Name: Ragan Freitag
Web site: www.raganfreitag.com
Phone number: 815-545-6642
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/raganfreitag
Address: 700 East Kahler Road
Wilmington, IL 60481
Age: 31 years old, birthdate 1/19/81
Family: parents – Roger & Georgia Freitag; sister – Morgan Freitag
Education: Grade School – St. Rose School; High School – Joliet Catholic Academy; College – The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina: Political Science/American Govt; Law School – Mississippi College School of Law: Juris Doctor
Career: Attorney - The Law Office of Jeff Tomczak, PC
Political party: Republican
Previous elected or appointed offices: Appointed Alderman for the City of Wilmington, IL – 2002-2003; President of Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Association – Present; Secretary of the Will County Women’s Bar Association - Present
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position? I believe my military college training gives me the experience to first listen then respond. I feel it is important to listen to what the people of District want for their community and then respond by representing their ideas to the board, rather than following suit to the old regime and making decisions based solely on how those decisions will best fit my personal gains. I consider myself an employee of the people, not someone with strings attached like a Marionette.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office? My main priority for running for the Will County Board District 6 is to keep Cook County politics out of our county, while maintaining the integrity of Will County. I firmly believe that Will County is a thriving community for our citizens and businesses where are values and beliefs are much different than that of Cook County. I feel it is essential to stand up for the people of Will County and especially District 6.
What sets you apart from the other candidates? I feel I stand out amongst the other candidates because I can bring a fresh new perspective to the County Board, while being open minded to new ideas. While I am respectful of the chain of command process and will respect others sitting on the board with me, I will not be afraid to stand up for my District on touch issues.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Will County? Will County can promote job growth and draw new business by emphasizing on tax abatements and creating tax incentives for new businesses. These ideas only are attractive to companies interested in Will County. Once these companies locate to Will County, it is imperative to keep them here to create both revenue and jobs. I also believe we need to continue to support the Workforce Development Department for job training within our County. This program helps individuals within our County to receive education and attend job fairs where the local businesses benefit as well.
Do you believe Cook County is encroaching on Will, and how would you make sure there isn't a negative influence from the city? I absolutely believe that Cook County is encroaching on Will County! I have always taken the stance that all forms of government shall work together for the greater cause, helping the people. Unfortunately, that is not being done right now for Will County and the residents. We no longer have the representation in Washington DC or Springfield that share our same values and goals for the people in Will County. Cook County politicians like Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bobby Rush now represent part of District 6 and will stop at nothing to proceed with their projects like the 3rd airport, port authorities and new highways. They want our land, our jobs and our revenue to pay for Cook County mistakes!
Should it be Will County or a special commission in charge of a proposed airport? Why, and how would that work? First and foremost, I do not believe the Third Airport is necessary. Should this Third Airport come to exist, it will be against the will of the people in Will County and only for the benefit of Cook County. The Will County Board needs to maintain control of not only the operations but of any economic benefits that could arise from it. Also, requiring any company being used in the construction of this facility shall be required to hire only local workers.
All candidates have lauded the current board for work balancing the budget; what more would you do to practice fiscal responsibility? The current Will County Board has done very well in balancing the budget and to cut spending. In doing so, there should be some attempt to shift some of the savings to small businesses in the form of tax incentives and lower property taxes for the residents.
Besides Renewing Will County, would you propose any projects related to sustainability in the county? I am proud to say that current Will County Board member, Debbie Rozak, is on the committee for Renewing Will County and has given me her complete endorsement as this will be her last year on the Board. As she passes the torch on to me, I plan to continue her efforts in every way that I can to promote energy saving and green efforts when moving forward on projects built in our County. Our children remain the future of Will County and unfortunately, there is a heroin and drug epidemic in our community. We need to sustain the family values and lifestyle we all once grew up in, and by doing so I hope to create outlets where our families can reach out and seek help through our County.
What ideas do you have for improving the county's infrastructure and transportation? We need to improve our County’s infrastructure and transportation by developing better routes for overweight trucks in and around District 6. The destruction of our roads by these overweight trucks has continued to be a hazard for our residents traveling on the road. Although, I do not fully agree with the implementation of the Illiana Expressway, I do agree that this may alleviate truck traffic. But it cannot be done at the expense of people losing their homes and the farmers’ losing their livelihood. I also do not agree with the proposed Inland Port Authority that was intended to also relieve truck traffic, but ultimately took control over the Village of Elwood and the rights of the residents living within that area. I promise to work with the businesses and residents of these high traffic areas to come up with a solution that best fits District 6.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically? Our County can operate more efficiently and improve technologically by expanding internet access and technology systems with every department within Will County. Will County and especially District 6 consists of many rural areas that inhibit the residents from accessing information over the internet or burdens the residents with travelling every time they need to reach out to their County for help. Although service is best served with a smile, it is also served best when it allows for immediate access to their government and how their tax dollars are spent through open transparency over the Internet.