Name: Michael J. Donahue
Campaign contact information:
- Facebook: Kaneboardmember Mike Donahue; email:firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Twitter: #donahue777;
- address: 1120 South Street, Geneva, IL;
- phone: 630-251-3200
Age and birthdate: 52, 9/11/61
Family: Wife, Carol; Son, Bob, 20; Daughter, Allison, 19
Education: B.S. Community and Regional Planning, Iowa State University
Occupation: Owner, Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, Chicago, IL
Political Party: Republican
Previous elected or appointed offices: Kane County Board Member, 2010 - present
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
I have worked for or with local governments throughout my 27-year professional career, so I understand how local governments work.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
1. Redevelopment of the Settler's Hill Property. It is time that we make good on the promise made over 35 years ago to redevelop the landfill into a recreational amenity.
2. Fiscal discipline. I will call for a zero-growth budget in 2013, as I did in 2012.
3. Hiring a county administrator. Kane County’s 1250 employees deserve professional, not political management. A good county administrator can save several times his or her own salary by running day-to-day operations much more efficiently than a politician can.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I am different from most candidates in that I do not much care for politics. I have worked for or with local governments throughout my career as a professional and I view myself as lending my professional skills to this position. I evaluate issues objectively and try to avoid the political nonsense.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Kane County?
Reduce red tape and burdensome taxes and fees that can create barriers to business development.
What more would you do to practice fiscal responsibility?
I will call for a thorough scrubbing of the operating budget. The current budget suffers from “wax build-up” derived from years of adding another layer of budget amendments over the top of last years’ budget. It’s time to justify the entire budget from top to bottom.
Would you propose any projects related to sustainability in the county?
I am going to ask the Judicial/Public Safety committee to evaluate the costs and benefits of adding “intelligent solar generation” to the judicial center. From my experience in the renewable energy sector I am aware of new intelligent generation technology that can not only make solar generation cost effective, but also produce a new revenue stream for the county.
What ideas do you have for improving the county's infrastructure and transportation?
My primary focus in transportation has been to work with Pace to eliminate inefficient fixed-route bus service and replace it with more flexible and convenient shuttle service, which works much better in a suburban environment.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically?
The county can operate more efficiently by hiring a county administrator. Politicians cannot manage the day-to-day activities of 1250 people effectively when they are preoccupied with things like re-election and fund-raising. As for technology, the county needs to design and implement a new case management system for the circuit clerk, judiciary and public safety departments, which comprise 80% of all county operations.