Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of stories about contentious races in the Aurora area during the November 8 general election.
The fall election race for a Kane County Board seat in District 10 is between incumbent Republican David Brown and Democratic challenger William Tarver.
The general election is scheduled for November 8.
Brown, 68, of Batavia, said voters in the district are concerned about the county’s budget, mental health and the impact of the SAFE-T Act, which abolishes bail on Jan. 1.
“As for the budget, it’s been in the papers recently that we’re considering a tax hike, so people are wondering, why do we need it or can we cut back or cut extra cuts in the future? Those are some of the most common questions I get from people,” Brown said.
Regarding mental health, “obviously the pandemic had a lot to do with it,” Brown said, adding that “everyone is concerned about that.”
“I think we’re doing an awful lot in the county to address that, and I’ve supported more funding for mental health initiatives,” Brown said. “That’s something we really need to focus on. The suicide rate in the province – funding these programs is the first step in curbing this mental health problem that we have here and across the country.”
Public safety and the SAFE-T Act have raised many questions about what will happen next, Brown said.
“I can tell you that I don’t support the act as it is currently written,” he said. “People see the commercials on TV and want to know what it means.”
If re-elected, Brown said goals for his next term would include maintaining his goal from his first term on Route 31 and Fabyan Parkway improvements to make the roadway safer, as well as focusing on public safety and health. work of Kane County Sheriff Ron Hein.
“I also want to focus on the amount of space the county has and what our needs are going forward,” he said. “We have 30 buildings across the province and many of them are very old and not efficient or ADA compliant.”
Tarver, 54, from Batavia, said voters spoke to him about community mental health and social services, fiscal responsibility and keeping schools safe.
“With mental health, voters feel like the agencies in our community are overwhelmed and they feel we need more support for our adolescents,” Tarver said. “I’ve heard comments mentioning suicide prevention services as suicide rates are on the rise and people within our schools are being socially and emotionally challenged.”
Keeping schools safe, Tarver said, also includes security amid concerns about more “guns and rifles being brought to our schools.”
With regard to finances, Tarver said people are concerned “about their future viability and taxes.”
“People keep asking about taxes and is the province viable going forward,” he said.
If elected, Tarver said the goals would be “to be a recovering community builder within our county, be transparent to voters about what’s happening at the county level and take their advice, and create a county where people can live, work and play.”
“I believe we can achieve all of this by working with the board and community members,” he said. “With transparency, voters have a right to hear what’s happening and so however we communicate, we need to share what’s happening and the decisions we’re making.”
Tarver said he wants “our communities to be safe and people to feel comfortable that we’re not burdening them too much.”
“I want people to come to our county and have affordable housing and earn a viable salary and spend money in our own community so they don’t have to live outside it,” he said. “If they can’t afford to live in our community, they can’t stay here.”
David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.