Madison County Board Member Chris Slusser, R-Wood River, announced his candidacy today for Madison County Board Chairman. Slusser was elected in 2008 in District 15, which includes Wood River, Kendall Hill, Roxana, Hartford and South Roxana.

“When I ran for the County Board in 2008, my platform included transparency, accountability and reducing property taxes. I’ve been fully committed to those three issues during my term on the county board, and they will continue to be my focus as County Board Chairman,” Slusser said.
As a County Board Member, Slusser has voted against every single property tax increase and has introduced measures to reduce property taxes. He has also been a watchdog and an outspoken critic of wasteful and questionable spending. “As citizens, we’ve all had to tighten our belts and do without certain luxuries these past few years. County government shouldn’t be immune to this reality.”

Slusser also proposed and successfully led efforts to place the county’s checkbook online, so that taxpayers could see where their tax dollars are being spent. “It took some arm-twisting, but when our checkbook finally went online, we were the first county in Southern Illinois to do so. Putting the checkbook online for everyone to see was the first step in transparency and accountability.” Slusser said he would like to improve the online checkbook so that it is more user-friendly and easy to navigate.

“Madison County is still experiencing high unemployment, and with high property taxes, sky-high worker’s compensation insurance rates and lawsuit abuse, we’ve created an environment that is hostile to employers and job creation. Madison County government should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We’re still operating under 20th Century models which are inefficient and costly to the taxpayers. We need a cultural change and that starts with a change in leadership,” said Slusser.

Slusser, 34, and his wife, Megan have been married for six years. He serves as the Chief Financial Officer for a commercial real estate firm, after spending more than eight years an investment advisor. He and Megan attend First Baptist Church in Bethalto, where he serves as a deacon, assistant church treasurer and vice chair of the Stewardship Committee. Chris and Megan also co-lead a small group for young married couples at First Baptist and coach youth sports in the Upward Sports program. Slusser is the President of the Board of Directors for Riverbend Family Ministries in Wood River. He is also a volunteer co-facilitator at RAVEN (Rape And Violence End Now), a batterer’s intervention program that serves the St. Louis region. Chris and Megan are involved in several charities benefitting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2010, in coordination with RAVEN and Riverbend Family Ministries, they helped start a non-violence education program at Riverbend Family Ministries for youth who have been exposed to or are prone to violence.

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