ELBURN – Nearly two years have passed since Chris Lauzen left the Illinois State Senate after he was voted in as chairman of the Kane County Board, and Lauzen said he believes that has put him in a greater position to make a difference.
“This is so much better,” Lauzen said Thursday as he addressed a meeting of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce at the Masonic Temple on Route 47 in the village. The appearance was billed as a “state of the county” address.
He said being a part of county government was much more fulfilling than his role in state government. He said there are those who say they are frustrated with all government, but he stressed that “local government does do its share.”
Lauzen touted some of the key activities that have taken place during his term, such as the continuation of a property tax levy freeze, the groundbreaking for a new shooting range for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the creation of Kane County Connects, an online initiative with a goal of engaging residents and providing them with information about events and news in the area.
The property tax freeze was a key campaign issue for Lauzen. He said he was “so frustrated after 20 years in state government,” adding, “I couldn’t clean it up. He said it was difficult to continue the property tax levy freeze this year, and he said he has heard from people who have said it isn’t enough to freeze it.
“I hear, ‘Chris, what we really want you to do is lower it,’ “ Lauzen said, adding that such action would be difficult. “We’re focused on not making it worse.”
The groundbreaking for the Kane County Regional Training Center took place in May. It will be on the same campus of the Kane County Judicial Center and the sheriff’s office. It will have six shooting lanes, and it will be able to accommodate different training scenarios.
Lauzen said the hope is that there are not many situations for sheriff’s officials to use such action, but “if there is a problem, you want them to shoot straight. In order to do that, they have to practice.”
He also praised the efforts of Rick Nagel, who runs Kane County Connects, saying Nagel “grew it from zero viewers to 50,000 viewers.” Lauzen urged those in attendance to submit their news items to Nagel.
Lauzen said he was happy to talk to a chamber group, saying his “favorite audience is people who run their own business.” Later, when asked about pension reform, he called on those in the room to do what they could to spread their influence as leaders in a community.