Henry County Board District 1 - Jill Darin

Mindy Carls

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will elect 10 Henry County Board members in both districts. Each party can have up to 10 candidates on the ballot.

During the primary on Tuesday, June 28, Republicans in District 1 will have 12 names from which to choose 10 for the general election ballot.

The Henry County Republic and Kewanee Star-Courier have sent questionnaires to all 12 candidates and will print their responses as they are received. Candidates were asked to limit responses to 350 words. The papers reserve the right to edit for grammar and spelling.

Name and hometown: Jill Darin, Geneseo, Phenix Township.

Education: Master of Science in occupational safety and Health, Bachelor of Arts in geology.

Work and volunteer experiences:

Currently, I’m a risk manager with a national insurance company for the Iowa and West Central Illinois offices. I worked as a safety professional, with 24-plus years, in light and heavy manufacturing.

I am the market coordinator for our local farmer’s market and a member of the Board of Trustees for my township.

I am also the county board representative for our region’s University of Illinois Extension board.

Why are you running for county board?

I’m a current first-term board member. I’m running again to help continue the work with the renovation and upkeep of our historic courthouse and jail complex. I chair the committee that administers this area, which we are in the middle of, and feel that it’s important to have continuity during this process.

What are your top three priorities for the county?

Maintaining a balanced budget, continuing the upkeep of the courthouse complex and sustaining our employee base.

What are three pressing issues facing the county board, and why?

Unfortunately, the state dictates a lot of unfunded and unfriendly laws and regulations that fall onto counties to fulfill. We have to work within those tenets and try to do the best we can. So, we are having to do more with less as they have taken away funding sources for different departments.

Like most Americans, the county has also been impacted by rising costs and supply chain issues. This puts a strain on our departments, so the board has to be supportive of their efforts to do their jobs for our county's benefit. We also are struggling and trying to work on making the employee wages competitive with other

county and city wages to help draw in new employees and keep our current hardworking members.

What should the top priorities for the county budget be, and why?

A balanced budget is the top priority. In the last several years, the board implemented this as a priority. It will help the county remain solvent, help keep the county portion of your taxes at a reasonable rate, and is the right thing to do.

It is our fiscal responsibility to do right by our constituents. Our current administration staff has been very diligent with this. The credit goes to them and the department heads. They are always mindful of this and work hard to stay within their budget.

Voters visit polling places  to cast their ballots in the 2022 Primary Election on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.