I do not feel we can require other board members to refuse payment.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

Budget, public safety, union contracts, economic growth. I cannot just limit it to one thing. They all intertwine.



Name: Rebekah McCaw

Party: Republican

Address: 230 N.W. Fifth St., Woodhull

Age: 45

Education: Phillips Jr. College, Augusta Ga., AlWood High School, Woodhull

Occupation: Office technical coordinator at Trinity Medical Center

Prior elected office: Henry County Board

Family: Fiancé Greg Root; two sons, Morgon and Colby

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farm?

I don't think we will have much of a choice on how to spend it. I think because of the cuts from the state of federal government, we will use those monies to sustain Henry County.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I think the choice to not receive the per diem and mileage is a personal choice. If the county board voted to not receive either, I do not think it would discourage anyone from currently being or running for the board.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

Some programs and services that have previously been funded will inevitably no longer be funded in order to keep a balanced county budget.



Name: Donald DeDobbelaere

Party: Republican

Address: 23 Lake of the Hills, Orion

Age: 60

Education: MBA – St. Ambrose University, Davenport; B.S. engineering operations – Iowa State University, Ames; Moline High School

Occupation: Retired from Deere & Co. after 35 years. Last position was manager at Global Learning

Prior elected office: None (appointed to board)

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farm?

Property tax revenue should be used to balance the county budget without raising individual taxes and avoid any deficit spending.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for the next year?

The board needs to be careful not to create a situation of not balancing the budget for the fiscal year. We need to continue to provide cost-effective services to all citizens of Henry County.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do, or would that discourage good candidates?

I would support the forgoing of board member compensation at this difficult time of our economy.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

My focus is the creation of jobs, stimulating our county's economic development and fiscal responsibility of taxpayer dollars.



Name: Dennis L. Anderson

Party: Republican

Address: 19512 U.S. 34, Galva

Age: 61

Education: Galva School System, Illinois State, BS & Western Illinois, Studied MS

Occupation: Manager, VAVE

Prior elected office: Henry County Board, Henry County Clerk Recorder

Family: Wife, Karen; sons, Carl and Dale

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

Based on property assessments and the limits on the county tax, reducing any tax would not be a viable solution.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I don't believe any of the current county board members or those running in this election are doing for it for the pay.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

Being able to fund the county payroll and keeping our qualified employees.



Name: Thomas Millsaps

Party: Republican

Address: 518 Pine St., Kewanee

Age: 54

Education: Bachelor's degree, Illinois State University; post-baccalaureate and graduate work in economics at University of Central Florida; post-baccalaureate work in education at Western Governor's University

Occupation: route sales rep for Farmer Bros. Coffee Co.

Prior elected office: None

Family: Married with three sons, one daughter, one grandson

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

These revenues should be put into a specific reserve fund to handle short-term contingencies.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

If a wind farm reserve fund is established, then the county property tax levy should definitely be lowered for long-term economic prosperity.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

In order to attract a broad cross-section of concerned citizens to enter public office, the economic incentive for county board members should be raised. Yes, raised, if a member is financially well endowed and wishes to voluntarily forgo pay, then that is their prerogative. However, any measure requiring other board members to do so would be counterproductive.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

The biggest issue facing Henry County today is economic stagnation. Henry County has the resources, logistics and infrastructure to secure economic prosperity if long-term private sector incentives are employed by our public officials.



Name: Marshall Jones

Party: Republican

Address: 851 David St., Kewanee

Age: 61

Education: Some college

Occupation: Local manager, Verizon Communications-retired

Prior elected office: None (appointed to board)

Family: Wife, three children, six grandchildren

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

Some of these funds should be held in reserve to ensure that we are able to meet obligations to our citizens and to our county workers.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

I don't know. Without making a thorough review of our assets and liabilities I cannot say.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I have always been of the opinion that the worker is worthy of his/her wage. When someone provides a service for me they expect, and rightly so, to be paid for that service.

If a member voluntarily chooses to do so, that's fine. In answer to the last part of your question, yes it could discourage good candidates.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

The fiscal integrity of our county is one of our biggest issues, maintaining a reserve and not spending more than we raise is very important. In addition, assuring that our county is one that is friendly to business while being environmentally responsible.



Name: Kelli Parsons (194124)

Party: Republican

Address: 604 Midland Drive, Kewanee

Age: 37

Education: B.S. in Agriculture Education from WIU, M.S. in Agriculture Education from U of I, M.S. in Educational Leadership from WIU

Occupation: Special Education Teacher for the Henry Stark Special Ed District currently working at Galva High School

Prior elected office: None

Family: Husband Jeff, teenage son and daughter

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

The county should spend property tax revenue from the wind farms on future job and economic growth.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

While it would be ideal to say the property tax levy could be reduced, this may not be possible.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

Good candidates are going to run whether they get paid or not. I do believe board members should be paid for their time, but mileage isn't necessary.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

I believe the key issue for Henry County, like most government entities, is finance. Where will the money come from, how much should we spend, and how much should we save are all questions we need to ask on a regular basis, not just when times are tough.



Name: Terry Sears

Party: Republican

Address: 14785 E. 2200 St., Atkinson

Age: 58

Education: Atkinson High School, Black Hawk College, BS; Business Administration, University of Illinois, Kelley Executive Business Program, University of Indiana.

Occupation: Recently retired from Caterpillar after 35 years of service. Lived and work in many locations around the globe before returning to Henry County and the family farm.

Prior Elected Office:

Family: Married, with kids and grandkids.

How should the county spend the ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

The revenue from the wind farms should be treated like any other and not sequestered for a special

use. These funds, along with other surplus revenues, should be made available to support the elimination the county's debt by 2016.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

At the point when the debt is retired in 2016, I think the county should look at reducing the tax rate.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay and benefits. Should the board require all members to do so, or would that discourage good candidates?

I think we want to continue to encourage a diversity of people to the board and believe that the nominal financial incentive, for their commitment to service, should remain.

What is the biggest issue facing the county today?

Creating an environment that attracts businesses and stimulates job growth has to be a high priority. We can do that by managing our budget (including some unfunded liabilities), eliminating our debt, supporting education and by proactively seeking new business opportunities for our county.



Name: William "Bill" Lesage

Party: Republican

Address: 26201 W. State Road, Kewanee

Age: 52

Education: Graduate J.D. Darnell High School, '94; graduate Black Hawk East, '96; graduate Reppert School of Auctioneering

Occupation: Auctioneer and dealer relations with the Quad City Auto Auction, LeSage Livestock-independent hog buyer, LeSage Farms, small hay and cattle producer

Prior elected office: None

Family: Wife, Laurel; son, daughter and grandson

How should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farms?

Revenue from the wind farm should first be used to make up any deficit created by the state's inability to cover its liabilities. After that, we need to look at our infrastructure and pursuing companies to locate their business within Henry County.

Do you think the county could lower the property tax levy for next year?

Under current economic times, I believe if we don't increase taxes, that is a plus. Let's hold the line.

Some county board members are voluntarily forgoing pay, etc. Should the board require all members to do so,m or would that discourage good candidates?

I commend those who have the ability and desire to contribute back to the county. However, this should be on a voluntary basis, for it could hinder some that have fallen on harder times.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today?

A burning concern sure could be the inability of the State of Illinois to meet its current and future obligations. We must look at ways to keep our basic needs and future growth funded, with or without Springfield's help.


















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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