Taylor to run for De Kalb County Clerk and Recorder
Trent Taylor announces that he is a candidate for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder in the March 2014 primary election and the November 2014 general election.
“My goal as County Clerk and Recorder is to provide services in a professional and cost-effective manner, maintain a modern office using the available technologies, and be attentive to customer needs. I will bring independence to the office and remain mindful of the taxpayers, who in the end, pay the bills.”
Taylor has extensive experience in the mortgage and title industry, working for more than a decade as a title examiner, land title researcher, and recording manager. Taylor is currently employed as a title examiner specialist at Fox Title in Sycamore, where he interacts daily with the De Kalb County Clerk and Recorder’s office. Taylor has also served as a tally assistant at the office on election night. Taylor’s familiarity with the office provides him an advantageous perspective to ensure that the office meets constituent needs in an efficient manner.
Taylor, a Democrat and current precinct committeeman, is seeking to replace Republican Doug Johnson, who was appointed in September to fill the term of the previous Clerk, John Acardo, who left before his term expired.
Taylor holds a B.S. in Business Administration form Illinois State University. He resides in De Kalb, with his wife Alison, and two dogs, Olive and Ace.
Consolidated elections are all about pocketbook issues. There’s not much in the way of national or state elections just local. That’s where the pocketbook is. Not in my wallet.
Typically voter turnout is low. In 2009 out of 59,760 registered voters in DeKalb County only 13,224 bothered to vote (22%). That was with three candidates for mayor of DeKalb — the county’s largest municipality. In 2011 with no mayoral candidates only 11% of registered voters participated in the consolidated elections county wide.
Based on higher than established attendance at various candidate forums there is hope for bigger voter turnout. Based on the soaring debt obligations taxpayers are responsible for and the cuts in services and pension entitlements looming, combined with higher taxes and fees to meet the debt service, higher voter turnout is needed.
The most unforgiving of all the taxes imposed are those assessed on property. In good times or in bad times the only sure thing is that the property taxes will rise. The biggest chunk of real estate taxes go to public education. Do you know who’s running for your school district’s Board of Education?
Low voter turnout favors the few. The connected. Status quo. Did you know that DeKalb County has some of the higher tax rates (total) in the country? Do you know what your share of the local public debt is? So how’s that status quo thing working out for you?
Those who status quo favors vote in high percentages. They’re voting for their pocketbook. So don’t miss this opportunity to vote for yours otherwise just go ahead and open it up because they’re going to need more from it. And more.
Candidates for District 428 Board of Education; Vickie Hernan-Faivre, Marilyn Parker, Victoria Newport, George “Joe” Mitchell and Mary Hess presented their ideas and qualifications at a Tuesday night forum held at Feed ’Em Soup in DeKalb. The forum was moderated by Cindy Lofthouse. Amy Barnes volunteered as time keeper.
The $21 million construction grant given to District 428 in 2010 is still intact. In the face of a proposed $2.6 million operating deficit with similar projections through 2018 the candidates were asked what the best uses for the grant funds were.
According to the Illinois Capital Development Board the state issued the school construction grant to District 428 in October 2010. The state share ($21,156,874) was a matching percentage amount to the local share ($39,291,338). See page 16 on this PDF. It is likely that the local share was obtained from construction debt bonds authorized by the $110 million referendum.
Construction grants authorized by the Capital Development Board are governed by the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules – Section 71. That document appears to prohibit use of such grant money on any on-going operational costs (Section 40.130-b). But according to input provided by Kerry Mellott, a member of the Finance and Facilities Advisory Committee, Assistant Superintendent Andrea Gorla was told that because the necessary matching funds on qualified academic facilities was already spent according to the rules, the $21 million is now unencumbered.
George “Joe” Mitchell believes the intent of the grant was for construction and expenditures from those funds should be restricted to capital improvements to bring the older school buildings infrastructure up to par. He attended LittleJohn Elementary School growing up and said that building is unchanged still now some thirty years later. To attract quality teachers, he said, you had to offer quality facilities.
Vickie Hernan-Faivre reminded the audience that those funds were unencumbered and as much as possible of it should be used to cover the operating deficit. She felt it important to pay off the impact fee credit owed to ShoDeen Development. Noteable deficiencies between school facilities district wide was also on her list.
Marilyn Parker said it was the current generation’s obligation to not leave their children their debt. Parity among schools are important to her because her priority is to ensure that all children receive the opportunity of a good education.
Mary Hess suggested that at least a portion of the grant be used to pay down the $110 million debt obligation the district’s taxpayers owe. She acknowledged that the looming deficit and the crisis in the state’s finances could erode the reserve funds very quickly. She thought that space and technology issues at some of the existing schools were needed.
Victoria Newport offered three ways to use the funds. She though improving parity among the schools were important so that a child attending Lincoln school had the same experiece as one attending Cortland. She though some funds should be set aside to leverage the deficit. She thought an investment in reducing class size in K-2 might lower costs with better reading performance by third graders.
The DeKalb County Democratic Party is showing their support and appreciation for Unions at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 at Memorial Park, on the corner of Lincoln Hwy and First St. in DeKalb.
This free and open to the public event will focus on union history and the current situation facing unions. Attendees will be informed on what they can do to defend workers.
Featured speakers include NIU History professor, Rosemary Feurer, Organizer for the Illinois Education Association, Dave Rathke, and the President of the Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers, Ken Christy.
Candidates for mayor were invited to attend and show their support for unions.
An invitation for candidates in the DeKalb “nonpartisan” mayoral race included this interesting statement from DeKalb County Democratic Party chair, Mark Pietrowski:
Please note that by attending and participating you are acknowledging your support of unions and what they stand for.
There hasn’t been an announcement of any event showing any support or appreciation for taxpayers. That has been a bipartisan omission in this nonpartisan election.
Add another packed candidate forum to the 2013 consolidated election campaign trail. More than 100 residents attended a candidate forum held at the Cortland Lions Shelter House moderated by 3rd District County Board member Mark Pietrowski. Kori Crooke-Rempfer served as time-keeper.
After a segment for those running for the Town Board, Library and Township offices to introduce themselves the mayoral candidates answered audience submitted questions.
Bob Seyller has served two terms as mayor and is looking for re-election for a third. He built a house in town 21 years ago and still owns the Cortland Barber Shop. He is a past president of the Northern Illinois Mayors Association.
During his eight years at the helm Seyller said Cortland has added a new $15 million sewer plant, a $2.3 million water tower, upgraded technology, two radium removal systems, plus new equipment such as trucks and tractors for public works. He added that the longest term of any debt owed by the Town of Cortland is five years.
Dedicated staff, department heads and consultants makes Seyller’s job as mayor easy and together as a team they offer the best value for the dollar for Cortland residents.
But his opponents, Chuck Lanning and Russell Stokes, believe the Town Administrator was an exorbitant expense at $125,000 compensation and the position as it was employed was creating miscommunications between the mayor, the board and the public. Seyller responded that the administrator contract will not be renewed by vote of the town board so it shouldn’t be talked about moving forward. Read more →
Compared to the challenges facing urban communities the candidates for local offices in the Village of Kirkland discussed more simple issues. High taxes and less people to share the burden of them so survival of their identity as a community was the topic of discussion at the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce candidate night at the Kirkland Fire District station. Ken Brooks moderated the event.
The forum was held at the fire station built in large part through annexation agreements and impact fees collected from the first buyers of homes in those subdivisions. Those subdivisions now have an ample supply of homesites available as are there bank-owned properties here and there around. The distressed property rate in Kirkland is the same as most northern Illinois communities but they seem to have more impact on the town spirit.
Construction debt and staffing plans at the Hiawatha School district acquired to meet growth projections in the peak of the construction boom lead the incline in the property tax rate but the potential of losing the school district to consolidation is real. The real or perceived threat that poses to the community’s identity or even its existence was a constant in the presentations made by all candidates.
The station was packed with a standing room only audience. Read more →
DeKalb, Malta, and Cortland residents are invited to attend a District #428 school board candidate forum this Tuesday, April 2nd. The forum will be held at the Feed’em Soup facility at 122 S. First St. in DeKalb. Audience members may submit questions for the five candidates prior to the start of the forum.
Doors will open Tuesday night at 6pm. Questions will be accepted from 6pm to 6:25pm. At 6:30pm the forum will begin. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Cindy Lofthouse, Instructional Coach at District #428.
In this final week, there are many deadlines of which voters should take note. Please use this as a guide to the many deadlines to cast your ballot prior to Election Day or to take advantage of voting by mail.
April 4, 2013 – Last Day to apply for an Absentee Ballot by mail
April 6, 2013 – Last Day to Early Vote & Participate in Grace Period Registration & Voting
April 8, 2013 – Last Day to cast a Ballot Prior to Election Day
April 8, 2013 – Last Day to postmark an Absentee Ballot
Remember, April 9, 2013 is Election Day. Polling Locations are open from 6 AM to 7 PM. Voters can see their sample ballot; get directions to their poll; and more at www.votedekalb.com.
Press Release Blog is what it is. When we are sent press releases for publication we do so verbatim and assign Press Release Blog as the author. Share your news with the readers of DeKalb County Online. Click Here for more information.