Democrat candidates in Henry County District 1


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Originally Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2012, 8:52 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 15, 2012, 12:07 am
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Name: Ann DeSmith

Party: Democrat

Address: 401 Westview Drive, Atkinson

Age: 47

Education: BA, Western Illinois University

Occupation: Chief Financial Officer for ArmaLite, Inc.

Prior elected office? Henry County Board since January, 2002.

Family: Husband, Ron; three children

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

It's not a matter of how to spend the property tax revenue, its how much property tax relief each turbine generates. The overall assessed valuation will bring some property tax relief to all Henry County taxpayers. Those living within the school districts and townshipswhere the turbines are located will see a greater benefit.

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

Preliminary numbers for next year do not indicate a lower levy.

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 am a county board member that has voluntarily given up meeting per diems for several years.

Henry County's meeting compensation rates are not excessive. Members wanting to forego their pay may do so at their own discretion.

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

The key issue facing Henry County is the budget. Expenditures, while controlled, are projected to exceed revenues again in 2013 and the State of Illinois' financial crisis continues to affect all levels of government.


Name: Betty Murphy

Party: Democrat

Address: 16854 E. 150 St., Orion

Age: 62

Party: Democrat

Education: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, B.A. English Literature; Parkland College, A.A. Nursing and A.A. Art and Design.

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Prior elected office? Henry County Board 2006-2010

Family: Husband-Henry, son-Brian and daughter-Brenda

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

If the county should face an economic or natural disaster these resources could be used. Otherwise, they can be used to maintain, improve and create needed county services.

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

I do not think the property tax levy should be changed for 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?

Henry County Board pay is minimal. Foregoing the pay should be at the discretion of each board member.

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

The drought is a huge problem facing Henry County farmers today. Maintaining services for all Henry County residents is the biggest long term issue. Wind farm revenue should help keep necessary services intact.


Name: Ian Malmstrom

Party: Democrat

Address: 616 Mineral Creek Drive, Colona

Age: 29

Party: Democrat

Education: M.Ed. in education policy and management from Harvard University, B.S. in education from Western Illinois University

Occupation: Middle school teacher

Prior elected office: None

Family: Single

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

I would first look at using the revenue on capital improvements and maintaining the courthouse. Next, I would like to ensure the public safety fuel budget is adequate. After that I feel the revenue should be used to lower the tax burden on citizens.

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

Yes, as long as we are able to continue to provide quality services.

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

As a board member I would be willing to forego any pay, however, I do not feel that board members should be required to give up pay.

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

Growing our tax base to reduce the tax burden on citizens while continuing to provide quality services.


Name: James C. Eccher

Party: Democrat

Address: 1016 14th Ave C, Orion

Age: 69

Party: Democrat

Education: bachelor's, Western Illinois University, 1964; master's, University of Arizona, 1968, educational specialist, administration, Western Illinois University

Occupation: retired school counselor/football coach, insurance broker past 32 years

Prior elected office: Henry County Board 1992-2002, 2004-2012

Family: Wife Mary; two daughters, five grandchildren

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

The 2013 revenue from the wind farms will be approximately $110,000-$120,000. These revenues should be used to continue necessary repairs to the Henry County Courthouse, maintain appropriate staff in order to continue day to day operations, and repair/replace aging operating equipment in the jail.

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

Preliminary numbers for next year do not indicate a lower levy.

Should the board require all members to voluntarily forego pay or would that discourage good candidates?

I don't believe it would serve the public well to assume the fiscal situations of potential candidates would allow them to do all that is necessary to hold a public office within the confines of their current budgets.

What do I believe is the biggest issue facing our county today?

I believe the most important issue, is that we need to continue supporting the principles and standards of good government.


Name: Jim King

Party: Democrat

Address: 21923 E. 1570 St. Geneseo

Age: 71

Party: Democrat

Education: bachelor's, Illinois State University; master's Western Illinois University

Occupation: Retired

Prior elected office: two terms, county board

Family: single

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

Some possibilities would include making needed repairs to the courthouse, growing our reserve fund or invesing in postponed technical updates for county offices so they can improve efficiency in their services

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

It would be better to wait another year for the state to correct itself. Keep in mind that the county only spends 14 cents out of every property tax dollar collected.

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

This should be left to each member of the board. Freedom to choose should be maintained.

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

The board must continue to provide needed services as efficiently as possible. This works best when individual egos are set aside and all board members work together in an open environment, regardless of party affiliation.


Name: Karen Russell

Party: Democrat

Address: 20 Shady Beach, Geneseo

Age: 59

Party: Democrat

Education: Bachelor's, Western Illinois University

Occupation: President of the Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo. Retired with 25 years service from the Rock Island Arsenal as the project manager for the M109 howitzer.

Prior elected office: None

Family: Husband Joe, dog Maya, and cat Isabel at home. Three grown stepsons, seven grandchildren.

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

Revenue from the wind farms should be used to reduce the current and future budget deficits.

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

Until the county can project a balanced budget, property taxes should not be lowered.

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 believe that citizens of Henry County are not attracted to public service by payment for their services, but are driven to make Henry County a better place in which to live and work.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the county today? There must be an emphasis on stimulating economic development. Decisions made should take into account the conservation of the environment and the preservation of agriculture.


Name: Joseph B. Swan

Party: Democrat

Address: 23313 Green River Road, Colona

Age: 38

Education: Associates Degree from Blackhawk College, currently studying at Southern Columbia University.

Occupation: Captain City of East Moline Fire Department

Prior elected office: Henry County Board 1998-2004, Currently Supervisor Colona Township 2005-Current

Family: Father of Four

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

Wind farm taxes should be used just as any current property tax. Bottom line: Live within your means!

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

Fees and costs are constantly increasing for all taxing bodies which is the same for the county. Its unlikely the county would be able to reduce their Levy.

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 would do it for free but that doesn't mean someone else should, everyone's personal costs are a little different and it's not up to me to decide what thoughts are.

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

Everyone I represent has an opinion and they are many different ones. I have to listen to my neighbors and find out what's important at the time an issue comes up.

Name: Dennis Sullivan

Party: Democrat

Address: 23378 E. 880th St., Geneseo

Age:

Education: Moline High School, AA in electronics, journeyman pipefitter, military

Occupation: Retired pipefitter, owner of excavating company

Prior elected office: Hanna Township Trustee, six years county board

Family: wife, two daughters, two grandsons

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

Use the money to do some catch-up maintenance on county properties that have been put off because of lack of funds.

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

Yes, if the levies could be lower without hurting the level of service that is needed and expected by Henry County citizens.

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 not believe it should be a requirement to give up pay for doing your elected job. However if a member chooses not to take payment that would be their personal decision.

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

Budgets, finances, competing for economic development.

















 



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