GOP contenders for Kane County Board District 25 talk issues

Posted1/31/2010 12:01 AM

The Republican primary for Kane County Board District 25 features two candidates who are longtime American Legion friends but split over several issues.

Incumbent Robert Kudlicki, a seven-year board member, former Hampshire mayor, lists making Kane County "greener" and improving transportation for the far western portion of the county as campaign priorities. Challenger Thomas, "TR" Smith, of Maple Park, said he wants to focus on balancing the county's budget and prioritizing spending during difficult economic times. To do so, Smith has advocated eliminating any future spending projects of the county other than additional police coverage.


Kudlicki has not sought a single endorsement.

Smith, on the other hand, says he is endorsed by Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti, County Clerk John Cunningham, Treasurer David Rickert, Recorder Sandy Wegman and Auditor Bill Keck.

His political experience is as chairman of the Western Kane County Township GOP and as a member of the Burlington Park District board. He has said he would quit the park board if elected.

Both men are military veterans and members of Hampshire American Legion Post 680.

The two candidates are split over how to provide equalized pay and benefits for county workers and board committee pay and attendance.

Smith believes that in order to equalize pay and benefits across county departments, a citizens committee should be put together to look at the department heads' salaries, as it has in the past for elected officials, he said.

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Kudlicki believes the county has taken steps to make sure union and nonunion workers are currently treated the same. Kudlicki did not specify what those steps were, however.

The candidates also differ on whether the county board members should be paid for serving on various committees. Kudlicki said he believes getting paid forces members to attend. Smith said they should not receive extra pay in addition to their annual salary of $23,000.

District 25, in western Kane County, covers Hampshire, Rutland, Burlington, Plato and Virgil townships.