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Cynthia Fears

Cynthia Fears

County Board Candidate

Democratic Party

Questions & Answers

Answers printed as provided by the candidate, Cynthia Fears.

1.) What is the importance of the Champaign County Board to residents in your district?

The County Board's decisions impact the lives of county citizens in significant ways. The Board is essential to representative government in our community. It ensures services to residents, manages competing property interests of its citizens, and provides oversight for other county offices. The Board distributes tax dollars to fund county agencies providing roads, the court, county jail, among other essential services. The Board makes decisions that could lower property taxes. The Board decides how to use new tax revenues, such as the revenue from the sale of marijuana. The Board manages the entire county budget. Therefore, it is vital to have people on the Board that understand the needs of the community.

2.) Why are you qualified to be on the Champaign County Board?

I have been a resident of Champaign County for over 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law. My experience includes serving on the Urban League Board from 2004-2008. My experience also includes employment with the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois, for over 16 years, where I served as a staff attorney for more than ten federal judges. During my employment with the court, I fulfilled my vision to establish a law clinic designed to represent pro se plaintiffs proceeding in civil rights lawsuits in federal court. I, along with judges and professors of the U of I College of Law, established the University of Illinois College of Law Federal Civil Rights Clinic. Law students represent pro se litigants proceeding in federal civil rights litigation in the USDC CDIL, in Urbana. As to pro se civil rights litigation proceedings, I was instrumental in developing procedures to reduce costs and time taken from day to day operations of employees from government agencies, including jails and prisons. Rather than spending several hours transporting detainees, inmates, employees, and witnesses, from all over the State of Illinois and from other states, they appeared before the court and juries, via audio or video conference. I also headed a team to develop the Prisoner's E-Filing Project that has been adopted by courts, prisons, and jails across the United States. My team and I were awarded the Director's Award for Excellence in Court Operations for this project.

I am a visionary. I have the insight to identify issues, the ability to develop processes to resolve those issues, and reduce costs and expenses. Further, my experience shows that I am capable of working with others as a team to accomplish goals that are good for the community as a whole. I recognize that as a board member, I will have only one vote. However, my professional skills have sharpened my ability to find consensus with parties who have different perspectives and engage in a civil discussion of conflicting ideas. The county is currently struggling with the jail consolidation issue. My experience can contribute significantly to help move the matter forward.

3.) If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the County Board, and how long will it take?

I want the County Board to make a commitment to having regularly scheduled maintenance on the county's facilities and to establish a timeline for evaluating necessary repairs for the facilities. I expect the Board can commit to this important project within the current fiscal year.

4.) Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?

I will always strive for processes open to the public, fair to the taxpayers, and to those who receive county services. I will keep an open mind, listen, focus my attention on addressing the needs of the community, protect the community's assets, represent the residents of Champaign County, make myself available to the citizens, and be accountable.

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