Name: C. Catherine Demers
Office seeking: St. Clair County Board District #1
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City of residence: Collinsville
Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineDemers4CountyBoard
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am a concern citizen who believes that someone needs to stand up for the residents of County Board District #1. I am not a politician. I want to restore integrity to the County and end wasteful spending. We need fiscal responsibility in this county.
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? I would end full time benefits to part time positions. Further, we need to have all employees pay a share of the health care expense. The private industry requires that employees pay a share of their healthcare. I think it is time that county employees did the same.
What is your position on the oversight of MidAmerica Airport? Would you change anything? If so, what? Unelected officials currently oversee MidAmerica Airport. These individuals are only responsible to the head of the county board. We need to ensure that those overseeing the Airport are directly responsible to the voters. If we cannot do that, we need to consider privatizing MidAmerica. If St. Louis can consider privatizing Lambert, we should also consider the possibility of privatizing MidAmerica.
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? Thirty minutes is not enough time to conduct county business. The County board meetings are only long enough to rubber stamp the agenda. It seems that the work is done in subcommittee meetings, but they are only long enough to rubber stamp their agendas as well. These meetings only lead to the logical question of where is the business of the county being discussed? And, why is it not discussed where the public can be a part of it as required by the Open Meetings Act?
County revenue has been declining in recent years. How should revenues be increased or do services have to be cut? Why? Before additional revenue is added, all aspects of the county government should undergo a functional audit to see where the waste is and cut it out. There is no such thing as a government entity that does not have waste. Before adding revenue or cutting services, waste should be cut, and fat trimmed. Once that is done, decisions can be made as to which way we should proceed. Services may not need to be cut, if we can get control of the waste that is MidAmerica Airport.