County Board member criticized for being at-home mom

Ann Knef Nov. 6, 2006, 3:05pm

Madison County Board Member Jean Myers, a Troy Republican running for re-election to the county's 11th District, is the subject of an unseemly last minute campaign attack.

Ralph Ford, a Democrat seeking to unseat Myers in tomorrow's election, stated in a recent email to residents, "We need solid business experience and decision making abilities, not someone who just has time on her hands because her children are grown."

The chairman of Myers' campaign, Troy alderman Al Adomite, said he was "disgusted" by the attack.

"I think the phrase was used offensively, but unfortunately it's part of a bigger negative campaign against Jean that's being funded by the trial lawyers through the Democratic Party of Madison County," Adomite said in a written statement.

Myers, first elected to the county board in 2002, defeated Mike Bilbrey, an Edwardsville plaintiff's attorney. Bilbrey's law partner, Dave Hylla, is running for Madison County Circuit Judge this election.

Ford's flyer also criticizes Myers for the condition of roads in the Oakland Hills subdivision, as well as high taxes.

Adomite said Ford's allegations were false.

"Jean dislikes negative campaigning and has chosen to stay positive,
despite the fact that Ralph Ford's campaign has not stayed positive," Adomite stated. "The mailer that had a large photograph of Jean's house and implied that she had lowered her own property taxes was not only disgusting but was a complete lie. Her property taxes have increased each of the past four years, just as
mine and I'm sure many of yours have.

"I take offense to the cheap shots..."

Adomite said Myers has worked for more than 10 years in private industry, many on behalf of a local Troy business that employs 65 employees.

"Furthermore," he stated, "she has served in many leadership capacities within the community, including President of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for the Troy Lions Club, and local Red Cross, and worked 14 years as the Chairman of the Triad Craft Fair for the Athletic Boosters (which is close to reaching the million-dollar mark for charitable funds raised and given to our local
school district).

"Her record of community service as an interested and involved parent would be enough to qualify her to be our county board member, so please don't discredit her because she had the opportunity to stay home and raise her children for several years."

Adomite said the roads in the subdivision are under the township's jurisdiction, and that Myers is working with Pin Oak Township to resolve road maintenance problems.

He also said Myers was one of the few board members who voted against the county board budget last year and works toward decreasing spending.

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