Kane District 10 candidates discuss taxes, mental health
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories looking at contested races in the Aurora area in the Nov. 8 general election.
The race in the fall election for a Kane County Board seat in District 10 is between incumbent Republican David Brown and Democratic challenger William Tarver.
The general election is set for Nov. 8.
Brown, 68, of Batavia, said voters in the district are concerned about the county budget, mental health and the impact of the SAFE-T Act, which will eliminate cash bail as of Jan. 1.
“Regarding the budget, it’s been in the papers recently that we are considering a tax increase so people are questioning, why do we need it or can we make future cuts or additional cuts? Those are some of the most common questions I get from people,” Brown said.
Regarding mental health “the pandemic obviously had a lot to do with it,” Brown said, adding that “everybody is concerned about that.”
“I think we’re doing an awful lot in the county to address that, and I supported there being more money for mental health initiatives,” Brown said. “That is something that we really need to focus on. The amount of suicides in the county – getting these programs funded is the first step in terms of curbing this mental health problem we have here and throughout the country.”
Public safety and the SAFE-T Act have produced a lot of questions about what is going to happen, Brown said.
“I can tell you I’m not supportive of the act the way it is currently written,” he said. “People see the commercials on TV and want to know what it means.”
If re-elected, Brown said goals for his next term include maintaining his objective from his first term regarding Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway improvements in order to make the roadway safer, as well as focusing on public safety and the work of Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain.
“I also want to focus on the amount of space that the county has and what our needs are going into the future,” he said. “We have 30-some buildings scattered throughout the county and a lot of them are very old and not efficient or ADA compliant.”
Tarver, 54, of Batavia, said voters have been talking to him about mental health in the community and social services, fiscal responsibility and keeping schools safe.
“With mental health, the voters feel the agencies in our community are overwhelmed and they feel that we need more support for our adolescents,” Tarver said. “I’ve heard comments that mention suicide prevention services as suicides are up and people within our schools are challenged socially and emotionally.”
Keeping schools safe, Tarver said, includes security due to concerns about more “weapons and guns being brought to our schools.”
Regarding finances, Tarver said people are concerned “about their viability going forward and taxes.”
“People keep asking about taxes and is the county viable for the future,” he said.
If elected, Tarver said goals would include “being a restorative community builder within our county, be transparent for voters about what is happening at the county level and seek their advice, and create a county where people can live, work and play.”
“I believe by working with the board and members of the community, we can achieve all of this,” he said. “With transparency, voters have the right to hear what’s happening and so however we communicate we need to share what’s happening and the decisions we’re making.”
Tarver said he wants “our communities to be safe and for people to feel comfortable that we are not over-taxing them.”
“I want people to come to our county and have affordable housing and make a viable salary and spend money in our own community so they don’t need to live outside of it,” he said. “If they can’t live affordably in our community, they can’t stay here.”
David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.