Editor’s note: This is one of a series of stories looking at the contested races in the Aurora District in the November 8 general election.
The race for the Kane County Council seat from District 11 in next month’s election is between Democrat Leslie Jobe and Republican Brian Jones.
Current 11th District board member John Martin, a Republican, is not running for reelection.
The general election was set for November 8.
Jobe, 61, from Geneva, said issues for voters in District 11 include the negative economic effects of the pandemic, behavioral health and social services issues stemming from the recent health crisis and concerns about rising inflation.
On economic issues, Jobe says “it’s the local businesses that have been hit hard and have managed to survive” as well as new problems to be faced.
“Companies are now having disruptions in the supply chain as well as dealing with inflation and significant labor shortages,” she said. “You also have a request to support people who have lost their jobs and their homes.”
Social issues include increases in suicidal tendencies and other issues arising from the pandemic “which allows us to know that there is a greater demand for social and behavioral services.”
“People have suffered from food insecurity and homelessness and have psychological problems,” said Joby.
Jobe said economic issues are still plaguing the province as well.
“People fear the current inflation and how it will affect their budget as well as the county and whether taxes will make it difficult to support their families and stay in Kane County,” she said.
If elected, Joby said she would like to promote economic development, conserve natural resources and provide essential services that residents need to live in a healthy society.
“With our environment, I want to be very careful about zoning and how more homes are putting undue pressure on the water table and where there will be significant development and whether it is an infringement on farmland,” Joby said.
She said a lot could be done to support the local economy and small businesses by doing promotion at the county level.
Jones, 44, of Geneva, said the region’s voters are concerned about keeping taxes low and maintaining a balanced budget, keeping the quality of life in the region high and also having continuity of oversight and management as it relates to leading the county council.
“In terms of taxes, we need to maintain a balanced budget while continuing to maintain the services the county provides,” Jones said. “We need to make sure that the COVID relief money or tax increases don’t just go to social services without maintaining a balanced budget.”
Regarding quality of life, “We want to preserve forest reserves, tracking systems, and things like that.”
“We have great bike trails and forest reserves and we need to maintain and improve what we have there,” Jones said. “The services provided by the county must be first-class.”
Jones believes the current leadership as chairman has been strong.
If elected, Jones said his goals are to “take ownership of the old prison near Settlers Hill and make it a productive asset and include it in tax rolls whether by sale or development.”
“I also like to keep our taxes low, keep a balanced budget and be a responsible steward of county dollars,” he said.
Jones also said that “transitioning from COVID recovery and helping local businesses in any way possible from the county level” are also goals he would like to address if elected.
“We can try to increase tourism or increase traffic in a reasonable way,” he said.
David Sharros is a freelance reporter for the Beacon News.