These responses were submitted by Darin George Kaeb, the Libertarian candidate for McLean County Board in District 7. See more candidate responses.
Why do you want to represent your district on the McLean County Board?
As a concerned citizen I have brought up some good points and concerns to help my community. As a veteran I know what it is like to serve. Combine those tow factors and given the opportunity to serve on the county board I believe I could make a positive impact on our county that could hopefully have us, as a county, leading by example to the rest of the state. And I want to make sure the government is accountable for their actions.
What are your expectations for the McLean County Health Department in 2021 as they relate to the pandemic? What would you do as a County Board to help the department meet those expectations?
They are the ones with the medical degrees. I can understand there is a lot of fear and anxiety in this trying time even for medical professionals. So I would hope they would do their research and communicate with other medical experts so they can make the most informed choices they can. I just have to have faith that they can do what is right and just.
Aside from the pandemic, what are the most pressing public health concerns in McLean County, and what would you do as a County Board member to help address them?
There are many lower income families out there that may need to use the county health services, but with limited space they are forced to take time off work just to make limited appointment times. Either that or they are waiting until that one or two times a year when to get something done they may desperately need sooner. Seeing how many abandoned buildings there are here in Bloomington and Normal, I would suggest getting one of these buildings to make a larger clinic so these families have a little more flexibility and get the care they need.
For years, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council has addressed jail overcrowding and mental health. What additional issues would you like to see the CJCC focus on next?
I would say they need to focus on work ethic and job skills. And I am not saying a free education for inmates. Make them do various supervised jobs around the jail to earn it. I.E if plumbing needs done in the jail and an inmate is interested in plumbing, have the inmate work on it while supervised by the plumber and a guard.
Do you think the county should continue to operate its own nursing home? Why or why not?
The county nursing home has been a place for many CNA's to learn their trait of aiding and care for the elderly. And it has also been a place for many low income elderly to go if they have no family near by. It would be a sad day to see that facility be sold to anyone else. So I am for continuing to run the nursing home because we as members of the board are to serve ALL of our community not just some.
How would you evaluate whether to support offering economic incentives, such as tax breaks, to businesses to get them to expand or locate in McLean County?
I say first time business owners should get the better breaks. Many people have great business ideas but can't afford to advertise while trying to pay taxes. Limit the amount of breaks and length of time for more established businesses or for those who have or had operated more than one of their own business.
What would be your priorities if asked to consider controversial land-use questions, such as those surrounding wind turbines, solar farms, etc.?
I am actually interested in wind farms and solar farms because of their potential. I wish to find out how much Olympia High School has saved by going solar for their school. Our technologies have come a long way to produce more food on smaller amounts of land, yet we are building more neighborhoods with fewer amounts of people to live in them. I have a child on the way and I want her to be able to see that we have been trying to better the environment for her and her generation than just handing our problems over to them when it could be too late.
The County Board is unusual among local governments in that it’s partisan, with political parties attached to members’ names. Why are you a Republican, a Democrat, or a Libertarian?
I am a Libertarian because some of my view points line up with Democrats and some view points with Republicans. I've even been told some of my view points don't fully match Libertarians as well. But in my personal opinion which reflects only myself is as follows. And this may hold true for higher forms of government but, not all Democrats and Republicans, however the vast majority, are no more than 2 sides of the same coin that would rather turn people against each other by saying it has to be one way or the other. They rather point the finger as to who's fault something is then to try and compromise and do what is best for all. There is little to if any accountability within those 2 parties. I would rather be that voice that keeps them in check.
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