Q&A: Tony Fabri, Champaign County Board, District 6
Q&A with Tony Fabri, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 6, Champaign County Board
1. Why should the county government continue to support a nursing home that needs financial assistance from taxpayers and the county government and serves, at most, about 200 citizens at a time. All of this during a time when the future of health care is so uncertain?
The Champaign County Nursing Home provides an important and unique service to our community. The quality of care our seniors receive at CCNH is something we all can be proud of. I oppose all efforts to sell, lease or privatize the county nursing home.
2. Should the county do anything toward planning for the construction of a new county jail, or an addition to the existing satellite? Or should the county government wait until it institutes a reentry program and any other criminal justice initiatives aimed at reducing the jail population?
I am not convinced we need to expand the county jail at this moment in time. Obviously, reentry programs and other efforts to reduce the jail population should be attempted first.
3. Would you support merging any county offices, in particular the county recorder and the county clerk? How about any other combinations? Are there offices or programs you'd like to eliminate?
4. What is your opinion of the recent change to the county board, reducing the number of board members from 27 to 22 and increasing the number of districts from 9 to 11?
Still too soon to say.
5. Should Champaign County have its own building code and building inspection program?
Yes, absolutely! I see this as a life safety issue.
6. What can the county do to prevent housing problems like the notorious Cherry Orchard complex outside of Rantoul?
Better codes and ordinances, combined with effective enforcement, will promote the health, safety, and welfare of county residents in general.
7. What can the county do to encourage economic development? Are there particular businesses you would like to attract, any incentives you think should be offered?
Champaign County has a well-educated, diverse labor force, great transportation networks, and a vibrant cultural life. Ultimately, these are the things that attract businesses to our community. The county's job is not to mess things up.
One way the county could hurt economic development would be to increase taxes unnecessarily. That's a big reason I oppose Pattsi Petrie's proposal to double the county's public safety sales tax. While the intended purpose of the increased tax is a noble one, I do not think the local economy would benefit from such a sharp increase in the sales tax.
8. What's your opinion of the county's current financial condition?
As the economy slowly recovers, the financial condition of the county has also slowly improved.
9. Do you believe the county government should offer 2 percent pay raises for the next four years to the sheriff, county clerk and county treasurer? Generally, according to the county administrator, they are paid less than officers in similar counties.
No, I think the current salaries are sufficient to attract quality candidates for these positions.
10. What's your opinion of the plan to contract with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District to take over operations of the Champaign County Rural Transit Services later this year? Is this a program you support? Would you ever want to commit county resources to it?
The plan is promising. It has the potential to benefit both rural and C-U residents alike. I don't believe county resources have been requested for this project, or ever will be.