Candidate profile: Matthew Stirrup

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: Matt Stirrup

Office seeking: County Board Member District 27

Party: Republican

Age: 45

City of residence: Fairview Heights

Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/StirrupForCountyBoard

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running to make St. Clair County a place for prosperity. For over 40 years our area has seen decline and mismanagement in our local government. All residents of St. Clair County deserve better. Our current district representation has been on the board for more than 32 years and has voted for most of what has put St. Clair County in the position it is in today, higher taxes and less to show for it. We don’t need yes men or women representing us, we need someone who will ensure the voice of district 27 and the rest of St. Clair County is heard. We need to bring prosperity not only to our county but to our state. It starts at this level.

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? We don’t have to look too far back in the past to remember being told the ACA will lower healthcare costs. And yet this is another bill the tax payers of St. Clair County will be paying. We don’t need anymore increase in taxes. We need negotiators for take this back to insurance companies and lower costs. We don’t need to hire outside firms and waste more taxpayer dollars as has happened. The employees of St. Clair County deserve better and it’s up to the board to ensure they get it. We also live in one of the unhealthiest counties in the state. This is a direct reflection on current leadership and how resources are spent.

What is your position on the oversight of Mid-America Airport? Would you change anything? If so what? In 2013 major publication described Mid-America Airport as a getting “little traction.” Current county leaderships’ solution to the issue is to keep throwing good money after bad. The oversight is appalling and it has never turned a profit since inception in 1998. It’s time for a change in management and if it cannot show a positive change in 5 years then it’s time to cut losses and sell the property so it can be properly managed.

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 the county board members to conduct County business and earn a $19,419 salary? Why or why not? I’ve been to many county board meeting, posting some on line for constituents, and feel the public is truly not being represented. If our current board members were being paid $40/hr they would have to work 485 hours a year hours to make their salary. As a representative for District 27 I will ensure out taxpayers money is spent wisely and I will look for ways to reduce costs to create responsible pay.

County revenue has been declining in recent years how should revenues be increased or do services have to be cut? Why? As a fiscal conservative and someone who believes in small government we need to ensure taxpayers are not flipping the bill for services that are not received or needed. Our board needs to make tough decisions that affect how we operate and get a better hold on how are tax dollars are spent. From mismanagement of the airport to county health insurance to recent county tax increases just shows how dysfunctional St. Clair County’s approach to being responsible with taxpayer dollars. We have to demand better from our elected officials!