These responses were submitted by Hannah Beer, a Democratic candidate for McLean County Board in District 6. See more candidate responses.
Why do you want to represent your district on the McLean County Board?
I want to represent District 6 on the county board because, as a college student, I know that I can provide better representation for our Redbird community. The folks here at Illinois State make up a large portion of the population. We not only learn here, but we also work, eat and shop here. We bring a significant amount of revenue to McLean County, but not yet have an elected voice at the local level.
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?
Our community leaders need to step up and take the proper steps to navigate these difficult times brought into our community from COVID-19. Pandemics are not political, and neither are people's lives. Our community is facing unprecedented times and it is now time to do what is right to help us recover. As a County Board Member, I will call upon the leadership within county government to properly address the issues and strictly follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. We must do everything in our power to keep our community safe in these times by keeping our community healthy and supporting local businesses that are in financial distress due to the pandemic.
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?
Access to mental health services for all of our citizens is a huge priority for me. I believe that we should expand the current services available and fully fund these efforts so that our community has somewhere to turn in a time of 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?
Ending cash bail and ending the incentive to fill the county jail.
Do you think the county should continue to operate its own nursing home? Why or why not?
Yes, it is a service that is needed to help care for our aging populations. For some families, the county nursing home is the only option for care of their loved ones. Knowing that the county can provide a safe, comfortable and nurturing place for people to go can provide much support in difficult times. Our nursing home must continue to be financially supported by the county because the people who live there or the future deserve proper care possible. They are still a part of this community, regardless of age, ability or circumstance.
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 first consider how these businesses will benefit McLean County while also looking at existing businesses within. I believe we should be supporting our local businesses first and then looking to what can be added by bringing in new companies.
What would be your priorities if asked to consider controversial land-use questions, such as those surrounding wind turbines, solar farms, etc.?
My first priority would be to evaluate the environmental impacts they have within the county. I am supportive of property owners' right to use their land how they see fit, especially if it means bringing in renewable energy sources to McLean County.
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 Democrat because I believe in bringing more people to the table. The more people who get a chance to be involved in the decision making processes, the more well rounded and inclusive our communities become. I will do everything in my power to advocate for and with the people to defend our rights and bring prosperity to all.
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