Name: Kirk Caponi
Immediate family members: Wife-Janelle. Sons-Dominic, Angelo
Office sought: County Board District 22
Party affiliation: Democrat
Previous elected positions and years served: 1997-98 Millstadt Jaycees President. 2001-2013 Millstadt Consolidated School Board 2007-2013 President of Board.
Why are you running?: I have always been very interested in public service and have always tried to do what I could for my community. I have many family and friends living throughout District 22 including Millstadt and the Orchards. Becoming a County Board member and representing them would be the best way I can directly affect their lives in a positive manner.
What is the biggest issue facing St. Clair County, and how should elected officials and county staff approach it?: We need to focus on building strong communities. As a school board member, I focused on building strong schools. For the county board that means ensuring public safety, attracting and retaining jobs and businesses and continuing to modernize our infrastructure. I want to give the sheriff the resources he needs to give county residents the level of community based policing they need and expect. I support the focus on using St. Clair County’s assets as a transportation center to build a strong economic base. I want to see the county continue to fund the road and bridge projects we know are essential to attracting new businesses and new jobs.
What are your views on MidAmerica Airport, and how should the county handle the future of the airport?: With a new round of base closings likely on the horizon, we need to do what it takes to keep Scott Air Force Base here. At the same time, we need to finally make the airport self-sustaining for the long haul so that it will not be a drain on taxpayers. I am optimistic about the real progress made in the last few years, but if I am elected, I want to sit down with the airport director and the county’s economic development team and take a hard look at the plans for the future.
What improvements do you want to see in how the county is run?: First and foremost, we need to bring a focus on customer service to every layer of county government. I also think we need to continue to find ways to introduce new technology and new approaches to making county services easier to access for residents. Finally, we need to be as accountable, ethical and transparent as possible in the operations of county government.
Do you plan to serve the full term of office?: Yes
Why should people vote for you?: I am a strong believer that all of us have a role in making our communities stronger. After running my own law office for the last 23 years and having the privilege of serving on the school board for 13 years has given me a well rounded skill set to become an effective county board member. I am ready for a new challenge and want to bring my commitment to service to the county board and to lend my experience to the many challenges and opportunities facing our county.