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Two vie for Elburn and Countryside fire protection district board

ELBURN – Two candidates are vying for one four-year term trustee seat on the Elburn and Countryside fire protection district board in the April 9 election.

James Childress believes his experience working for the city of Geneva as an Illinois EPA Public Drinking Water Supply Operator would be beneficial to the board.

“Working for a municipality, I feel that I have a good understanding of certain policies and procedures for a government body so that I can add input to the board to assist in decision making,” Childress said.

Stephen Fuller said his background speaks for itself. For nine years, he worked for the St. Charles Public Works Department, and for 38 years, he worked at the Aurora and St. Charles fire departments, rising through the ranks of firefighter/paramedic, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief of operations, assistant fire chief and fire marshal.

“I have a spotless record serving the public,” Fuller said.

Childress said he believes his background in mechanics would be helpful when the district needs to purchase or repair fire and EMS vehicles and mechanical equipment.

“I would like to bring an outside fresh opinion to the board of trustees and continue to work with the members and leadership staff toward a very positive and progressive department,” he said.

If elected, Childress said he would pursue increasing the board from three to five trustees. He feels that the size of the fire district and the tax revenue that it collects warrants a larger board.

“Three trustees do not provide adequate representation for the district,” he said.

Childress wants to see a fire station constructed in the northern part of the district to help reduce response times to that area.

Fuller retired in 2009 and works for the Kane County Regional Office of Education, conducting health and life safety inspections in schools. He added that his knowledge of building and fire codes, fire ground operations, management of support services, budgeting and community development make him a strong candidate.

He said he is proud of the financial decisions he’s made for the St. Charles Fire Department.

“In 2007, when the housing market went south, we maintained good financial stability, and taxes weren’t raised,” Fuller said. “I guided the ship, and we weathered the storm.”

If elected, Fuller said he will do everything he can to hold the line on any tax increase while keeping a close eye on the needs for future growth.

And Fuller sees growth coming to the district with new housing developments and retail space.

He said a comprehensive study would benefit the community.

“We do need to look at imposing impact fees on developers while reducing the tax burden on our citizens,” he said.

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