Kane board contenders debate taxes, spending
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News October 25, 2012 10:24AM
Greg Nelson is the Republican candidate in Kane County Board District 8.
Occupation: Owner Genesis–Pos
Previous elected office: Oswego Library District Trustee
Family: Married, 2 children
Occupation: Account Executive, Konen Insurance Agency
Previous elected office: Kane County Board four years
Family: Married, 3 children
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:38AM
As both candidates in Kane County Board District 8 in Montgomery knock on doors, they are hearing the same resounding message from the constituents — No more taxes.
Residents have told the candidates that they cannot afford to live in the area any more because taxes are simply too high.
Both candidates — Democrat Jesse Vazquez and Republican Greg Nelson — said that they would work to keep residents’ taxes low, and spend tax dollars wisely.
Vazquez has held the District 8 seat for the last four years. Many of the spending decisions the county makes will be tied to the bigger picture, he said.
“Going forward, it’s how the economy is doing,” he said.
Nelson makes the claim on his website that Vazquez has voted to increase taxes by 49 percent over seven years, a claim that Vazquez said is not true. He has only been on the board for four years, he noted.
A growing need for space in the judicial system and an outdated computer system are two large issues that will need to be dealt with in an incoming administration, Vazquez said. Nelson agrees that the computer system is something that will need evaluation.
Nelson said that his experience writing software for his company Genesis-Pos gives him a unique perspective into the update for the judiciary case management system.
County officials are in the process of considering a new system, which could cost as much as $12 million, a number that Nelson says is too much.
“We don’t need a rocket ship,” he said. “We need a really good Cadillac to get the job done.”
Nelson said the county should be able to find a case management system for $6 million.
“I just cannot fathom how they came up with that $12 million,” he said.
Vazquez works as an insurance agent, and has 16 years experience on the planning commission in Montgomery. He wants to continue his work on the development, transportation, and legislative committees of the County Board. He’s also considered the Human Services Committee in the past, because of his insurance background.
In his time on the board, he has been part of the efforts to improve Orchard and Montgomery roads. More recently, he said he was happy with the position of rewarding both union and non-union employees with pay raises while not raising the tax levy.
“We have to continue holding the line on taxes,” he said.
Nelson said that if he were on the board, he’d evaluate all requests from department heads closely.
“Everything is either an ‘I need’ or an ‘I want,’” he said. “The ‘I needs’, I’ll have a tough time approving.”
Nelson said he’s in favor of a freeze on any taxes.