As The First Ward previously indicated, at a 2 p.m. press conference at Fiora’s in downtown Geneva, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen formally announced his withdrawal from the GOP chairmanship primary in favor of Treasurer Dave Rickert.
Both men briefly spoke, they shook hands, and Lauzen handed Rickert a $5,000 check to kick off his campaign.
After almost 28 years as an elected official, The Chairman said that he will serve out his term and then remain active in local politics by supporting competent candidates both financially and with his legendary campaign ethic.
But why listen to me ramble on when we have the Chairman’s own words:
“These past eight years have been peaceful, productive, and prosperous in Kane County in terms of both consistently high-quality services delivered to constituents and respectful restraint on the size of government for taxpayers.
Kane County has kept the three commitments that I made to you eight years ago to freeze county-related property tax levies, to treat people respectfully, and to foster management best practices. Together we have accomplished what we set out to do by reversing the trajectory of large property tax levy increases to fund Kane County, i.e. from 50% in increases for seven years to frozen at zero for eight years.
We run the county and forest preserve with less property taxes than we did eight years ago. During my time as elected Chairman and chief administrator, we have paid down our public debt by 70%. Our public employee pension obligation is fully-funded at 95%. And, we have maintained our credit rating at AA+, equal to the U.S. Government and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.
Dave Rickert, our CPA County Treasurer, has been a strong ally in producing these results.
Despite the rancor, distraction, bloat, and incongruities that we see at state and federal government levels, Kane County represents an oasis of management competence and relative calm. Let’s keep it that way!
On a personal note, I feel strong, energetic, and engaged. Working 45-50 hour weeks serving others is a great privilege and pleasure professionally and politically for me. I intend to continue to work, using my public service and political experience, for at least another 10 to 15 years.
However, now is the time to place collective interests of our taxpayers and constituents ahead of individual ambitions of politicians who are supposed to serve them. Competent management performance and unity are our proper objectives. For the next 4-8-12 years in political terms, we need to assure those whom we serve that we will work together to provide county leadership that sustains the trajectory set during these past eight years.
Therefore, instead of running for a third 4-year term, I am endorsing Dave Rickert for Republican nominee for Kane County Chairman and will enthusiastically work for his election on November 3, 2020. In “absolute” experience terms, Dave has worked diligently for 20 years on the front line with taxpayers and constituents to make Kane County a place that we are all proud to call home. In “relative” political and governmental preparedness terms, neither of his Democrat opponents has proper attitude toward taxpayers, adequate stature, nor professional management experience in order to protect taxpayer and constituent interests. Dave has all three.
I intend to remain very active politically, especially in Kane County and Illinois, and have one more year to serve directly as Kane County elected board chairman and help in an important transition of responsibility. It’s OK to give someone else a turn to lead.”