League of Women Voters of Elmhurst
Voters Guide for the General Primary Election: March 20, 2018
Republican Candidate for County Board District 1 — Paul DeMichele
1. What is the best way for county government to advance economic development and green technology?
Economic development is being advanced with transportation along the Elgin O’Hare (I-390) expressway. The county is contributing $300 million dollars to the project and the tollway is providing $3.2 billion dollars.
New industrial parks are springing up along the route. But to maximize the value of the project we need to obtain western access. That is at the heart of the road. I have been and will continue to work with both the tollway and the county, to make this happen.
I see green technology being advanced through revision of the building and zoning codes. New technology like LED lighting, solar electricity, GEO thermal heat, Hi Tech insulation and smart building wiring can be encouraged through the department codes.
I’ve worked with building and zoning thru the years and will continue working with them to absorb the new technologies.
2. Do you see a need to consolidate functions, streamline processes, reduce head-count, and lower expenses in county government? If so, what do you propose?
The consolidation of the Board of Elections with the county clerk’s office is imminent.
The county has many boards and commissions where members are appointed by the County Board chairmen. They include Fire Districts, Sanitary Districts, and Mosquito Districts. These are all taxing bodies. These all should be reviewed for potential consolidation.
The County has had a flat property tax assessment for 10 years. It is doing more with less. In 1987 the county tax rate was .7876, it is now .1351. In the same period the school district went from 4.3066 to 4.6470. The county is 3% of the tax bill and the school district is 80%.
Reduction of property taxes can not entirely be the responsibility of the county board.
3. If elected, what three specific initiatives would you like to accomplish during the upcoming term in office?
My 3 initiatives are:
3a.) I have worked on a tollway commission for the I-390 Elgin O’Hare expressway. This project is closely coupled with gaining western access to the airport. This is important to the project. Without it I-390 will just be another route to the Tri-State. I will work with the towns of Elmhurst, Bensenville, Wooddale, Addison, Bloomingdale and Roselle to minimize the negative quality of life O’Hare expansion has already caused.
3b.) Substance abuse has become an epidemic in DuPage County; I have worked with the States Attorney, the regional office of education, the coroner and local law enforcement on substance abuse prevention programs. We have come up with alternatives to prosecution to help stem the tide but more needs to be done. Prevention is less expensive than prosecution.
3c.) My third initiative would be working with the tollway and PACE to provide last mile transportation with bus routes along I-390 corridor. This will help business development as they get employees who do not have vehicles to get to their place of work.
4. Where do you stand on elected County Board officials participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System?
The Illinois Municipal Retirement System (IMRF) is probably the best pension system in Illinois; It was designed for municipal employees who accepted lower salaries in return for a good retirement pension. As I understand it now only incumbent county board members are eligible for IMRF and newly elected county board members are not. If elected I do not consider myself eligible for the pension and would not take it.
The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate.