Kane District 10 Candidates Discuss County Taxes, Mental Health Issues

Kane District 10 Candidates Discuss County Taxes, Mental Health Issues

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of articles about races in the Aurora area during the November 8 general election.

The fall election race for a Kane County board seat in District 10 pits Republican incumbent David Brown against Democratic challenger William Tarver.

General elections are scheduled for November 8.

Brown, 68, of Batavia, said voters in the district were concerned about the county’s budget, mental health and the impact of the SAFE-T law, which will eliminate cash bail starting Jan. 1.

“As for the budget, it’s been in the news recently that we’re looking at a tax hike, so people are wondering why do we need it or can we make future cuts or additional cuts? These are some of the most common questions I get from people,” Brown said.

When it comes to mental health, “the pandemic obviously has a lot to do with that,” Brown said, adding that “everyone is concerned about that.”

“I think we’re doing a tremendous amount in the county to address this issue, and I’ve supported there being more money for mental health initiatives,” Brown said. “That’s something we really need to focus on. The number of suicides in the county – funding these programs is the first step in addressing this mental health issue that we have here and across the country.

Public safety and the SAFE-T law have raised many questions about what will happen, Brown said.

“I can tell you that I am not in favor of the law as it is currently written,” he said. “People see ads on TV and want to know what it means.”

If re-elected, Brown said goals for his next term include maintaining his first-term goal for Highway 31 and Fabyan Driveway improvements to make the roadway safer, as well as focus on public safety and the work of Kane County Sheriff Ron. Hain.

“I also want to focus on how much space the county has and what our future needs will be,” he said. “We have about 30 buildings scattered throughout the county and many of them are very old and not efficient or ADA compliant.”

Tarver, 54, of Batavia, said voters spoke to him about community mental health and social services, fiscal responsibility and school safety.

“With mental health, voters feel that agencies in our community are overwhelmed and they feel that we need more support for our teens,” Tarver said. “I’ve heard comments that mention suicide prevention services because suicides are on the rise and people in our schools face social and emotional challenges.”

Keeping schools safe, Tarver said, includes security because of concerns about more “weapons and guns being brought into our schools.”

When it comes to finances, Tarver said people are worried “about their viability going forward and about taxes.”

“People keep asking about taxes and is the county viable for the future,” he said.

If elected, Tarver said goals would include “to be a restorative community builder in our county, to be transparent to voters about what’s happening at the county level and to seek their input, and to create a county where people can live, work and play”.

“I believe that by working with the board and community members, we can achieve all of this,” he said. “With transparency, voters have the right to hear what’s going on and so regardless of how we communicate, we need to share what’s going on and the decisions we make.”

Tarver said he wants “our communities to be safe and people to feel comfortable that we’re not overtaxing them.”

“I want people to come to our county and have affordable housing and earn a living wage and spend money in our own community so they don’t have to live outside of it,” he said. he declared. “If they can’t live affordably in our community, they can’t stay here.

David Sharos is a freelance journalist for The Beacon-News.

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