Republican candidates in District One


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Originally Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2012, 8:47 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 15, 2012, 12:10 am
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Name: Kathy Nelson

Party: Republican

Address: 802 Meadowlawn Drive, Geneseo

Age: 63

Education 1966 Orion High School Graduate, Moline Institute of Commerce

Occupation: Retired 35 years of service at Deere & Company

Prior Elected Office: Precinct Committeeman elected 2008; County Board, elected 2010

Family: Gary Nelson, brother

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

The money should be set aside for unexpected emergencies, repairs, and ongoing courthouse maintenance.

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

I welcome the discussion of lowering taxes each year along with working for a balanced budget and having the county debt free.

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

Some committees such as Finance / Administration have many lengthy meetings to conduct county business. Board members are paid a small compensation for the meetings attended and I don't believe this public service is done because of the monetary compensation. It should be an individual choice to forfeit compensation.

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

Balancing the budget while working through difficult labor negotiations for a fair wage and benefit package for both union and non-union employees is an ongoing issue facing the county along with developing new economic growth opportunities.


Name: Tim Wells

Party: Republican

Address: 15 Oak Grove Road, Geneseo

Age: 56

Education: Annawan High School, Western Illinois University

Occupation: Ag / Commercial Lender First Midwest Bank

Prior elected office: 2010 County Board

Family: Wife, Cynthia; two daughters

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

Percentage of revenue for courthouse repairs, repairs to Hillcrest Nursing Home and other building issues. Then see how the State Illinois will mandate their budget problems to the county.

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

The lowering of taxes should be over a five-year period starting as soon as possible. Not sure if next year.

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

The Board should not require anyone to forego pay. Good candidates are not seeking public service for pay at the county board level.

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

Balancing the rising cost of all aspect of county business and at the same time promoting county activities to enhance economic growth for all of our communities of Henry County. Don't forget that PEOPLE are our greatest asset.


Name: Rick Livesay

Party: Republican

Address: 23469 Stagecoach Road, Geneseo

Age: 49

Education: Geneseo High School, 1981; Black Hawk College, 1983

Occupation: lifelong resident Henry County, full-time farmer 30 years

Prior elected office: Henry County Board 10 years

Family: Daughter Emilee, high school junior

In your how should the county spend ongoing property tax revenue from the wind farm?

The wind farm revenues have been a savior for courthouse repairs/upgrades. Let's keep that going and not ask the voters for sales tax increases/referendums.

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

Doubtful -- budget is too tight!

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

My time is worth something. Approximately $40 for committee meetings and $60 for county board meetings once a month is not much, for the time that is involved.

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

Property taxes - where does all the money go?? Keep politics out of county government. Vote for the people who can get along!


Name: Karen Urick

Party: Republican

Address: 20570 Town Hall Road, Prophetstown

Age: 53

Education: Iowa State University; Augustana College; master's, Western Illinois University

Occupation: 7th/8th grade science and health teacher

Prior elected office: incumbent member of county board.

Family: Husband, Kevin; married son and daughter

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

These funds will decrease over time. I believe they should be used for upkeep and repairs for our county courthouse and not be counted on as a steady stream of revenue.

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

As a property owner in Henry County I wish we could lower the property tax levy. Until we can have a positive budget I do not believe it is possible.

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

We currently receive $40 for committee meetings and $60 for board meetings. Many board members, myself included, have willingly foregone some of their mileage and per diem. I do not think the board should require all members to do this.

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

The biggest issue facing Henry County today is to maintain the highest level of services for the least cost. The budget and economic development will continue to be the biggest issues facing Henry County.


Name: Marvin Gradert

Party: Republican

Address: 13494 N. 2150th St., Geneseo

Age: 75

Education: Graduate, Northern Illinois University

Occupation: Geneseo Township Supervisor

Prior elected office? Served 16 years on the county board; two years as Chairman

Family: Married with two children

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

Tax revenue should only be used for capital improvements or major repairs to the courthouse.

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

No, due to the current economy the county must maintain its current level of income.

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

The county should reimburse board members for the cost of mileage and should pay the board members an appropriate amount for county meetings.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today? Revenue and employee benefits.


Name: Loren Rathjen

Party: Republican

Address: 114 Pine Court, Colona

Age: 46

Party: Republican

Education: Triton College, U.S. Marines

Family: Wife, daughter, grandson

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

We should look at the wind farm taxes as a surplus so that the county does not have to raise our taxes to cover any short falls in the projected budget.

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

With out knowing what the collective bargaining units are asking for I can not know what the budget is for next year but I would think taxes could remain the same or may be lowered for the county portion of taxes.

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

That some board members are fore going pay is a good thing for our county but this should be a voluntary issue that each board member makes for themselves.

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

We need to keep working to expand partnerships to bring jobs to Henry County, like BioDiesel, or a natural gas distribution plant. Some thing that provides good jobs and capitalizes on our agriculture heritage.


Name: Charlie Lotridge

Party: Republican

Address: 507 Heritage Drive, Atkinson

Age: 48

Education: 14 years

Occupation: Marketing Manager of 25 years for Heinold Hog Markets in Atkinson, IL

Prior elected office: Atkinson board

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

It should be invested in opportunities economically that will bring addition revenue to the county so that we can increase the standard of living, decrease costs and increase population, all which will achieve a better place to live, work and grow.

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

Reducing levies today without looking at the whole picture long term is a quick and usually bad fix. Look at the future to determine today's needs. If those needs require less than of course a reduction needs to happen.

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

I don't see money being the major driver of good candidates. Travel and time are important and are worth something, so no pay is not an option.

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

Economic development and a needed resurgence of population. We have the resources,

Name: Bill Preston

Party: Republican

Address: 414 N. State Street, Geneseo

Age: Of voting age

Education: B.S. degree, Electrical Engineering

Occupation; Retired from Deere & Co., para and teacher at Excel School, a Special Education School, located in the old Atkinson High School.

Prior elected office: Served for six years as a county board member, currently seeking re-election.

Family: Three daughters, all graduates of Geneseo High School.

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

Any monies we receive from wind farm revenues should be put into a restricted fund for building and grounds repair.

Could the county lower the property tax levy for the next year?

We can't lower our county levy until we can get a balanced budget.

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

It's not very much. If some of the board members want to forgo their per diem, it should be an individual choice.

Biggest issue facing the county today?

We need to do a better job of promoting our county. Our population hasn't increased for many, many years. Why? When we have so much to offer! We ought to be able to build several web sites to promote the wonderful benefits of living in Henry County!!!


Name: Jon A. Zahm

Party: Republican

Address: 14910 Osco Road, Osco

Age: 43

Education: Political science, Villanova University; master's National-Louis University

Occupation: political and non-profit consultant, self-employed

Prior elected office: Henry County Board 2010-present, Orion school board 2009-2010, Kane County regional school board, 2003-2008

Family: Wife Jennifer, three children

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

We should continue to use those dollars by putting them into infrastructure projects. Specifically, we have used the monies for courthouse repairs.

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

Yes, it can be lowered, at least a small amount, without hurting essential services. I will not vote for a property tax levy that goes up. We need to lead on conservative tax policy.

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

I do support the per diem payment for attending meetings. I have never collected a single nickel of mileage since my election in late 2010.

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

Providing for the public safety is paramount.

Name: Jacob J. Waller

Party: Republican

Address: 15587 N. 1600 Ave, Geneseo

Age: 23

Education: Geneseo, High School, Kaplan University Business Administration

Occupation: Estimator, Project Manager, Sales Manager--AllQuip Co. Inc. Geneseo

Prior elected office? None

Family: son of Troy and Tami Waller of Interstate Fence and Construction, Geneseo. Raised with my younger siblings Lucas and Hannah.

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

Henry County needs to allocate the revenue in areas that serve the public most,,, keeping county facilities taken care of such as Hillcrest home, our courthouse and our roads and other public service facilities.

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

Depending on decisions made at the state level we can put together a proposal to do just that. If the people of Henry County can team up and without such action being a detriment to other sections of concern, a plan for lower property taxes would go undisputed.

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

Board members should by no means be required to serve without compensation as they dedicate a lot of time and energy. Their time is far under-compensated in my opinion, however, that's not the motive of their service.

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

I truly believe the largest hurdle our county, and even country faces is the ability to patiently understand one another and our needs as a whole. The people of Henry County are a close knit family whether we like it or not.














 



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