County Board District 3 Q&A: Stan Harper

County Board District 3 Q&A: Stan Harper

Candidates for contested county board races were given the opportunity to answer a series of questions about county government. Here are the answers from Stan Harper, a Republican candidate in District 3:
Self - employed farmer

22 years as trustee on local fire department and the past 21 years on Prairieview - Ogden school board, the last 15 as board president.

1. Name five things you would like to accomplish in the next two years on the Champaign County Board.

a.Adequately fund our existing services/programs/ obligations
b.Work cooperatively with local township officials to help meet the needs of our rural residents regarding roads & bridges
c.Utilize my previous experience and business expertise in leading the county through these difficult financial times
d.Continue to build up a "rainy day" fund for such items as maintenance for existing facilities.
e.Ensure that the sheriff's office continues to provide the greatest level of protection possible to the residents of the county

2. What criticisms do you have of the current county board?

At times, partisanship rears its head; 99.9% of the time politics should never enter into the decisions of the county but instead what is the best interest of the entire county should be front and center

3. Under what circumstances, if any, would you vote for another increase in property taxes to support the operation of the Champaign County Nursing Home?

A property tax increase for the nursing home should be the last resort. The county must examine and exhaust all other options prior to considering increasing the tax burden on citizens

4. Under what circumstances could you vote to sell or close the Champaign County Nursing Home?

Once again, after reviewing and exhausting all alternatives, the county board should allow the tax paying voters of the county the opportuntiy through a referendum to have final say

5. Would you vote to increase the $60 per diem paid to county board members?


6. Which county offices, if any, do you believe could be eliminated or consolidated with another county office?

The county, as part of long range planning, should do an extensive review of all departments and the services offered to the citizens of the county. If efficiencies are identified and potential cost savings are evident, then the board should place a question on the ballot allowing citizens input on consolidation and/or elimination of offices

7. What specific actions could be taken to cut the county budget?

I look forward to studying the various aspects of the county budget and detemining where potenial cuts may be made

8. Do you think the downtown Urbana correctional center should be closed and all of its functions moved to an expanded correctional center on Lierman Avenue in Urbana?

With discussions just beginning, I intend to monitor the progress of the current county board as they discuss this issue. Numerous factors must be considered including the cost of any option presented, as well as the safety of both county emp[oyees and the inmates

9. What programs and services that the county does not provide, if any, do you think are needed?

At this time our first and only obligation must be to adequately fund and carry through on our existing commitments

10. Do you believe the county should take on part of the financial obligation to operate Willard Airport as an economic development tool? Why or why not?

No, not until all other current finacial obligations are met

11. What can the county board do to enhance economic development locally?

We must work to develop and/or strengthen relationships with various industries in the county including educational institutions and The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

12. With a smaller county board in December, do you think the county board meeting room should be reconfigured at an undetermined cost to improve communications among board members and to enhance television coverage of the board?

Under the current financial limits the county is experiencing this is something we must delay


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