3-way race for 2 seats onWill County Board
GOP incumbent Moustis faces Ogle, Koch in District 2
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.”