3-way race for 2 seats onWill County Board

GOP in­cum­bent Moustis faces Ogle, Koch in District 2

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Su­san DeMar Laf­ferty

Vot­ers in­Will County’s District 2couldbe elect­ing at lea­s­t­one­new face to the County Board in the Nov. 6 elec­tion.

There’s a three-way race fortwo seats, with one in­cum­bent, Jim Moustis, R-Frank­fort Town­ship, seek­ing re-elec­tion, and two chal­lengers, Repub­li­can Keith Ogle and Demo­crat Amanda Koch, both of Frank­fort.

The district in­cludes all of Green Gar­den and Man­hat­tan town­ships and parts of Frank­fort Town­ship. In­cum­bent Cory Singer, R-Frank­fort, lost in the pri­mary to Ogle.

Moustis, who serves as Frank­fort Town- ship su­per­vi­sor, has been on theWill County Board since 1992 and is speaker of the board. He failed to re­turn a ques­tion­naire that was emailed to all can­di­dates, de­spite nu­mer­ous re­quests for in­for­ma­tion.

Koch, a stay-at-home mom and Army vet­eran, is mak­ing her first at­tempt at elected of­fice. She is a mem­ber of the Will County Vet­er­ans As­sis­tance Com­mis­sion and the Frank­fortVFW.

Ogle, pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of a Frank­fort-based tech­nol­ogy com­pany, serves as a vil­lage trustee and pre­vi­ous­ly­was elected Frank­fort Li­brary trustee and vil­lage clerk.

Both can­di­dates are life­long res­i­dents ofWill County and said they will ad­dress the county’s in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment is­sues.

The high­ways and roads are “dan­ger­ous” and han­dling traf­fic they­were not in­tended toac­com­mo­date, Ogle said.

“Our eco­nomic fu­ture is ham­pered by in­suf­fi­cient and func­tion­ally ob­so­lete in­fra­struc­ture. District 2 es­sen­tially re­sides within a tri­an­gle of I-80, I-57 andI-55. Traf­fic onI-80 is hor­rific, and res­i­dents con­tin­u­ally ex­press their con­cerns about safety,” he said.

Traf­fic be­ing di­verted onto Route 53 and county roads also is a “ma­jor prob­lem,” he said. The county needs to bring in “good qual­ity de­vel­op­ment and jobs that sus­tain com­mu­ni­ties” in­stead of weak­en­ing or dam­ag­ing them, and un­der­stand the im­pact that cur­rent and fu­ture growth trends will have on our com­mu­ni­ties, Ogle said.

Koch said District 2, like many other ar­eas of the county, is “de­vel­op­ing rapidly,” and in­fra­struc­ture has not kept up.

“Sus­tain­able, wellplanned growth” is needed so that in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments can keep pace with growthand­main­tain a qual­ity of life, she said.

Koch said she also is con­cerned that the county’s aquifers are fac­ing a wa­ter short­age and that an al­ter­na­tive source of wa­ter must be found.

An­other is­sue she plans to tackle is the opi­oid cri­sis, she said. “Opi­ate ad­dic­tion is in­creas­ing and hurt­ing fam­i­lies in the process. We have to find treat­ment op­tions that sup­port folks who are ad­dicted and lower the num­ber of over­doses,” she said.

She wants to fo­cus on preven­tion, emer­gency re­sponse and ed­u­ca­tion, she said. “Ifwe don’t talk about it, we can’t stop it,” Koch said.

A key is­sue for Ogle is prop­erty tax relief, he said.

“Res­i­dents are wor­ried that they will be forced out of their homes and their com­mu­ni­ties by un­con­trolled gov­ern­ment spend­ing and ris­ing prop­erty taxes,” he said.

He said he wants to con­tinue to keep a close eye on costs, cut wasteful spend­ing and ex­pand the tax base.

“There are many chal­lenges fac­ing our district, andwe must be at the ta­ble to ne­go­ti­ate on be­half of our res­i­dents. I have al­ways gone where there was a need. I was not sent by an out­side in­ter­est. I’m a tax­payer, too, and I’m here to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple,” Ogle said.

The Will County Board is “not an en­try- level elected po­si­tion,” he said. “In each of the po­si­tions I have held, I made the com­mit­ment to at­tend all board meet­ings and com­mit­tee meet­ings and be well in­formed and pre­pared.”

He said he has at­tended County Board and com­mit­tee meet­ings for the past year and met with other elected of­fi­cials “to make sure that I am up to speed on all is­sues. I in­tend to be your ded­i­cated voice in creat­ing pos­i­tive change in our district and county.”

Ogle has been ac­tive with the Frank­fort Cham­ber of Com­merce, pre­vi­ously serv­ing as its pres­i­dent and chair­ing the Frank­fort Fall Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee.

Koch said she served nearly 12 years in the Army, in­clud­ing two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lat­er­was em­ployedas a teacher.

“As a sergeant, I ded­i­cated my­self to the wel­fare and de­vel­op­ment of the sol­diers un­der me. We had many per­spec­tives and lev­els of ex­per­tise work­ing to­ward com­mon goals, and I quickly learned to col­lab­o­rate with ev­ery­one so that our unit could be suc­cess­ful. I plan to do the same when I am on the Will County Board,” she said.

“I am com­mit­ted to lis­ten­ing to the res­i­dents and to mak­ing gov­ern­ment more ac­ces­si­ble. I re­ally care about peo­ple and en­joy work­ing for and with my com­mu­nity. I also am run­ning be­cause I be­lieve we should see more women rep­re­sented in pol­i­tics.

“Be­cause of my deep roots here, Iwant to en­sure that my fam­ily, my friends and my neigh­bors are able to con­tinue to live in a vi­brant, sta­ble and safe area that is com­mit­ted to wellplanned and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.”




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