These responses were submitted by Derek Evans, a Libertarian candidate for McLean County Board in District 3. See more candidate responses.
Why do you want to represent your district on the McLean County Board?
It has nothing to do with whether I want to represent McLean County District 3. Its the voters' choice on whether they want me to represent them. I plan to advocate for responsible spending that will lead to the ability to lower property taxes. I hope to show that Libertarians are a real option to lead outside the duopoly who will actually represent the interests of the people. While I hope to demonstrate how we can do more at a local level and rely less of the federal government so that we can return the power and liberties back to the citizens. We are so worried at who the president is that we often take little time to pay attention to local governments and their actions. I would hope to change that and get more people involved locally.
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?
I would expect the Health Department to be ready for any possible spike in COVID-19 cases as flu season approaches. I would encourage them to pursue a course of action that will let life return to normal for those populations who have already been found to this point to be unaffected by COVID-19 and to help facilitate resources for those in our population who can be affected. This virus has been politicized. There have been many actions taken by the State of Illinois and specifically the governor that have seemed to not align with common sense. I understand that most of these departments have been taking most of their guidance from the CDC. My hope would be that the Health Department distribute guidance appropriately and based on the science and let people decide their level of risk.
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?
Community mental health. This is the issue that we need to be helping the community tackle. There is no guarantee that this should even fall on the health department to fix. I feel that the health department should put out the information and guidance out, then let volunteer organizations and businesses step in and run with it. People want to help other people. Lets do everything we can to help facilitate citizens and businesses to help others and try to keep Government's hand in it to a minimum.
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 like to separate the two issues. Although one's mental health may increase the likelihood of that person's interactions with Law Enforcement, that doesn't mean that it is Law Enforcement's job to deal with this. I think too much is put on our law enforcement as it is and in these times it is causing undue stress on our officers. This doesn't always have the best results. Other issues I would like to see is getting our law enforcement involved in programs that help actually rehab non-violent drug offenders instead of imprison them for something that is a social problem, not a crime problem.
Do you think the county should continue to operate its own nursing home? Why or why not?
No, I would hope to transition this responsibility to some sort of private system. Private does not necessarily mean contracted or given to a business. There are volunteer, religious, and non-for-profit organizations that can handle this with less burden on the tax payers.
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 would advocate for tax breaks for everyone. A business shouldn't be able to move to an area at the expense of the tax payers. Businesses should want to move to our area based on the talent that we have and not how much money we are willing to give them. This whole system is backwards. Maybe we have to pay these businesses to move here because we make it too difficult through regulations for them to operate. Within the limits of a county board member, I want to make it easier for businesses to move to McLean County, not pay them to.
What would be your priorities if asked to consider controversial land-use questions, such as those surrounding wind turbines, solar farms, etc.?
If you own the land and want to lease/sell it to a company for solar or windmills and you're not hurting someone else in doing so, then feel free. There should be no eminent domain and the government shouldn't be offering any funding to make deals like this happen. There is a plethora of farm land for sale west of Bloomington and in the heart of District 3. I don't see where there is any problem here and if there is something controversial, its likely controversial because the government is either seizing the land and giving it to another or government giving grant money to someone to buy the land. Both are wrong in my opinion.
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 I have more faith in the individual and individual liberties than the other two parties. The other two parties want to control your pocket book and are only different on what they want to spend your money on. With Liberty comes Responsibility. It is my hope in my lifetime that people take responsibility and step up instead of constantly relying on government to fix problems as it is government's hand that often makes things worse. I will always advocate for the individual. I don't always have the right answer to every problem, no one does. But I will always approach every problem in the same way; with an open mind, without harming others or stealing their stuff, in a way that promotes individual liberty and individual responsibility.
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