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Only Oswego

Kendall County Election 2016: John Purcell, Candidate for Kendall County Board District 1

Mar 06, 2016 03:04PM ● By Steven Jack

John Purcell

Name: John Purcell

Employment: Operator, Oswego & Yorkville Ace Hardware

Family: I am married to Jacquie.  Together, we have four children - Josephine, Molly, Benedict, and Alex.

Education: Yorkville High School and Waubonsee Community College graduate with a BS in Business from Adams State College, Colorado.

Previously elected office: Current member of the Kendall County Board.

Relevant community service: Volunteer Board Member – Fox Valley Family YMCA. Finance Committee member - St. Patrick Catholic Church.

 What are the county’s three most important capital needs (i.e. roads, buildings) at this moment? How should they be paid for?

The County’s most important capital needs are:

  1. The $3 to $3.5 million (currently estimated) necessary to upgrade the security systems at the Public Safety Center (Jail) and Courthouse.  The systems have been patched together for over 20 years, including several different expansions of the facilities.  Technology has changed over the years, and supporting the current system is very challenging.  The County is currently awaiting a plan/design study to narrow down the cost range and to get a better timeline for completion.  There is currently money set aside in a Public Safety Sales Tax capital fund to complete the project.
  2. The Orchard Road, Minkler Road, Collins Road connection/bypass for Oswego.  This will help alleviate traffic around Oswego as well as provide a north-south corridor through the whole county which could essentially connect I-88 to I-80.  Much of this money would come from the Transportation Sales Tax fund, and possibly some state or federal money.
  3. Money for the Eldamain Road Bridge over the Fox River.  This is an immense project which could cost $40,000,000+ and will require tremendous foresight as for the financing.  The County should start earmarking money for this project and may need to bond at some time.  Typically, bridge projects of this size receive large doses of Federal or State assistance.
Do you think the County Board’s meeting times are convenient for residents to attend? Why or why not? What changes, if any, would you propose to the meetings schedule?

The meeting times of the County Board and its committees are at various times of the day/evening and different days of the week.  There normally is little or no public attendance at these meetings, usually less at the evening Board meetings than during the day.  I am not convinced that altering the times would increase attendance, though it may change the makeup of the few public attendees.  I am open to different times for the meetings, though I believe it should be on an individual committee level discussion.  Certain committees may require input from elected officials/department heads more than others or meet in a facility that is closed during the evenings (ie courthouse), and therefore, a daytime meeting might be appropriate.

Should the County Board continue its policy of paying its members per diems (or per meeting), or should they change to a straight annual salary for board members? Why or why not? Is the pay for County Board members adequate or should they be paid more, or less?

Per diems compensate those who attend meetings and does not compensate those who do not attend meetings.  That seems pretty American to me.  I am open to other ideas and would give consideration to any alternative plan that is presented.