BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
DANVILLE — Economic development is an important factor for candidates running for three Vermilion County Board seats in District 6.
Incumbent Republicans John Alexander and Robert Fox are running for the board seats, as well as fellow party member Dennis Miller and Democratic candidate Michael Puhr.
Alexander and Puhr see the county’s future locked in what development can be brought within its borders.
“Job creation and business development are targets for our county, whose success relies on governments, businesses and citizens all doing their part and coordinating efforts,” Alexander said.
“The best way to keep Vermilion County financially stable and hold the line on taxes is through economic development, be it industrial, commercial or retail,” Puhr indicated. “This will benefit everyone in the county with a larger tax base from which to draw, increased total assessed valuations and, of course, jobs.”
Fiscal responsibility is the key, however, for Miller and Fox.
“It is crucial to maintain a county budget that is fiscally conservative,” Miller said. “Every day the citizens of our community are asked to live within a tight budget and I feel as though this should be no different for county government.”
For Fox, the county should keep the same fiscal responsibility “with each department within the county jurisdiction.”
County Board District 6 covers most of the northern side of Danville as well as a portion of Newell Township.
Current District 6 board member Craig Chambers opted not to run for re-election to the board.
Candidates for the district each have different views on what other issues deserve attention by the county board members. For Miller, crime is in the crosshairs for his district and county residents.
“The other key issue I feel is important for County Board District 6 is to work to lower crime and keep our communities safe,” he said. “This can be accomplished by working with our public safety offices to ensure they have the proper means to combat crime.”
Taxes for the residents in his district are a top priority for Fox.
“The people in my district pay more real estate tax than a couple of the other districts combined,” he said, adding he wants to keep the tax as low as possible.
“I also pay a lot of real estate taxes and think about the taxpayer every time I have voted on county board issues,” Fox said.
Alexander sees the need for the county to maximize resources through partnerships with both private and public entities.
“Adjusting and prioritizing our county services is a continuous challenge,” he said.
Puhr specifically applauded the work between city and county officials to merge their respective animal regulation operations.
“However, at this time I have some concerns with the upfront costs, employee costs, maintenance costs and fundraising which must happen continually,” he said.
Employment: Retired, Sunset Memorial Park, Greenwood, Inc. management team
Prior political experience: Danville City alderman, 2001-present
Employment: Executive director, Danville Family YMCA
Prior political experience: Vermilion County Board, June 2001-present; Potomac CUSD 10 Board of Education, 1980-88, 1990-94.
Employment: Retired, AT&T
Prior political experience: Vermilion County Board, 35 years; Vermilion County Clerk, 1982-1990.
Employment: Sygma Network
Prior political experience: None