These responses were submitted by Jeff Bertrand, a Democratic candidate for McLean County Board in District 2. See more candidate responses.
Why do you want to represent your district on the McLean County Board?
Our district deserves representation that is out in the community actively making it better. I will deliver on that every day. I will strive to be available for all members of our district and look forward to hearing from everyone that has a need from the county board.
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?
My expectations are to lead by example while we proceed with caution with a virus that at this time we know very little about. My expectations are that we pioneer an approach to keep cases to a minimum while working with businesses that may be struggling by advocating for the assistance they need on the state level.
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?
I truly believe that we can do a better job addressing mental health with an approach that sends social workers out for someone that is struggling with an illness rather than locking them up with the hopes that will reform them.
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 love to see a more aggressive approach to people struggling with a drug addiction. Incarceration does very little to stop the problem outside of the person affected stopping while in custody.
Do you think the county should continue to operate its own nursing home? Why or why not?
Yes. I believe that the most vulnerable in our county should know that they will have a place to go when the time comes that they can no longer care for themselves.
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?
How many jobs will they bring in? Are these jobs being created for members of our county? If those answers are yes I will do my due diligence to work with all members of the board to entice the business to make that job creation happen.
What would be your priorities if asked to consider controversial land-use questions, such as those surrounding wind turbines, solar farms, etc.?
Again for me that is a simple approach. How many local jobs can be created? What is the affect on our local climate/carbon footprint? What is the sustainability of these projects as far as maintenance goes? If the benefits outweigh the risks involved with the money to support then I would be all for going all in on such items.
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 grew up in a strong union family and like most union families I have supported Democratic initiatives to side with the worker rather than the executives. However in many areas I can be seen as a moderate candidate and will strive to keep a level head to work across the aisle to ensure that we are keeping our citizens best interest in mind.
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