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Election

Election 2018 candidate: Grant Eckhoff, DuPage County Board District 4

DuPage County Board member Grant Eckhoff
DuPage County Board member Grant Eckhoff

Political party

Republican

Age

59

Town of residence

Wheaton

Current occupation and employer

Attorney. Self -employed since 1996 with Eckhoff & Massarelli, P.C.

Education

Wheaton Central High School (1977), Michigan State University with a Major in James Madison College Socio-Economic Policy Problems; and Juris Doctorate at Chicago-Kent IIT graduated with honors.

Immediate family

I have been married to Sheila for over 24 years. My parents, Ralph and Virginia, have been married for 60 years and live in Wheaton. My sister, Erica and her husband, Craig, live in Naperville and my brother, Ralph Jr., also lives in Wheaton. Sheila and I are proud owners of two shelter cats, Jordan and Payton.

Website

ElectEckhoff.com

Civic involvement and volunteer work

St. Paul Lutheran Church and the Milton Township Republican Party.

Previous elected offices held

Wheaton City Council 1989-2002 and DuPage County Board 2002-present.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am the best candidate because I have experience and a proven record of working to deliver essential governmental services at the lowest possible tax rate. To that end, on a long-term basis, I have advocated the consolidation of some governmental services.

In addition, I have also addressed issues that have popped up but were unforeseen during much of the last election. For example, as a result of my efforts, the county board successfully worked with the Sheriff’s Department for the right to use court security officers (retired police) instead of sworn deputies. If we incorporate just 10 court security officers into the 67-member court house security force, the county will save $500,000 annually.

Additionally, I initiated discussions between the county, School District 200, the City of Wheaton and the Village of Carol Stream to conduct another active-shooter drill in spring of 2019 at Wheaton North High School.

What issues specific to your district would you like to see addressed by the DuPage County Board?

Public Safety. As Chairman of the Judicial Public Safety Committee my goal has been to make sure all departments (Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Probation, Public Defender and Circuit Clerk) are fully funded so that they can perform their services at an optimum level.

In addition, as Co-chairman of the Hope (Heroin-Opioid Prevention and Education) I want to continue to work with the county-wide elected officials to combat the Heroin epidemic in the County by:

a. educating the population about the situation;
b. supporting the Narcan program which revives individuals that have overdosed on heroin;
c. expanding RX box system which over the last nine years collected 50 tons of unused and overprescribed drugs thereby taking them away from possible addicts;
d. continuing the lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that I believe created the epidemic;
e. finding innovative ways to treat and pay for the treatment of individuals that have become addicts.

Where do you stand on consolidation efforts in DuPage County? What additional steps – if any – should be taken?

Since 2008, long before it became popular to advocate for a consolidated government, I focused on the voluntary consolidation of fire departments and fire districts.

I think my efforts, since 2008, have helped spur on the consolidation discussion on a state-wide level. At the County we have consolidated our Youth Home with Kane County, saving approximately 10 million dollars in 7 years. We have also consolidated PSAPs (Public Service Access Points) for the police/fire and 911 calls from approximately 30 PSAPs to 3 PSAPs. This had reduced over 7 million dollars in costs. We need to continue to work at consolidation because the cost of operating government is only going to continue to rise.

With Illinois having the most units of government than any other state in the country we need to continue to downsize all units of government so we can work to relieve the pressure on our taxpayers.

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