SHILOH – During a trip of Southern Illinois, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti stopped at a Shiloh farm to meet with local Farm Bureau members and discuss agriculture issues.
Sanguinetti visited Tiedemann Farm, owned by Shiloh Valley Township Supervisor and County Board Member Dave Tiedemann. She said it’s been a priority of her’s to visit each county in Illinois and listen to the local issues that need to be addressed.
“When [Governor Bruce Rauner] and I were campaigning, we heard from a lot of folks that people south of I-80 feel forgotten, so I make it a priority to tour around and listen to local issues. I’ve been thorough all 102 counties already,” said Sanguinetti.
During her stop the Lt. Governor touched on a variety of issues impacting Illinois including efforts to eliminate her office.
“I know of the efforts as of late, I headed our task force on consolidation and unfunded mandates on the local level, so I am for consolidation. Not only am I for it at the very local levels but all the way to the very top, and that includes my position. If you took the oath and you’re there for all the right reasons, then you have to take a look at all of the positions if its for the good of the people,” said Sanguinetti.
Since taking office, Sanguinetti has closed two of an initial four offices held by the Lt. Governor and considerably reduced staff. Sanguinetti said government consolidation is not an easy task and that consolidating school districts, specifically, can really be tricky.
“School districts are tough, because that goes to the notion of identity. A lot of school districts feel that if they consolidate, they lose that. But as an example, Arthur did a wonderful job. I believe its Unit School District 305. They did a wonderful job in combining their efforts and consolidating. And now when I go to their school district and when I talk to their kids, they say they are just a bigger family now and have access to so many more classes. The identity is still the same. But its a tough conversation to have at every level,” she said.
This is the second day of Sanguinetti’s trip to the Metro East. Tuesday Sanguinetti was at Scott Air Force Base meeting with the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee, which she chairs. She was provided a tour and learned from Scott leadership how her office can assist and be helpful in the base’s efforts.
“A lot of people don’t know, but the Lt. Governor is in charge of making sure our installations stay open, our military assets, rural affairs, and the rivers. Doing all of this work, I make it a priority to visit our military installations,” she said.
“It’s all about readiness and they’re doing a lot at Scott to prepare. They’re upgrading their cyber wing at Scott since that is the new area for threats to come at us.”
When discussing Scott Air Force Base, Sanguinetti did touch on the state’s efforts to convince the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency that their decision to place the NGA West facility in North St. Louis was a mistake.
“Its no secret we were disappointed with their determination. But I’m hopeful because they have a period of time where they get to review and we have an opportunity to weigh in as a community and talk about why they respectfully made the wrong decision. If you take a look at the report, there were some very crucial errors. I’m hopeful they make the right decision, which is to come here with us at Scott Air Force Base,” Sanguinetti said.
Sanguinetti was completing her trip to the Metro East with a meeting with the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.