EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a press release from the Committee to Elect Alan Dunstan.
EDWARDSVILLE — Since declaring his candidacy against Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, Kurt Prenzler has undertaken a campaign of political bullying and spreading half-truths in a tired attempt to discredit the significant accomplishments of the chairman.
Prenzler has already spent countless hours of taxpayer-funded time, time that should be spent working for the people of Madison County, pouring over information obtained through numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for campaign purposes. He brazenly “spins” the information into false allegations against Dunstan and the chairman’s successful record of diligently working to bring revenue and jobs to Madison County.
Recently, Prenzler submitted yet another FOIA request to the County Auditor’s Office, this time seeking 10 years of vouchers for travel undertaken by the chairman on county business. An earlier FOIA request submitted by Prenzler required the staff in the Auditor’s Office working more than 80 hours to research, retrieve and copy the documentation at a cost to county taxpayers of more than $3,000 in labor and copying charges.
The documentation proved that Dunstan appropriately wrote personal checks payable to Cardmember Services to cover $622.35 in expenses that were inadvertently made to a county credit card more than six years ago. The documentation showed no county funds related to the expenses in question were ever disbursed.
Instead of allowing Prenzler to come out with more half-truths and completely false allegations, Chairman Dunstan chose to tell the truth and show the citizens of Madison County that he has not committed any wrongdoing during his tenure in office.
During the past 11 years, the chairman has incurred travel expenses of $29,621 for out-of-town business travel while working for the people of Madison County. Dunstan publicly provided a detailed listing of this travel, along with the expenses.
Importantly, during that same time period Chairman Dunstan has, in effect, brought millions of dollars into Madison County.
“The meetings I have, the expenses I incur, are all related to improving Madison County and the quality of life our residents enjoy,” Dunstan said. “The trips I have taken throughout our state, to Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have generated millions of dollars for the rehabilitation of the levees, in new developments that create jobs, in infrastructure improvements that benefit our residents and businesses.”
“In my meetings with representatives of the state and federal governments, I have obtained funding that supports the services we provide for the people of Madison County, and have fought unnecessary government regulations and unfunded mandates which impact our schools, our businesses and our residents,” the chairman stated emphatically.
Recently, Prenzler attempted to portray a 2008 trip the chairman took to California as a vacation. In reality, Dunstan was attending a National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) Conference, where he met with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The meetings that took place at the conference facilitated talks with federal officials that prevented the decertification of the levees and initiated the process to rehabilitate and recertify the levees, which protect county residents and businesses from the Mississippi River. Had the levees been decertified, as was being planned, more than 155,000 residents and approximately 4,000 businesses would have had to purchase expensive mandatory flood insurance.
“Instead of criticizing my work representing Madison County, and the measurable results from those efforts, Mr. Prenzler should take some notes on what effective leadership looks like. Instead of losing millions of dollars of taxpayer money as the result of poor decisions in the Treasurer’s Office, he should be working to generate revenue for the county,” Dunstan commented. “Maybe attending a few conferences would help Mr. Prenzler.”
Dunstan said that while Prenzler is trying to score political points by misrepresenting the facts, he has diligently worked to ensure Madison County is the best-managed county in Illinois.
“Madison County is debt-free and has an outstanding credit rating. We emerged from the difficult years of the recession financially strong and subsequently have attracted new businesses and created new jobs while retaining existing businesses.
“Madison County’s becoming the premier logistical and intermodal distribution location in the Midwest didn’t occur because I and other effective county leaders sat in our offices preparing FOIA requests for political purposes; it resulted from meetings to plan and obtain funds to build a new bridge across the Mississippi River, for the construction of new roads and refurbished highways, and the passing of legislation that created incentives to help attract new business without impacting our schools and existing businesses,” Dunstan stated.
Dunstan said he is committed to serving the people of Madison County with integrity, class and to the best of his abilities.
“I am proud that a thorough review of the expenses I have incurred while representing Madison County indicate absolutely no wrongdoing, and I pledge to the people of Madison County that — as I have in the past — I will strictly adhere to the law and to the policies established by the County Board.”