Candidate profile: Robert Allen Jr.

Name: Robert Allen Jr.

Office seeking: St. Clair County Board District 1

Party: Democrat

Age: 55

City of residence: Fairmont City

Campaign website: NA

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running to continue to serve my constituents in County Board District 1 with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have shown in the past 5 and 1/2 years. The residents in County Board District 1 have come to know me and how I respond to their needs, and I want to continue serving them at the high level of competency they have come to know and expect from their county board representative.

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? Unfortunately, we are not the only local government in this country suffering from increased health care costs, due to several factors, such as an aging workforce and higher costs for prescriptions and medical care. Several measures that I would support that have proven successful for other agencies facing the same concern are implementing wellness programs and providing incentives to motive employees to live a healthier lifestyle, which would help to lower health care costs in the long-term.

What is your position on the oversight of MidAmerica Airport? Would you change anything? If so, what? My position is that the Public Building Commission works effectively and efficiently with the Mid America Airport Director. Together, due to their oversight, they have done an outstanding job of attracting new business, where new routes continue to be added, and the number of passengers utilizing the airport continues to increase. Mid-America Airport continues to rise in the ranks of being a premiere airport, not only in this state, but also in the country.

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 regards to the time spent during the County Board and committee meetings, all agenda items are fully addressed. We welcome the public to attend these meetings and to engage in discussions regarding any concerns they may have. The time spent in committee meetings and the County Board meeting are only a fraction of the time I spend each month serving the community. The majority of my time spent performing my duties as County Board Member is interacting with the community, fielding phone calls on issues that may arise, and participating in events in the neighborhoods that comprise County Board District 1.

County revenue has been declining in recent years. How should revenues be increased or do services have to be cut? Why? Economic development in St. Clair County is the key to continue to provide increased revenue. The joint public-private partnership that rebuilt Front Street on the riverfront in East St. Louis is a great example of economic development that will help to bring in more revenue to the County in the future.