Address: 202 Clubhouse Lane, Oswego, IL 60543
Campaign contact information: Cell Phone: (630)220-4690; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Family: Married 29 years to wife Kathy. We have two children – Emily and Scott.
Education: High School Graduate (West Aurora High School), Graduate Waubonsee Community College (Degree – Criminal Justice)
Previous elected or appointed positions: Appointed as a trustee of IAFF Local #4773 Oswego Firefighters 2010-2012.
1) Why do you want to be coroner?
After signing on to be a Kendall County deputy coroner, the realization came to me that my life’s experiences could serve not just my local friends, and relatives, but my fellow citizens of Kendall County. After my combined 33 years of service in the Kendall County Coroner’s Office, the Oswego Fire Department, and the Aurora Police Department, these eyes have seen the toughest sights that a person could have ever imagined. Should my election be successful, my goals will be set to creating a total caring atmosphere in the Kendall County Coroner’s Office, not only for the grieving families, but also for the struggling taxpayers of Kendall County. My chosen life’s path has been towards the betterment of my community.
2) What experience do you have interacting with grieving families? What would your approach be to working with families who have lost a loved one?
As a patrol officer, detective, crime scene investigator, firefighter/paramedic, and deputy coroner I have dealt with the deceased and their families on numerous occasions. The approach when interacting with a grieving family member is of compassion and sympathy. One needs to know and understand that there are steps to the grieving process for a person(s) that have lost a family member, companion, or even a close friend. The family and friends who are grieving need to understand that they will have some or all of these feelings. It is important to listen to the family and friends and be able to guide them if they need assistance. I would always make sure that they have family, friends, or a clergy member that is available to be with them. I have personally experienced the loss of family members and close friends and understand the importance of providing support.
3) How would you characterize the current management style in the coroner’s office? What changes, if any, do you think should be made in the next four years?
I believe there is a documented lack of management controls (as noted by county auditors), and an unusual sense of self-worth (as noted by the newspapers), that has created a sense of entitlement, not service, in the Kendall County Coroner’s Office. As a former deputy coroner, my witnessing of the current coroner relying on his deputies to do almost all of the tasks in the office was mind boggling. There is an atmosphere of entitlement and questionable spending in the current coroner’s office. Changes in the next four years should be to reduce the budget by 20% or more and provide the public with the necessary services without thinking of entitlements and what’s good for the individual in charge. The person in charge should be frugal in spending and faithful to the community.
By eliminating the full time deputy position, having two part time deputies (not 6) to cover the weekends, and having a part time administrative assistant for ten hours during the week, the coroner’s budget can easily be reduced by 20% or more. Simply stated, I’ll show up to work, and process the lion’s share of the paperwork, no matter how important, or mundane. Of course my availability for calls, outside the office, will be greatly expanded upon, as compared to the incumbent coroner. Running for office just to get a paycheck, fringe benefits, and a title is not my way of conducting business. You will not ever read about my getting in the newspapers for complaining about how supposedly little the position pays, as the incumbent has done recently. The incumbent says it’s his last term if re-elected. What is his motivation to clean up his act?
Other changes included in the next four years would be to continually monitor the budget and reduce costs wherever possible. The county credit card would be eliminated from the coroner’s office. I would expand on the current public education program to include CPR classes and child safety seat installation. I would also take the time to listen to the community through a forum to understand their needs and make the necessary adjustments satisfying the requirements of the community.
Understanding this is a public position, it’s the community who should provide the requirements of the job and expect that those requirements are fulfilled and carried out by the person elected, without any issue or concern about how the budget of this job is carried out on a day-to-day basis. Knowing all this and how the community feels with budgeting issues, I am the person who can listen, act, and be responsible for the job!