Leslie N. Juby: 2022 candidate for Kane County Board District 11
Occupation: Substitute teacher with Batavia Public Schools
Previous offices held: Geneva CUSD304 Board of Education
Q. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? *
A. I have lived in Kane County for 26 years and appreciate its incredible diversity from small villages and big cities to rolling farm land and public green spaces. I am excited to be able to represent my community by making thoughtful decisions that will continue to make Kane County a great place to live. I believe strategic planning will allow the county to promote economic growth, protect our natural resources, upgrade our infrastructure, and provide the services necessary to meet residents' needs.
Q. 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?
A. I served for twelve years as an elected member of the Geneva Board of Education, so I have experience with budgetary planning, policymaking, legislative process and state statute compliance, committee work, general governance, and government transparency.
I have six years of experience serving the City of Geneva on the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee. I am a community member-at-large for the Kane County Health Department's work group for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. I serve as an appointed trustee to the Regional Office of Education board of trustees, and I am a member of Kane Excellence in Education Partnership. My top priority is to advocate for all stakeholders and deliver the highest level of service to efficiently and effectively meet the needs for all residents.
Q. 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.
A. I support the best practice of balanced budgets in which expenditures do not exceed revenues. Currently, the county has an unexpected $17.5 M surplus from higher than anticipated consumer spending and savings from unfilled job vacancies. The county should use this surplus to address the looming threats of inflation, recession, and a rise in COVID cases. For example, the county can extend the property tax freeze for residents and allocate a portion of the budget surplus to offset the cost of funding the Property Tax Freeze Protection Fund. Additionally, the county should use the $71M in unallocated pandemic relief money to support COVID related issues that impact residents, such as diminished income, housing or food insecurity, or mental health issues.
Q. 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.
A. The county government can be more transparent. Access to records needs to be simple and timely. There are several actions the county can take to increase transparency, such as updating the online dashboard to make it more user friendly with information that is organized for accessibility; develop a policy review schedule that encourages discussion about best practices and current legal compliance; and implement annual professional development for employees and elected officials that includes training on the Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, and the Ethics Act.
Q. What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
A. Workflow automation software increases efficiency, expands transparency, saves money, improves customer service, and streamlines data entry and reporting processes. Individual county departments should identify specific inefficient tasks so the county can support streamlining those tasks by adopting software that is simple to use and has cross system integration so all departments can work efficiently.