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updated: 2/10/2012 4:13 PM

Rafael Rivadeneira: Candidate Profile

DuPage County board District 2 (Republican)

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  • Rafael Rivadeneira, running for DuPage County board District 2

    Rafael Rivadeneira, running for DuPage County board District 2




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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Elmhurst


Office sought: DuPage County board District 2

Age: 40

Family: Married, 3 children.

Occupation: Business Owner, Investment Advisor.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Finance, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993

Civic involvement: Hinsdale Humane Society President, 2010 Treasurer 2007-2009, 2011 Board of Directors, 2006-2011 DuPage County Regional Planning Commission Commissioner, 2006-2011 Illinois Center Right Coalition Treasurer, 2011-present York Township Republican Committeemen's Organization Precinct Committeeman, 2002-present

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Eliminating publicly funded pensions for part-time County Board Members

Key Issue 2

Cutting spending, reducing the tax burden on families and increasing transparency to make DuPage County the model for the rest of the country.

Key Issue 3

Improving efficiency, streamlining operations, consolidating wasteful or redundant levels of government.

Questions & Answers

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 desire to serve on the DuPage County Board comes out of my own appreciation for DuPage County. I've been blessed to live in DuPage County for more than 15 years now. While the county is made up of diverse towns and communities-- each with their own flavor and personalit I've discovered that the residents of DuPage have much in common, not the least of which is a desire to live in a place where they and their families can have the opportunities to thrive.

Ensuring that DuPage County remains a place where opportunities abound is one of the main factors that motivates me to run. Especially as I see increased spending and ever-increasing taxes as something that threatens those opportunities for the hard-working people of DuPage.

I'm running as a tax-payers advocate -- not as a career politician who's more interested in bilking tax-payers out of more of their money to fund my future than I am in ensuring that the people of DuPage County can continue to thrive.

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'd bring my years as a small-business owner as well as a community leader. I've identified three top priorities:

1. Eliminating publicly funded pensions for part-time county board members.

2. Cutting spending'reducing the tax burden on families'and increasing transparency to make DuPage County the model for the rest of the country.

3. Improving efficiency, streamlining operations, and consolidating wasteful or redundant levels of government.

How can the county best manage its growth, growing diversity?

As the son of Cuban immigrants and a member of DuPage County's budding 'diverse? population, I can say that I don't believe I or my children or any other member of this population needs to be 'managed? any differently than any other citizen. And frankly, I don't actually believe the County should be in the business of 'managing? the people.

That said, I believe the best way to address growing diversity is simply to celebrate it and to continue to offer everyone who lives in DuPage County opportunities to live and work and succeed?in the various meanings of that word.

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?

I am aware of the current board members' attendance records. Many of them are abysmal?though certain members have better excuses than others. But when nearly half the county board members miss more than 20% of their meetings and still collect their $50,000 a year salary, still claim they worked the 20 hours/week to make them pension-eligible and still take their health care benefits, they have a lot of explaining to do. Imagine in any other workplace if half the workforce missed 1 out of every 5 days work! It wouldn't be tolerated. The taxpayers deserve better. This is shameful.

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?

Earlier this year, not only did I pledge to refuse to take the county board pension?and all health care benefits'but I also pledged that if elected, I will move to eliminate the tax-payer funded pension for part-time county board members. This is a move that hasn't made me popular with the career politicians, but the tax-payers love it. I also created an online petition asking people to sign to only support candidates who will follow my lead to eliminate pensions for county board members.

I do believe the county board members are paid too much. I would move to reduce the salary by 50% (or $25,000). This is part-time, public service work. There is no reason why board members should be paid so richly.

Right now, the pay and pension structure serves as a huge draw for career politicians'those who see their roles in public service as an opportunity to line their own pockets. Being a county board member should not be about securing your own future?but about securing the futures for everyone in DuPage County. And we do this by cutting unnecessary expenses.

We can save DuPage County tax-payers $1 Million/year if we slashed part-time DuPage County Board members' salaries by 50% and eliminate pension and health care benefits for part-time DuPage County Board members.