Name: Chrissy Dutton
Office seeking: Madison County Board District 15
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City of residence: Bethalto
Campaign website: www.facebook.com/chrissydutton.madisoncountyboard
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? Born and raised in Madison County, I have strong ties to each of the communities I represent. I grew up in the Wood River area and attended Roxana schools, graduating from Roxana High School in 1996. I am a mom with two sons and Bethalto has been our home for the last 10 years. I am running because the concerns of the taxpayers are extremely important to me and I want to be a part of making good, common sense policy. The hardworking citizens of Madison County need to know their tax dollars are being used wisely and they are receiving the maximum return on their hard-earned dollars. People should vote for me because I have served for the past 21 months with honesty and integrity, representing my constituents and all the citizens of Madison County. I have listened to the concerns about wasteful spending and rising property taxes and took action with my vote to lower the tax levy and freeze elected officials’ salaries. I believe I offer a new perspective and positive solutions, and I would like to continue serving and fighting for the taxpayers in Madison County.
How will you keep property taxes low? Many politicians say they will fight to lower property taxes and cut wasteful spending, but in my short time on the board, I’ve done it. I voted in favor of lowering the property tax levy by $1.8 million while maintaining a balanced budget and increasing funding for law enforcement. I have also worked alongside my fellow board members to freeze the salaries for elected officials who still make over $110,000, which amounts to approximately $150,000 when including health benefits and retirement contributions. As County Board members I believe we should lead by example and that is why I will always vote against pay raises and benefits for county board members.
What is something the board should be doing, but isn’t doing right now? The Madison County Board should be leading efforts to streamline our local governmental units to reduce the size of redundant and duplicate offices. Illinois has nearly 7000 units of government which is more than any other state by a large margin. Our property tax burden in Illinois has been through the roof and reducing units of government by consolidation can help lessen that burden for taxpayers. Earlier this year I proposed a resolution that passed in two committees and the full county board to put a referendum on the November ballot for the voters to decide whether to consolidate the Recorder’s office in with the County Clerk’s office. This is one way in which we can eliminate an unnecessary elected position and combine the duties of both offices into one. Our county board should continue to look for more ways to consolidate and eliminate units of government to become more efficient and cost-effective.
Since December 2016, Madison County Board meetings have jumped from lasting an average of 36 minutes to an average of one hour and 11 minutes. Is this an efficient use of time? Why or why not? Public officials are elected to serve the people, not punch a time clock. I am thankful for the time I am given to represent and be a voice for the people of my district. We are paid for our service on the board and we get one meeting a month in which we are all gathered together to discuss very important issues. We should use any amount of time necessary to do our due diligence to make the right decisions concerning our county and the taxpayers. Historically the Madison County Board has been heavily weighted with one party over the other. Now that the board is more evenly represented by both parties, we are seeing more issues being publicly debated instead of just rubber-stamped. If it takes us half an hour longer to do what’s right, I think it is time used wisely.