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Kane District 5 contenders take a look at county spending


Melisa Taylor

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Melisa Taylor

Party: Republican

Age: 44

Family: Married, 2 teenage children

Hometown: Sugar Grove

Occupation: Founder and director of “Between Friends” Food Pantry in Sugar Grove

Previous elected position: Incumbent Kane County Board District 5; Sugar Grove Village Trustee

Norman D. Martin

Party: Democrat

Age: 62

Family: Married, 2 children

Hometown: Aurora

Occupation: Retired lieutenant colonel from Illinois State Police, 28 years in law enforcement; director of public safety at Prairie State College; U.S. Air Force veteran, 20 years in the Reserves

Previous elected office: None

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Updated: November 2, 2012 2:10PM

Melisa Taylor says her work isn’t done on the Kane County Board.

“I am not done doing the work I have started,” said Taylor, of Sugar Grove, the first-term incumbent Republican in Kane County Board District 5.

Her Democratic challenger in the Nov. 6 general election is Auroran Norman Martin, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Illinois State Police. Martin has 28 years experience in law enforcement.

Among her accomplishments on the board, Taylor said, was questioning the spending and practices of Kane County Animal Control, which is part of the county Health Department.

“There were dollars spent that I did not agree with,” she said of the nearly $1 million Animal Control budget.

Taylor said she looked further and found Animal Control was not adhering to a state law requiring animals be spayed, neutered and micro-chipped prior to release for adoption. She also thought the department could do better at promoting adoptions.

“We are not done with the restructuring of the departments,” Taylor said of the issues swirling around past department heads for both Animal Control and the Health Department. Both departments currently have interim directors.

Taylor said she does not intend to stop her work until Animal Control is functioning efficiently.

“I do an awful lot of digging and it’s important to have a trusting relationship with other board members who may be looking at another department and see other things they could potentially call into question,” she said.

“Animal Control is my wheelhouse right now and once it gets up and running I will look in another direction.”

Taylor said she supports a freeze on the county’s property tax levy.

“If you don’t have the revenue at the front end, you have to change your expenses. Do I think we have thinned it out as much as we can? I don’t think we have,” she said.

Taylor said whether it is Democrat Sue Klinkhamer or Republican Chris Lauzen elected as the new Kane County Board chairman, “A new set of eyes to me is extremely positive.”

Martin said as a regional commander he was responsible for personnel and operations in five police districts and two investigative zones, primarily the northern third of the state.

After his retirement in 2005, he became the director of campus and public safety for Prairie State College in Chicago Heights and retired from that post in August.

“These are tough times for everybody and I am concerned how my tax dollars are being spent and how responsive elected officials are to their constituents,” Martin said.

Martin said he is interested in looking into the efficiencies of maintaining the county roads and providing public safety.

He also said he is experienced in creating “partnerships” with other jurisdictions and other public sectors to “mend common problems.”

Martin said he would like to put his skills to use on the County Board’s Public Safety Committee.

“I am one of those who can admit when people disagree. Let’s agree to disagree, put our differences aside and work on a solution,” he said.

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