Penny wise, pound foolish

Updated 7/12/2018 8:30 AM

I have to admit that I was irritated at first when several board members questioned the minimal investment ($149.07) in continuing training that I made in a financial publication subscription, book on blockchain technology and admission fee to speakers luncheons to strengthen our relationship with influential people who can help Kane County, especially after all of them (10 out of 10) had voted to squander an opportunity to save what experts had agreed was a $1 million savings on health insurance expense.

But then I thought, no one could be so petty nor such poor business managers, so it must have been an invitation to learn more.

Before I was elected Kane County Chairman and reelected with 126,000 votes, the property tax levy to pay for county government had been increased by 50 percent during the previous seven years. For the recent seven previous budgets I've been responsible for, our levy has been frozen at zero, with a small decrease when new construction during that period is included.

We have cut the public debt by 65 percent. Our 1,300 employee pension obligations are fully funded. Every penny that we spend is fully disclosed on the internet and is 100 percent transparent.

We have modernized our court system. A $125 milion parkway at the northern end of the county is being completed with a bridge over the Fox River that will be paid by users rather than taxpayers. And, the Aurora Election Commission is being consolidated into the county clerk's office.

We still have many challenges, including unusual levels of demand on the coroner's office, resolution of the Maxxam-Glenwood $68 million lawsuit, and consistent proper use of the committee system to run county government. But $149.07 spent on sharpening my skills, is not one of them.

Christopher J. Lauzen, Chairman

Kane County Board

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