Candidate profile: Fred Boch

Get ready for the 2018 Election

Voters in Belleville and Southern Illinois have several important decisions to make on Nov. 6.
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Voters in Belleville and Southern Illinois have several important decisions to make on Nov. 6.

Name: Fred C. Boch

Office seeking: St. Clair County Board District 23

Party: Republican

Age: 65+

City of residence: O’Fallon

Campaign website: Like “Fred Boch” on Facebook

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? When I first ran in 2014, I saw a need in my community and was asked to run for office. My educational background; 30+ years of successful business experience; and having served 6 years on a State Advisory Board had prepared me to serve my constituents.

My proven record since 2014 has included more County transparency & accountability than previous board members provided; working to lower property taxes; supporting Public Safety; monitoring MidAmerica Airport and supporting the “no kill” plan for St. Clair County dogs & cats. Re-election will enable me to continue my past efforts in these areas.

For example, I introduced the idea of paid parking (projected $1 million+ annual revenue). This is new revenue since parking was previously free and even used by residents of other states as well as people wintering in Florida. I oppose wasteful spending & property tax increases by all taxing bodies (schools, cities, townships, etc.) - not just the County.

Meet Fred C. Boch…..

  • U.S. Army Veteran

  • Realtor Broker for Coldwell Banker Brown of O’Fallon

  • Past Licensed Clinical Social Worker (30+ years) with a successful Private Practice throughout the U.S.

  • Active member of the First Baptist Church of O’fallon

  • Graduate of the Universities of Illinois (B.S.) & Nebraska (M.S.W.)

  • Jim Vernier, Mayor of Shiloh has recognized my efforts and stated, “I strongly urge you to vote for Fred since he has proven himself to be an active, hard-working advocate for residents of the Shiloh/O’Fallon area.”

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? It looks like medical costs will continue to rise in the future for everyone & not just the County. Even the Federal government is struggling with the issue and there is no easy answer. I wish I had a crystal ball to help solve this big issue.

I support not continuing to allow part-time lawyers to be covered by the County health insurance. In addition, as suggested by the recent audit, it may be time to ask the question of whether or not it is still advantageous for the County to continue to be self-insured.

What is your position on the oversight of MidAmerica Airport? Would you change anything? If so, what? MidAmerica has been the primary reason the County is in the red financially. The Public Building Commission provides the oversight of the Airport and decisions are made by the 7 Commissioners (one position is currently vacant) who are appointed by Chairman Kern.

The County Board receives no direct reports from the PBC even though we approve its funding. I personally attend all of the PBC monthly meetings; however, at least quarterly reports to the entire County Board would enable the rest of the Board to know what is going on. In addition, County Board members should again be allowed to sit in on all Executive Sessions of the PBC meetings.

The Airport was planned with 1994 requirements - pre TSA screening for passengers and baggage; new additional Federal ADA requirements; and the meeting of new life safety needs. The passenger growth to an estimate of 250,000 for 2018 requires the Airport to be modified and improved so it can better handle this number as well as any future growth. It is now the 6th busiest passenger airport in IL and will continue to be supported since it has a new Joint Use Agreement with Scott AFB.

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? Each elected County Board member has the opportunity to serve their constituents in a responsible manner that takes time throughout each month.

For example, since January 1st of this year, I have spent an average of 100+ hours/month (documented on monthly time sheets). This includes:

  • Preparation & attendance at the monthly County Board meetings;

  • Preparation & attendance at the following Committee meetings:

  • Animal Services monthly, Finance 2x/month, Grants monthly, Judiciary monthly, Property & Recreation monthly, Public Safety monthly, Emergency Readiness monthly, Economic Development monthly, and other “Special” Committee meetings as scheduled.

  • Attendance at Official County functions;

  • Attendance at meetings of the O’Fallon City Council & its numerous committee meetings; Shiloh Village Board of Trustees Regular meetings & other village meetings; and

  • O’Fallon Township meetings;

  • Meetings & communications with County staff, Constituents & other elected officials.

A change in the format of the monthly County Board & committee meetings would occur if there were more opportunities/time allowed to discuss/debate the agenda during these meetings.

County revenue has been declining in recent years. How should revenues be increased or do services have to be cut? Why? It is difficult for revenues to increase when the County has no control over unfunded State mandates, TIFs, VA disability exemptions, State funding being reduced, etc. It is imperative that we streamline operation of personnel in order to control/reduce costs but with the economy improving there may be new opportunities & businesses coming that provide more revenue for the County.

I support the Audit recommendations that all employees of St. Clair County should live within the County as per County ordinance for safety & liability reasons for the County. Another option mentioned in the Audit report which sounds possible & related to cross training is to consider use of labor pools where personnel move from office to office within the County building during surges in work flow, i.e., tax cycle process, election time, etc.