David Sabathne: Candidate Profile
DuPage County board District 6
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: West Chicago
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: DuPage County board District 6
Family: Maried 30 years, one son, one grand-daughter and another on the way
Occupation: CEO of the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce 11 years
Education: Attend college to gain knowledge in business, economics, accounting, environment and to stay current with technology applications
Civic involvement: President of Community Center, Treasurer of the DuPage Veterans Foundation, member of the West Chicago Parks Foundation and support variuos other groups including Sister Cities & Lions Club
Elected offices held: Alderman, City of West Chicago 10 years 1993-2003
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Business attraction and retention
Key Issue 2
Making government more accessible; residents can't remain engage about issues if they are discussed in meeting on a weekday morning.
Key Issue 3
Eliminate pension benefits for any county elected official unless the work requires an average of 37.5 verifiable hours of work per week.
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
DuPage County, as with the rest of the country is in transition and my experience would bring value to the county board. From reviving a scout troop at the age of 21 to providing leadership to the City of West Chicago during a critical time of transition in their history, helping to reduce bureaucracy at the DuPage Airport Authority and being chosen to bring three business communities together for a single purpose as the CEO of the new Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce, I have a unique and broad range of experiences that I believe will translate into benefits for the residents of DuPage County.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
I bring experience to the board with proven results. My priority would be to make county government more accessible to the taxpayers by having more meeting during times that the average resident is actually available to attend and give input and by holding regular ?coffee type? meeting, not just when there is an election looming. I was the Infrastructure Committee Chair for West Chicago when we were being pushed by the commission to tie on to Lake Michigan water. I fought it because it was not good for our community, eliminated our control and had a quality much less than what we could produce by treating our own water. We have stable water rates that will be less than half of those communities that are part of the commission within three years; bonds were paid off ten years early.
also believe that the county needs to support the Cities and Villages that exist within the county boundaries and help to create a more consistent living environment for everyone to enjoy. Finally, I support the steps that Chairman Cronin is taking to analyze the various boards and commissions to look for efficiencies and ways to reduce the cost of operating county government. I have a demonstrated ability to work through these changes to a positive outcome.
How can the county best manage its growth, growing diversity?
Projects that benefit the public do not necessarily require the public to directly pay the bill. Often, stakeholders are capable, willing and have a vested interest in seeing public improvement made but you need to engage them, empower them and then get the heck out of the way. Diversity is not to be managed but to be encouraged and enjoyed. Fear needs to be managed and that is done through education, collaboration and respect. Language can be a challenge; I understand that there are school districts that have over 4 dozen languages spoken by their students. Until and unless we demand immersion or another aggressive assimilation methodology to language education, we will continue to isolate groups and individuals from contributing to society
If incumbent, are you satisied your attendance at county board/committee meetings has been adequate? Describe the rough percentage of meetings you've attended. If non-incumbent, are you aware of the incumbent's attandance record and is it adequate?
The current board members of district six have a good attendance record; I believe their attendance has been adequate. I served as an Alderman in West Chicago for ten-years and the DuPage Airport Authority for two and can't recall missing more than a couple of meetings in the entire 12 years. Solution; give everyone a couple of ?floating? days off per year for family or emergencies and after that, you don't show you don't get paid.
What is your stance on county board members' pay? Too high, too low, just right? Would you propose any changes' Do you think county board members should receive pensions' If not, would be willing to pledge not to take one?
The total compensation for board members is neither fair nor justified today. $50,000 a year in salary can earn a board member a Million Dollars in twenty years but, under the current plan, they will then be paid over $42,000 for life, which could easily reach another Million Dollars for doing nothing. If a board member can't find a way to put away some of their pay for their retirement then they probably shouldn't be making financials decisions for the rest of us. I will not participate in the county board pension program. In addition, I am committed to reducing the compensation package received by County board members: Full time means an average of 37 1/2 hours a week to earn a pension. This kind of program may be acceptable for positions that require someone to leave their home for weeks at a time to serve in Springfield or Washington but not a part-time official that works another job and still sleeps in their own bed at night?If I were to accept a pension for this position in today's economic environment, I couldn't sleep anywhere at night.
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