Tom Sutton: 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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: DuPage County board District 6
Family: Married with two sons.
Occupation: self employed
Education: Bachelor of Art in History, DePaul University, 1982
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
Taxes and spending - Real estate and sales taxes are too high. I will work to reduce the spending that drives taxes higher and fight to repeal the 1/4% sales tax increase imposed by the county.
Key Issue 2
Water - Water is a major problem for our residents. A failed stormwater management division has left many neighborhoods under water and must be held to account. County residents have also been swamped by huge increases in their water bills. The current water commission has proved just as inept as those past. I will fight for our citizens who have been unfairly hit with these increases and will do everything I can to reduce water bills.
Key Issue 3
DuPage County government must be more open and responsive to our citizens. I will work to have all county board and committee meetings moved to the evenings when citizens will be able to attend. I will also introduce measures requiring board members to stay in the room during public comment and answer the concerns of our citizens. Finally, all board and committee meetings must be webcast to assure transparency and accessiblity.
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?
My church had an issue with the county concerning stormwater. I found that the county government no longer represented the citizens or taxpayers. Non-elected government workers were allowed to bully and threaten citizens while the elected officials on the board refused to help. Board members need to remember that they represent the taxpayers and are accountable to the voters, not to the county staff.
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 will bring a different attitude to the board; serving the people of the county will be my first priority. My background as a small business owner has instilled in me the values of serving the customer while providing the best value for their dollar. I believe a county board member is a servant of the citizens and I will do all I can to fulfill that call. I will be open, accessible and actively defend our citizens against the over reaching use of county authority. In short, I will serve the people and protect their property rights.
How can the county best manage its growth, growing diversity?
Diversity is an important factor in growth. A level playing field, competition and free market are the best ways to manage growth. Less government involovement results in more productive and sustainable growth. Reduce fees, regulation and taxes; the growth will manage itself.
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?
Meeting attendance by board members has been adequate over the past several years. When a board member misses a meeting, their constituents are not being represented. Consistent attendance is critical.
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?
Board pay is high, I would support a reduction to $35,000 per year. Current pension benefits are also too high and are funded on the backs of taxpayers. I would not take a pension under the current system. I will push for a change to a contributory system in which board members make payments to fund pensions. I will introduce two pension reforms: First, going forward, pensions will be contributory. Board members will have the same type of pensions found in the private sector (defined contribution). Second, I will introduce changes that will allow county board members to voluntarily give back the excessive pension benefits accrued under the current system. This will make them accountable to the public.
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