A few years ago I ran for the County Board Chairman position with the goal of helping bring the Libertarian Party to “Established Party” status. It was a slog. For months I was walking neighborhoods and asking for signatures to get on the ballot as an underdog. When it was over… I did far better than I ever expected and garnered 13000 votes from Tazewell County residents. It was a wild ride all the way to the end of the election.
I learned a lot during that election cycle. I also met a lot of great people who work hard for this county that I would never know if not for running for office. David Zimmerman was a name that was on the ballot that I didn’t know from “Adam” but I have since spent some time with and can now get a smiling handshake from him at the Tazewell County Board meetings.
Should it come as a surprise that I am running again for county board in 2022? This time though, it will be as a board member in district 2.
My political experience was started several years ago when I helped rejuvenate the Libertarian Party of Tazewell County. Our group, along with The Libertarian Party of Greater Peoria started a grassroots movement to bring another option to those folks not pulled to the extreme right or left of their respective parties. Common sense, fiscal conservativism with a moral compass that points towards “less is more” whenever possible in governance are my core values.
Why the County Board?
I am going to be brutally honest here. I have watched local politics from afar and now from up close. We have part-time leaders who are in a comfortable state of life making decisions about our future that I don’t think they can grasp.
There’s a lot to unpack there.
Part-time leaders? The administration and management of a multimillion-dollar business would never be run the way the county board does. A full-time County Administrator is needed to help make the day to day decisions. A group of folks who have been working together for decades at a monthly meeting and a few subcommittees is never going to make meaningful changes in our county.
I may be wrong, but I believe there are 2 county board members who are in their 30’s at this time… and I would guess that the average age of our current board is 60 years old. Maybe higher. While I am not diminishing the experience this brings to the table… I would argue that it does not represent the citizens fairly. If you are retired or nearly so, you don’t have the same hardships in your life that someone bringing up a new family does. You are not looking for a great new job in your hometown. You probably don’t struggle with an internet connection of think about its effect on work or school. Property taxes are not going to keep you from owning a home or paying other bills. Its a different mindset.
We need fresh members who want to lead this county into the future.
I have lived here for 25 of my 50 years and truly want to see this county as a place where people want to live. I can tell you that decades ago, I strived to leave Illinois because of its corruption and high taxes. That will never happen. I have family here… Lots of family in Illinois. I am probably never leaving. So, it’s on me, you, and everyone else who lives here to make this county (and ultimately state) a place that our kids and grandkids will want to call home. It should not be our goal to blast out of Illinois for something better.
I honestly care so much that if I don’t get elected during this run… I will probably become a “Leave No Trace” instructor so I can help clean up this county’s trash problem!
Up next: Why I am a bad Libertarian… And a worse Republican or Democrat.