Four seeking three spots in DuPage County Board GOP primary
Updated: March 29, 2012 4:03PM
Incumbents Brian Krajewski of Downers Grove and John Curran of Woodridge are facing two challengers in the March 20 Republican primary for three DuPage County Board District 3 representatives.
The two Republican challengers are former board member Kenneth Moy of Hinsdale and Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso. Republican incumbent Michael McMahon decided to not seek re-election.
Sharon E. Bryant of Bolingbrook is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot.
Krajewski, 49, is an attorney and certified public accountan. He served as mayor of Downers Grove from 1999-2007, losing a re-election bid. He was on the DuPage Water Commission from 2000-2005. He was elected to the County Board in December 2010.
“We did a good job last year lowering the budget by $10 million,” he said. “We’re revamping the procedures for sick and vacation time for employees, which will save about $20 million, and I’m involved in implementing a new accounting system.”
Krajewski said the board’s focus needs to be a continued effort to find ways for greater efficiency, which will save money; and long-range planning.
Curran, 38, was elected to the county board in 2008 and was appointed vice chairman in 2011. He served on the WoodridgeVillage Board from 2005-2008 and works as a supervisor in the Cook County State’s Attorney office.
“I want to continue the work we’ve started,” he said. “We’ve downsized and have not had a property tax increase over the last three years for the county.”
Curran said he was involved in a rewriting the county’s personnel policies, something that will save $20 million to $28 million over the next several years.
“We’ve changed the overtime policy, and we changed the policy for unused sick time,” he said. “Employees used to be able to accumulate 175 sick days and cash in on those six months before they retired. That artificially inflated pensions. We have very little control over pensions because the state is in charge of most of that, but we were able to make that change.”
Incorporating cost-saving personnel policy changes into union contracts is the next step, Curran said.
“About 20 percent of our work force is union,” he said. “Some of those contracts aren’t up for a while, but we need to take each one as it comes up and make these changes.”
Curran also said it’s important to continue to seek ways to consolidate services.
“We did that with our youth detention center, which has been closed, and we now use the detention center in Kane County,” he said. “The key is how to continue to deliver the services the county delivers in a less expensive way. And you do that with consolidation and cutting overhead.”
Moy, 78, served on the board from 1984-1996; he became a DuPage County judge in 1996 and worked in that capacity until retiring about three years ago.
“I’ve been sitting around, not doing a heck of a lot,” Moy said. “I feel I have something to offer. I don’t think they are going in the right direction; they’re not planning for the future. I see tax revenue going down, and the county is getting older.”
Moy said if elected he will look to cut in half the $50,000 annual salary board members are paid, and eliminate their pensions, which are 80 percent of the salary.
“I’m sorry if I didn’t think about it when I was on the board before,” Moy said. “We didn’t know that the gravy train would stop. The county staff does a great job, but the board members shouldn’t be getting paid $50,000 for what is a very-part-time job.”
Grasso said he believes his experience in municipal government and 12 years on the county Board of Health make him a good fit to be on the County Board.
“I’m looking to consolidate government services,” he said. “We can eliminate duplicate services and keep services high.”
Grasso said shrinking revenue for the county presents probably the biggest challenge for the County Board.
“I think the county is well run, but it has its challenges,” he said. “The state continues to add unfunded mandates to counties and municipalities, and we have to do what we can to have no more of that.”