Dear Friends and Colleagues: You know me as a family man, member of St. David’s Episcopal Church, active Aurora community member and a Teamster of 35 years. I trust that in these various roles I have consistently led efforts to address problems and create positive places for all.
I am reintroducing myself to you as a candidate for Kane County Board Chair. My decision comes from my commitment to working families. The current Board Chair, Chris Lauzen, demonstrated a lack of leadership and empathy for county employees during a 43-day strike by Teamsters Local 330. These county employees are bachelors’ level judiciary service professionals, many of whom have taken part-time jobs to supplement their low salaries. Instead of respecting the skills and professionalism of these county employees, I watched the Board Chair cry broke. He failed to seek an equitable resolution during contract negotiations resulting with the workers agreeing to a contract that took away important raises. Many of these workers, who live paycheck to paycheck, felt they had no choice but to return to work.
The Board Chair’s lack of respect continued following the strike when he attempted to change the employees’ insurance provider to allegedly save the county a million dollars in insurance premiums. Numerous requests by County Board members for documentation on this matter failed and the board subsequently voted down this insurance provider change. Chairman Lauzen made one more attempt to hurt the county employees by trying to rescind the contracts already unanimously approved. He delayed signing them for several months claiming to not understand the pay structure. This demonstrates not only a lack of empathy but also an inability to perform and lead basic county board functions. This was the last straw for me.
This lack of concern for county employees and their families, and lack of leadership in county governance must end. I am ready to take up that challenge. I am announcing my candidacy for Kane County Board Chairperson. But I cannot accomplish this without the support of my family, friends and colleagues. I will need financial support and boots on the ground in order to get this done.
“I have always tried to be a voice for the marginalized. My passion for standing up for working families has helped me lead workers through and resolve many conflicts with contractors. Whether it be leading negotiations to keep workers’ jobs, fighting for a living wage or standing next to workers on a picket line in support of healthcare, I will stand up for working families in Kane County.”