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Taxes, Settler’s Hill issues key in District 11 county board race

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 7:37 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Taxes and the redevelopment of the former Settler’s Hill landfill for recreational use are two of the issues in the race for Kane County Board District 11.

Lawyer and community volunteer John Martin, a Geneva resident, is running against longtime Geneva resident and businessman Tom Matson for the Republican nomination in the March 18 general primary. There are no Democratic candidates running for the seat in the primary.

Incumbent Michael Donahue is not running for re-election. District 11 includes portions of Geneva and Batavia.

Matson said one of the reasons he is running is to keep taxes in check.

“People are just tired of their taxes going up,” Matson said. “I favor Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen’s countywide tax freeze. I’m a huge proponent of that in today’s economy. The economy is still uncertain.”

Matson, 52, said he has lived in Geneva for most of his life and has been in the communications industry for 27 years. His family runs Matson Jewelry in Geneva.

“I was born and raised in Geneva, and a good portion of the district is in Geneva,” Matson said. “I know my district very well.”

Matson also said his business experience serves him well.

“I have the ability to work with people and to resolve conflicts,” he said.

Martin, 66, has been a Geneva resident for 41 years. He is a founding partner of the Huck Bouma law firm in Wheaton. He has been chairman of the Geneva Academic Foundation and the Geneva Plan Commission.

“I feel like I know the town,” Martin said.

Martin said he wants to control government spending, reduce taxes and maintain the quality of life in Kane County. One of the issues that he would focus on as a Kane County board member would be the redevelopment of Settler’s Hill.

“I’d like to see something other than just a mound of grass-covered garbage,” Martin said. “The property can be a benefit to the county and adjoining communities.”

In the past, there have been environmental concerns raised about the redevelopment of the property.

“Each stage needs to be reviewed carefully,” Martin said.

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