These responses were submitted by Libertarian Michael Suess, who faces Republican Gerald Thompson for McLean County Board. 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.
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?
I would work to protect essential functions that improve quality of life for McLean County residents as a whole. Programs that impact only a few and non-essential county jobs may be impacted as a result.
What would be your approach to evaluating economic incentives to help bring (or expand) businesses in McLean County?
Giving incentives puts more tax burden on others in the community. These programs should be used sparingly. That being said, if the anticipated benefit of bringing a large company to the county pays for the short term program, I would support it.
Do you think McLean County should establish a countywide election commission? Why or why not?
I do so long as it is comprised of volunteers. This commission would ensure all elections around the county are done so in a fair manner.
Do you support changing County Board meeting times — from the morning to afternoons or evenings?
I do. This would allow more members of the community to be involved.
How do you think McLean County government can help to provide more affordable housing in the area?
McLean County should let the market dictate housing prices.
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 should defer health decision to the other boards barring large scale economic impacts.
What would be your approach to evaluating land-use requests involving renewable energy like wind and solar?
There would be a need to balance economic benefits with what voters in the area would like. This may involve putting restrictions on how close to residential zones these structures can be placed.