County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen responds to TRRT

This editorial is in response to last week’s article by Jeff Havens’ “County Chairman says no conflict of interest.”

I was appointed County Chairman on May 10, 2004. In the first 100 days in office, I have accomplished a number of initiatives: 1. Enacted 5 percent cuts across the board, passing a balanced budget with the lowest tax rate in five years. 2. Created and passed the much-needed road and sewer package to provide infrastructure to attract industry and jobs. 3. Initiated a program with private funds to establish rail service between the Rockford Airport and O’Hare Airport.

You won’t read about these accomplishments in this newsprint. Instead, you were subjected to a 1,500-word dissertation about the difficulties of my roofing business and a business investment in land that happens to be located next to one of the County’s road projects.

Business is in trouble in Winnebago County—we are on life support and commercial construction, including roofing, is suffering like many others. Some of our customers have not been able to pay their bills, and in turn, we have had difficulty paying our vendors. The specific cases described in your article are resolved or in the process of being resolved.

I bought an interest in a business on McCurry Road about three or four years ago. It, too, has fallen victim to our weak economy. The business has been listed for sale for the past year, as we are trying to recover what we have in it. The road project in question is a road initiative promoted for more than 15 years by Roscoe Township and the Village of Roscoe. This project was approved and engineering started before I was appointed County Chairman. Under your definition of conflict of interest, any elected official owning land, whose property is located on a street being paved, would have a conflict of interest; after all, their property value could go up because of these improvements.

Believe me, I understand the importance of bringing our economy back and creating good-paying jobs in Winnebago County. I have no personal interest in the development industry. If I am guilty of any special interest, it’s the same interest we all share in needing good-paying jobs for everyone willing to work. On this I am guilty, and if you get past this newsprint’s negative message, you’ll join me in this effort.

My message to everyone reading this letter is to please join me in a positive effort to turn the economy around in Winnebago County. It would be great to pick up this newsprint and read about what’s good in Winnebago County.

Scott Christiansen seeks election to the Winnebago County Board Chairman position.

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