Verner Tepe – Re-Elect to Kane County Board District 22
I’m running for re-election to Kane County Board – District 22.
For the past three years I have served as a County Board member & prior to that a Trustee of Elgin Township.
I currently serve as Vice-Chair having been elected to that position by my fellow Board Members.
I’m proud of many of the things that we have accomplished:
- Managed the Re-Districting of Kane County Precincts.
- Chaired the Public Service Committee
- Created a monthly ‘email blast’ to keep Residents informed about key issues in the County as they occur
- Installed the Solar Farm at the Judicial Center on Route 38 in Geneva. Solar energy that will save the County $200,000 per year!
But one of the things that I am most proud of is that there are 24 elected County Board Members – 13 Democrats & 11 Republicans. And yet – not once – has any issue become partisan. It’s always what is best for the County – not the party.
When is the last time (or 1st time) that you heard from your previous representative? Well – you hear from me frequently. If not – just send me your email and I will add you to the list! You know what you can expect from me.
AND – you know that I listen. We may not agree all the time, but I’m always open and available.
Vern’s Goals to Help Improve Kane County
Three years ago, when I was first elected to the Kane County Board, there was a lot to learn. I continue to be impressed with the way most of the departments worked with each other and the way most of the board members also worked well together.
Early in my career, in learning how to managing people, I learned to ‘catch people doing something right’. I used that same approach in working with my fellow board members and key county personnel. A few compliments when you do something right goes a long way.
But, with the help of several other board members I also became aware of a few major management mistakes that seriously hampered the county in providing the best services for our constituents.
The 3 major ones were (and still are):
- Pay inequity
- Funding (Taxes)
If you want to have a great organization – you need good people! And if you want good people, you need to pay them properly, manage them well, provide them with appropriate benefits, and give them the opportunity to grow.
We had some full-time people that were being paid minimum wage. At least one was also on (and had qualified for) food stamps.
Starting pay for Nurses at the Health Department was over $20,000 less than the starting pay at local hospitals. Making it impossible to hire new nurses.
Starting pay for Asst. State’s Attorneys (ASA) was over $25,000 less than DuPage County. As soon as they were trained ASAs frequently left for one of our neighboring counties. Just think of the training costs that were wasted.
Women Managers were frequently paid significantly less than their Male counterparts.
Our ‘turnover’ rates, in some departments, was over 20%.
There is no doubt that this was due to mismanagement at the top. But changing this and correcting the situation takes time, cooperation, information, and trust.
With the help of the Department Managers, and most of the Elected Officials, we have implemented procedures and policies to bring this back on track. With a complicated budget cycle and limited funding, it takes time to correct mistakes that were over 8 years in the making.
No one likes to pay taxes! BUT – if you want good roads, schools, protection, and services, you need to pay taxes.
Kane County’s portion of Real Estate Taxes is about 4% of your RE Tax Bill. $400 if your tax bill is $10,000. Much less than schools, and even less that your library and community college.
Even if we were to raise property taxes by the maximum amount allowed (without a referendum), it would cost the typical homeowner about $15 a year. Virtually every other taxing body does this.
For far too long the previous leader of the Kane County Board looked no farther than the next election cycle to determine policy. This is very short-sighted.
I consider it my DUTY to see that your tax dollars are spent wisely. AND that we have a revenue plan that allows the county to plan for the future – NOT THE NEXT ELECTION CYCLE!
Kane County gets funding from Sales Tax Revenue, Motor Fuel Tax, Fees, State & Federal Road Funds, and other sources.
BUT the General Fund is where we pay for the majority of people that Kane employs. If you want excellent services, you need excellent people!!
Planning for the future means you need to have resources. Kane County has not built a major building since 1993 when the Judicial Center was opened.
Our key needs are:
- Health Department
- Judicial Expansion
- New Government Center
The Health Department is headquartered in an old office building in Aurora. Totally inadequate and it would cost more to fix the building than construct a new one.
I support building a new building, just for the Health Dept., at the Judicial Center. That would facilitate their involvement in Juvenile and Drug related issues that are also centered there.
We are currently working on a way to utilize Covid Funds to help make this happen.
We need more courts, more space for personnel, and need to centralize court records. A major addition to the Judicial Center would accomplish this task.
New Government Center
The County Board currently meets in a building that was built in 1941 as a Catholic Boys School. Some of the bathrooms still have tubs.
Security is a major issue. You don’t even go through a metal detector in order to attend a Board Meeting.
There are six buildings in the complex. Three house offices frequently used by the public. People coming to one of these offices are often confused as to where to go.
Although this is a lower priority than the Health Dept of Judicial Expansion, this needs to be ‘on the schedule’ so we can plan for the future.