U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren speaks with constituents in Sycamore
SYCAMORE – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., met with constituents Tuesday at Shawn’s in Sycamore to discuss concerns and get up to speed on the DeKalb County’s economic state.
“We’re not going to agree on everything,” said DeKalb County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski, D-3rd District.
“I’m a Democrat. He’s a Republican. The goal is always to communicate with others on the other side to see what their thoughts are and where we can find common ground.”
A table of Huntley and Campton Hills residents expressed concern that conservative voices weren’t being heard in Washington.
“[Congressmen] haven’t fought Obama on anything,” Huntley resident Joe Jones said. “They’ve just given him whatever he wanted. There doesn’t seem to be any motion being put into the office.”
Concerned about the state of homeland security and veteran benefits, Toni Nicklaus said Hultgren gave her opinions honest consideration Tuesday.“He’s the voice of the people, and I really think he does listen to what his constituents say,” Nicklaus said. “It’s just a matter of if others are going to be strong enough to stand with him.”
Hultgren, of Plano, met with Pietrowski and members of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. after the meet-and-greet Tuesday.
“We talked about bipartisanship and how I think it’s important for both sides to communicate and talk to one another so we can find common ground on all levels of government,” Pietrowski said. “Then I updated him with some of the issues we’re dealing with at the county level for economic development.”
Hultgren will bring notes regarding the county’s plans for a business incubator, STEAM center, and a countywide enterprise zone back with him to Washington. Meeting face-to-face with constituents and local leaders overall fostered healthy communication, he said.
“I heard a lot of stuff about Illinois government and how broken that is,” Hultgren said. “People are upset. ... It’s been a good conversation. I think it’s been respectful. I’ve heard some good ideas.”
Hultgren represents Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, which stretches north to the Wisconsin state line and includes DeKalb County communities of Sycamore, Cortland, Hinckley, Somonauk and Sandwich on its path south into Kendall County.
Hultgren, who has represented the district since 2011, will face a re-election challenge from Democrat Jim Walz of Gurnee.
Although the meeting took place in the context of an election year, it could still be productive, Hultgren said.
“We’re not going to agree on everything. We may not even agree on most things,” he said. “But there’s stuff that we can work together on, and let’s talk about that stuff. Let’s get some movement.”