Grant Eckhoff: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 4
Office sought: DuPage County Board District 4
Occupation: Attorney, Eckhoff & Massarelli
Previous offices held: Current DuPage County Board member, Wheaton City Council, Milton Township Republican Committeeman
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
I want to continue to make county government deliver essential services that the lowest possible tax rate. In addition, I want to continue to work to enhance public safety which has been abandon in Springfield.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
As the Chairman of the Judicial Public Safety Chairman and now former Chairman of that committee working with our State's Attorney, Sheriff and Public Defender to enhance public safety. Working to consolidate government on the Emergency Telephone System Board by reducing Public Safety Access Points from 27 to 2 thereby saving millions of taxpayer dollars. I also worked with our Sheriff to maintain security in the courthouse while reducing the cost of such security by over $100,000 a year.
Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.
County spending should be less than revenues unless there are one-time projects that can be paid by one-time revenue sources such as ARAP. Otherwise, the county needs to keep a minimum of 25% of the general account as a reserve for emergencies such as COVID and recessions. Given the tremendous spending of our federal government and the increased likelihood of a recession that percentage amount (which we currently exceed) should be maintained at over 25%.
How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.
We always strive to be transparent and give the public access to our records and have been very successful in that regard. The county regularly and promptly through our State's Attorney office respond to Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA) in a timely manner.
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
The county is adopting "OpenGov" software. Our staff has indicated that "OpenGov software will improve the budgeting process, streamline and customize ARPA reporting as well as reporting for other federal programs. In addition, OpenGov supports the DuPage ACT Initiative with its automated reporting and dashboards that will make the County's financial information more accessible and easily understood. It is not only a tool for Finance staff but also is intended for the various departments, County Board members and the general public."
As an attorney that has worked in all of the collar counties and Cook County, DuPage County has always led the state in this area. The key now is to set up statewide systems so access can be given to the public to all of the recorder's offices and clerk's offices by going to only 1 website instead of a separate Web page for each county.