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Lauzen, Klinkhamer debate Kane chair role

Debate between Chris Lauzen Sue Klinkhamer two candidates for Kane County Board Chairman St Charles Thursday Oct. 04 2012. |

Debate between Chris Lauzen and Sue Klinkhamer, two candidates for Kane County Board Chairman in St Charles on Thursday, Oct. 04, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 15, 2012 6:35AM

Democrat Sue Klinkhamer and Republican Chris Lauzen each tried to draw clear lines during a debate for the race of Kane County Board chairman.

The debate was held Thursday by the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County.

Klinkhamer, the former mayor of St. Charles, said she views the chairman as a “legislative leader” and supports hiring an administrator to run the day-to-day operations.

“Until Kane County takes steps to change the structure, it will never operate effectively or efficiently,” Klinkhamer said. “Until then, it is a breeding ground for corruption and micro-managing.”

Lauzen, the longtime state senator from Aurora, said his priorities are to freeze the property tax levy and even the perception of pay-to-play cronyism in county government.

Klinkhamer said if taxpayers are looking for relief, the county should reduce the size of the board from 24 to 18 members. She said board members make $24,000 per year and receive full benefits, while part-time county employees do not get benefits.

Klinkhamer said a reduction in property tax revenues would have a negative impact on public safety services.

Lauzen said voters should see a “clear choice” of different approaches to running county government.

“I want to do this job, and I am excited about the administrative part of it. I don’t think you have to pay someone twice as much to bring in an administrator. It is a terrible idea,” Lauzen said. “Where I come from both personally and professionally, every nickel counts. People are being taxed out of their homes and looking to us for leadership.”

Lauzen said he supports a ban on corporate contributions from companies doing significant business with the county and campaign contribution limits of $500 for individuals.

“The idea of gifts being given to anybody in the decision-making process should be squeezed out in an ethics ordinance,” he added.

Klinkhamer said she is running an unconventional campaign because she is frustrated by the corruption in politics. She said voters will not get robocalls or see yard signs for her. She asked voters to donate to their chosen social service agency, rather than her campaign.

“You should accept nothing — no campaign contributions,” Klinkhamer said. “One of my frustrations in this is that is has become so political.”

Klinkhamer said she is opposed to video gambling. Lauzen said video gambling is the “crack cocaine” of gambling and he voted against legislation in the General Assembly. Klinkhamer accused Lauzen of accepting money from its supporters, which Lauzen denied.

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