Monday, March 19, 2012
 
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Answers to chamber of commerce questionnaire for county board candidates

Jan Schumacher

Incumbent

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[March 19, 2012]  The following is Jan Schumacher's response to the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce questionnaire for candidates in the election of Logan County Board members:

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1. Full name: Jan Schumacher

2. Occupation: Public relations/writer

3. Party Affiliation: Republican

4. Why have you chosen to run for a county board seat?

Although I've accomplished a great deal in my first term on the board, much still needs to be done to move Logan County toward a bright future. I'd appreciate the opportunity to continue to represent local citizens in making sure we're doing all we can to help the county thrive.

5. Why do you think you will be the best choice for a seat on the county board?

Since taking office 3 years ago, I've made sure it's not been business as usual in the county. I've helped lead the charge in identifying ways to save taxpayer money and implement changes so Logan County can operate more efficiently and professionally. I thoroughly research issues before voting. I've proven my leadership ability by tackling tough projects on the Insurance, Personnel and Safety Committees which I chair. I take seriously the role of representing the taxpayers' interest on the board. I'm also a 2010 graduate of U of I/United Counties Council of Illinois Leadership Academy.

6. How will you ensure effective two-way communication with constituents?

I believe in an open door policy. Since I took office, I've been one who has encouraged the use of email in communicating with the public. I will continue to be available to discuss issues with residents via email or telephone, as well as attending and participating in many local events where I can discuss issues in person. If I'm still assigned to represent the county on the chamber board of directors, I will continue to solicit input from chamber board members, as I have done from time-to-time in the past.

7. How might you work to understand the needs of county office holders and other recipients of county dollars long before budget time?

As a member of the county Finance Committee, I review each department's budget and expenditures not only when we prepare the budget, but also throughout the year. Additionally, I have a good working relationship with department heads through my chairmanship of the Insurance, Safety and Personnel Committees, where we deal with issues that directly affect county departments.

8. Please describe your main platform for running.

Logan County is at a critical juncture. We need to get serious about our future, or we'll face a serious decline in our economy and quality of life. I pledge to continue to be a voice on the county board for making decisions with the long-term welfare of the county in mind. I also will continue to make certain the county operates with integrity and professionalism. I will continue to explore ways to save taxpayer money as I did in my first term through writing grants, implementing energy conservation projects and identifying ways to save on insurance. I'm committed to representing our residents through my service on the county board.

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9. Explain how you will collaborate with local organizations to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of Logan County.

I hope to continue my formal involvement with the chamber as the county board representative, and will continue my informal involvement with Economic Development, Tourism and Main Street Lincoln, as well as other entities, to see where the county can provide support or assistance in their commendable endeavors to improve Logan County. No elected official can create a vision for the community out of his or her own mind, but rather must gather the hopes and dreams of local residents and work with various entities to see those hopes and dreams realized.

10. Explain how you will partner with city governments to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of each community?

I will encourage the board to work with local city and village governments on collaborative projects when possible. I also will continue to be in touch on an informal basis with leaders in Lincoln, Elkhart, Middletown, Broadwell, Atlanta and Mt. Pulaski.

11. When in office, what will you do to ensure transparency regarding the work of the County Board?

Of course all meetings of the county board itself, and its committees, are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at those meetings, as it should be. Currently, minutes from county board meetings are posted on the county's website, as well as each year's budget and auditor's reports. I would like to see minutes of the county board committees be added to the website as well.

12. What is your definition of economic development and how do you see that happening in Logan County?

Economic development is the identification and implementation of measures that will improve the economy throughout Logan County including retention of existing jobs, recruitment of new jobs and enhancing the quality of life to attract new businesses, residents and visitors. Until recently, Logan County had been growing in spite of ourselves. But, to really thrive we needed to chart our own course, which is what the new Economic Development Master Plan does.

13. What will you do to help enhance economic development for the county?

I will support measures proposed by the Economic Development Partnership on a case-by-case basis, particularly those in the current Economic Development Master Plan. I will also advocate for new, creative approaches to help the county's economy with new jobs and increased tax revenue. I would also like to see the county become more aggressive in developing tourism, an industry which requires few public services but generates thousands of dollars in sales tax and motel tax revenue. We have the rich heritage and charming communities to allow us to thrive as a visitor destination, but to do so tourism must become a priority.

[Text copied from file received]

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