Name: Albert Meints “Bert” Hampton
Office seeking: St. Clair County Board District 14
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City of residence: Swansea
Campaign website: Facebook page - hampton4countyboard
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I have a granddaughter. I am ashamed of the State and County we are leaving to her and her generation. St. Clair County has some of the highest taxes in the Country with a history of gross financial mismanagement bordering on malfeasance. We MUST end tax oppression, end fiscal malfeasance, end the corruption brought on by one party rule decade after decade, and end the obscenity of gerrymandering. County taxpayer support of the East St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners will never cease under the current political regime. BND reporting of the voter fraud corruption below the hill is a matter of record.
St. Clair County’s health fund is $3.3 million in debt, according to its most recent audit. The debt has increased over the last two years. What measures would you support to reduce the debt? The BND has covered this issue. Suggesting that other political jurisdictions facing the same issue had 1. Increased the share of premiums paid by employees. 2. Establishing wellness programs. 3. Increased deductibles. 4. Shift employees to high-deductible plans. On the other hand, why does the COUNTY have over 900 employees? Perhaps simple whittling down the Patronage Army might solve the problem.
What is your position on the oversight of MidAmerica Airport? Would you change anything? If so, what? The County Budget (p30) shows seven Directors, Supervisors, Superintendents, and Deputy Directors plus three “Executive” Secretaries and Assistants but ONLY seven actual rank and file people to be supervised and directed. That is an incredibly top-heavy employment structure. Then there are the political payments to the Chicago machine via a $6,000 a month contract to a Mayor Daily family member for services as a lobbyist, reported in the BND. Further, there is the fire house duplication matter, the lack of ‘commercial’ aviation experience by any of the all political Board, conflicts of interest by some Board members who serve on competing airport boards, and the failure to establish a genuine Airport Authority.
St. Clair County board meetings last an average of 30 minutes, according to a review of meeting minutes from the last two years. Some committee meetings for the most part last less than 15 minutes. Is this enough time for county board members to conduct county business and earn a $19,419 salary? Why or why not? In answer to your question - Of course not. The short meeting times just prove the behind closed doors, old style, smoked filled back room, good ole boy’s method of conducting business. Any fool who attends a County Board meeting can see the closed-door system at work. A small number of County Board members spend significant time conducting County affairs. They just do it behind closed doors. About a third of the current Board has no idea what is going on. They do not pick up and read their monthly meeting information packets. They simply vote as directed by the wishes of each committee chair as the agenda rolls along. Your BND reports have witnessed this time after time.
County revenue has been declining in recent years. How should revenues be increased or do services have to be cut? Why? Put the thousands of parcels of property now owned by the County back into private hands and thus back on the tax rolls. Place a moratorium on TIFs and thus their crippling burden on tax payers. Tax collections would go up if St Clair County became once again a great place to live. We are losing population. Why? Because people are fleeing high taxation that destroys property values. Look at East St. Louis. They have lost over half their population. The remaining people must pony up twice as much in taxes to make up for the lost revenue. The taxes there are horrendous and a vision of what is in store for the rest of us. We MUST stop the exodus. The huge tax exemption provided veterans is an issue. I strongly support the concept, but not the size of the burden placed on the remaining tax payers. While I am one of those that benefit from that law, I freely admit there is no doubt limits need to be put in place. Perhaps applying veteran’s exemptions to just the first $200,000 of value would take the excesses out of the program. However, that is not a County Board issue. It is a matter of State law.