To the Editor:
I am the “other” Republican candidate for nomination to the DeKalb County Board in District Nine, running against Mr. Genteman. I wish to respond to his recent letter, and I wish to comment on it.
My wife and I moved to DeKalb in July 1977. Both of our children were born here and attended the DeKalb public schools. My grandson now also attends the DeKalb public schools. I served on the County Board for two terms over 20 years ago from District Nine.
First, Mr. Genteman’s description of District Nine is not entirely accurate. It includes Peace Road as its eastern boundary from Lincoln Highway. It follows Bethany Road only back to Sycamore Road, then down as he described until the flow of Sycamore Road into First Street. As such, it includes some Sycamore addresses (four to 10 voters each election period) and some unincorporated areas. Hy-Vee Foods, for example, is in Sycamore and in this district.
Second, the county needs to adopt a more modern system of budgeting. Most successful corporations, as well as many government agencies and several other states, use this approach. It is called “Zero-Base Budgeting” or “Zero-Balance Budgeting.” This can eliminate waste. Each item must be justified annually or eliminated. There are no “automatic across the board” increases. It would require that budgets be rebuilt new each cycle, eliminating the current system of Line Item Incremental Budgeting.
Third, we must remember: DeKalb County has many mandates placed upon it for service by the State and Federal governments. Many mandates are unfunded by the parties that require them. In budgeting, then, these become a priority as the legal costs of non-compliance will consume any expected savings if these mandates are not performed. Budget cutting must be surgical.
Fourth, there is one thing that stands out about the Ninth District and the adjacent areas: it has suffered the greatest economic losses in recent years. Many factories and retail businesses have left the area.
My past opponents both promised to bring more “green” and “living-wage” jobs to the District. Where are they?
Many of us agree that big government is not good for our future. But, if you asked my neighbors, many of them would agree that rebuilding DeKalb’s economy and creating real, good paying jobs should be a priority.
Samuel-Louis Bandy, Jr.