Candidate profile: Philip Chapman

NAME: Philip Chapman

AGE: 64

IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Melissa Snyder Chapman (Wife)

OCCUPATION: Chaplain Federal Service US Army and Federal Bureau of Prisons

OFFICE SOUGHT: County Board Distict 3



Why are you running for this office?

The United States, Illinois, and Madison County are headed the wrong direction. We need to move a different way. I seek to make county government more accountable to voters through tax reduction, eliminating waste, creating jobs, and through a 'system reboot'.

What would be your top priority if elected or re-elected?

My top priority is to lower taxes. I favor a 20 percent cut in the general fund levy, a 10 percent cut in the county portion of the property tax. In addition, I support a Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) which would ensure taxes could only be raised a certain amount based upon population and inflation. Any raises past the stipulated amount would have to be placed before voters in a referendum. In addition, excess taxes would be returned to taxpayers in the form of a check. I also seek to assist beleaguered taxpayers through revitalization of the county enterprise zones. County unemployment and underemployment are above the Illinois and the national average. People leave Madison County due to high taxes and no jobs. The county needs to create good full time jobs and to expand the tax base.

What other changes or improvements would you seek in this office?

I seek a 'system reboot'. I support county office 'term limits' and an end to "backdoor referendums'. Term limits would bring fresh people and ideas and help put an end to the 'political in crowd' that controls the system through large donations and hidden influence. An end to 'Backdoor Referendums' would make any government entity seeking to raise your property tax for bonds or to raise sales taxes to ask voters' permission.

Madison County is considering a 5-cent cut to its property tax rate. Are you in favor? Why or why not?

County residents are over taxed. We need to reduce the taxes. I favor of a 20 percent Cut to the general fund levy and a 10 percent cut to the county portion of the property tax. In addition, A TAX PAYER's BILL of RIGHTS (TABOR) would best address over taxing.

Why should the voters elect you?

I recognize Madison County needs to change. We need new ideas and people on the board. We suffer a stagnant economy. People leave due to high taxes and few jobs. My election represents change. I'm not connected or related to the Madison County's 'political in crowd'. I have never held office, but do have a proven track record of helping to reduce people's taxes. I worked to place the 20 percent cut in the general fund levy on this fall's ballot. In addition, I worked to defeat the Madison County jail bond issue the political in crowd would have used to let bonds and further increase your taxes to build the "Taj Mahal of Jails". The project would have cost $26 million. Afterwards the county decided they could fix the jail with about $8 million using money on hand.. We helped save tax payers $18 million. Similarly, I helped defeat the 1 percent sales tax which would have picked your pocket every time you went to the store while driving badly needed business away from Madison County. As a retired federal employee I have the time and training to devote to the county board position. My training includes; management, budgeting, treasurer / basic accountant, logistics, writing, counseling, speaking, criminal justice issues, and as a contractor technical representative. I will use my 29 years of experience and training to serve those I represent. I will not take a pension.