These responses were submitted by Republican McLean County Board member David Selzer, who faces Democratic challenger Elizabeth Johnston. The questionnaire was prepared by GLT in partnership with the League of Women Voters of McLean County. See more candidate responses.
Explain any experience you have working or serving with McLean County government.
I have served on the County Board since 2000 holding chairmanships of various committees. Most of my time has been spent on finance with a term as the Vice-Chair of the Board.
Last fall, the county had to close a $1.5 million budget gap — a deficit that led to an early retirement program and other cuts. What would you prioritize in future budgets if revenues remain tight?
The early retirement program saved the county money. I would look at that again. i would also look at each department and see if there is a better way we can deliver that service. Please note: we already do this now. Priority must be given to public safety and health.
What would be your approach to evaluating economic incentives to help bring (or expand) businesses in McLean County?
Worth what paid for. You must take a risk at times, not always knowing if your decisions will pay off. I am proud of the incentives we have given Rivian and Brandt, both of whom are exceeding expectations for job creation and growth. You have to have a complete bag of weapons to use based on the circumstances presented.
Do you think McLean County should establish a countywide election commission? Why or why not?
No. I believe the County Clerk does an excellent job running the elections and I see no reason to duplicate efforts. The idea of a commission being non-political is just ridiculous. Someone will need to appoint those seats so it immediately becomes political-at least with the clerk, the voters are choosing who they want to head their elections.
Do you support changing County Board meeting times — from the morning to afternoons or evenings?
We tried this before and there was no immediate change to attendance or participation. With today's technology and the high cost of overtime for keeping employees out of hours, I do not support it. The majority of the work done by a county is at the committee level. Committee meetings are already in the late afternoon. If those were to be addressed I would consider it.
How do you think McLean County government can help to provide more affordable housing in the area?
The County does not provide housing. The best I could see would be through the State or Federal grant process where the county could act as the fiduciary agent.
How would you describe the relationship between the County Board, the Board of Health and the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council? What role the County Board play in guiding health policy, governance?
The County board and the health board were created by state statue, They each have specific roles and responsibilities that sometimes puts the county board over the board of health (budget, contracts etc) and there are items that they can work autonomously on. The BHCC is also a creation that has certain roles and responsibilities specifically for behavioral health. The BHCC is chaired by the county board chairman and the county board has appointment power to the board of health as well. A clear plan, signed off by all 3 entities, guarantees us a well oiled health machine for the citizens of the county.
What would be your approach to evaluating land-use requests involving renewable energy like wind and solar?
Each one needs to be looked at separately based on the property and the benefit to the community. I would like to see a program, partnered with energy companies, to utilize our ditches, ravines and un-tillable land for solar and wind, I would like to see us use highway right of way and overpasses and turn offs as the first option. That being said, at the end of the day, the landowner has right to use their property as they see fit and if they choose wind or solar or corn I will support them.