Metro-East News

Prenzler to challenge Dunstan as Madison County Board chairman

Madison County’s treasurer will challenge its County Board chairman in the 2016 election.

Treasurer Kurt Prenzler announced Friday he will challenge longtime Chairman Alan Dunstan for his position in the 2016 election.

Prenzler, who is the only Republican in countywide office in Madison County, said he is tired of “machine politics.”

“Nothing seems to change when it comes to party politics,” he said. “The County Board doesn’t operate as a ‘deliberative’ body.

“We need to put the interest of taxpayers over party.”

Dunstan has served as Madison County Board Chairman since 2002. He issued a statement Friday that he was proud of the county’s record on fiscal policy, government and reduced reliance on property taxes, as well as regional leadership on issues like flood protection and transportation improvements.

“And we have done this while maintaining Madison County in one of the better financial conditions of any county in Illinois,” Dunstan said. “I am proud of our record on economic development and job creation.

“Madison County has firmly moved into the 21st century and our future is bright.”

Prenzler said as treasurer, he has automated tax sales and cut his budget by 30 percent while shifting investments into local banks. As chairman, he said, he would reduce the county’s property tax levy 10 percent without cutting services, upkeep or workers’ jobs.

“I would like to stop the padding of the annual budget and put together one that reflects reality,” he said. “As a CPA, I know that’s possible.”

He also said he wanted to focus on “a more deliberative County Board.”

“No one speaks out even if they feel something isn’t right. When they do, they are threatened or intimidated,” he said. “Everyone on the board should have a voice.

“No one should feel threatened when they ask questions or wish to be a part of the process.”

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald