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Letter: Some flexibility needed

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen ran and decisively won office on a platform of freezing property tax levies for the county and (indirectly) the Fox Valley Park District; eliminating the role that "big money" contributions might play in any county decision-making; and encouraging our staff of 1,250 employees to exercise management best practices. And that is what we're doing.

The County Board is now operating the county within frozen tax levies for the second year in a row. However, our team will need tools and limited financial flexibility to fulfill these important commitments.

When the Kane County Chronicle editorializes that, " … we have been puzzled by some of the ideas Lauzen has floated early in his tenure … ," (Kane County Chronicle, May 11, 2013) I suggest that anyone with questions should call him. Chris has built a decades-long reputation of returning all his telephone calls and is happy to explain what we are all working on together.

With board approval and staff initiative, Chairman Lauzen has already eliminated substantial lobbyist expenses, not replaced public relations contracts from the last several years, greatly reduced bond interest expense (i.e. $2,380,000 less) and continues to maintain our county management without a county administrator expense. However, the County Board chairman will need some flexibility to re-deploy just a fraction of these savings in order to test better ways of serving our constituents.

To bring coherent, useful proposals before the County Board, Chairman Lauzen needs the limited discretion to assign up to a $25,000 preliminary research contract from time to time (within a $250,000,000 budget), where he's already saved many times that amount.

If you have questions for Chairman Lauzen, just give him a call at 630-232-5931.

Drew Frasz

Vice chairman of the Kane County Board

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