Mark S. Hosty: 2022 candidate for Cook County Board District 9
City: River Forest
Occupation: Real estate broker
Previous offices held: 16 years as a Forest Park Village Commissioner
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? If so, what?
A: I am running bring my experience as a four time previously elected official to help control countywide spending and help address the increase in crime that has been affecting the residents of Cook County.
Q: Cook County was alone in the six-county Chicago area to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter restaurants, bars and other establishments earlier this year. Did you agree with that decision, and would you support reimposing that requirement should the region face another surge in infections?
A: I believe that businesses and schools should have the right to choose if they will make those requirements. I believe that the customers of those businesses would have a right to choose weather or not to patronize those businesses.
Q: Did the county do enough to support businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic? If yes, please name one specific program you supported that did that. If no, please name one specific action the county could have taken to help.
A: I believe that the county as well as the state did not do a good job letting businesses know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. There needed to be more specific information so that businesses could plan accordingly.
Q: There's been a concerted effort within the county's criminal justice system to incarcerate fewer pretrial defendants in the county jail. Some, particularly in the suburbs, blame this for a rise in crime. Do you support these policies? If not, what would you suggest instead?
A: I do not agree with the policies that release pretrial defendants. There have been to many cases of pretrial defendants being involved in repeat criminal activity. We have a prosecutor who understands that part of the job is to keep offenders locked up.
Q: In July 2020, the county board passed a resolution that called for, in part, the county to "redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement." Did or do you support this measure and the philosophy behind it? Why or why not?
A: I understand the intend but disagree with the practice. I refuse to agree with defunding law enforcement. I think we should expand police funding and at the same time work to expand mental health services.
Q: Some elected officials have proposed a "gas-tax holiday" to ease the burden of rising gasoline prices on county residents. Would you support such a proposal for Cook County? Why or why not?
A: I think the biggest burden to gasoline purchasers is that lack of production of gasoline. We need to pressure the federal government to allow for more drilling and production of fossil fuels.