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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: Downers Grove
Office sought: DuPage County board District 3
Family: Married Wife Mary
Occupation: CPA and Attorney
Education: B.A. in Accounting Benedictine University J.D. John Marshall Law School L.L.M. Masters of Law in Taxation - John Marshall Law School
Civic involvement: Board Member West Suburban Humane Society, Member of Downers Grove Rotary Club, Board Member and Treasurer Education Foundatiuon of Downers Grove District 58, St. Mary's of Gostyn Basketball Coach 12 years, Past Downers Grove Youth Baseball coach 9 years, Board Member Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, Past Board Member American Cancer Society, Past Board Member Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce.
Elected offices held: Dupage County Board, 2010 to present Downers Grove Mayor, 1997-2007
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Economic development and job creation is my number one campaign issue. I will continue to work with the other county board members to promote DuPage as a place to do business. We need to encourage businesses to locate to DuPage County to create more job opportunities for our residents and more tax revenue for our county. I will continue to use the experience that I gained during the eight years as Mayor of Downers Grove (1999-2007) during which thousands of jobs and large corporations chose Downers Grove as the place to have their business. Having just completed my first year on the county board I was pleased to encourage and work with Edward Don Corporation to locate their business in DuPage County. This company will generate a few million dollars in sales tax revenue for the county over the next 10 years, which will help us continue to provide top quality services to our residents.
Key Issue 2
My number 2 campaign issue is to reduce taxes and become more effcient in delivering county services. I will continue working to promote tax cuts to give residents and businesses more money to spend. I will continue to support county initiatives to save our residents money while still deliverying good quality services. Last year was my first year on the board and I supported the reduction of county spending by $10 million, supported the elimination of 46 full time county positions, supported the reform of employee benefits saving residents $20 million over the next 20 years and supported the consolidation of the youth detention service center saving residents $900,000 annually.
Key Issue 3
My number 3 campaign issue is transportation and infrastructure improvements. I believe we need to accelerate the improvements to our roadways in DuPage and allocate more dollars towards improving transportaion in the county.
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 goal as an elected official has always been to represent the interests of the citizens and bring a better quality of life to both family and work aspects. There are many issues but the residents are always my primary concern and are at the core of every decision. My experience and education provides me with the background to be an effective county board member. As the Mayor of Downers Grove for eight years I have gained the practical skills and understanding necessary to hold a position on the county board. In combination with being a CPA, my business qualifications give me the insight and ability to contribute meaningful input on budgets and financial operations which are integral facets of the county board as it is the county board members who determine how your tax dollars are spent.
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 am an incumbent that has just completed my first year on the DuPage County Board. My main contributions include supporting the reduction of our overall budget by $10 million, supporting employee benefit reforms which will save the county $20 million, supporting the consolidation or our youth detention center saving $900,000, supporting the new implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning system which will make us much more efficient with record keeping, budgeting and procurement, and supporting Choose DuPage and Economic Development. In particular, one of the most important initiatives I lead was with Economic Development. I served as a liaison between DuPage County and the Edward Don Corporation; I recognized early in the process the positive and significant impact that the company would have on our local economy. Acquiring the Edward Don Corporation to the DuPage area will not only yield 400 jobs but also generate millions of dollars in sales tax revenue over the next 10 years which will enable the county to continue to provide good quality services and programs for residents.
How can the county best manage its growth, growing diversity?
To answer the needs of a growing and diverse population and to continue providing good quality services and programs, it is crucial to continue with our long range planning.
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?
As it is obviously a priority to attend county board and committee meetings, I am very satisfied with my attendance at near 100%. In regards to the few committee meetings I missed, I was actually at the county complex involved with other county board work including meeting to discuss resident issues.
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 county board has been a leader over the last few years in addressing board members? compensation. Some changes have been made including the elimination of additional compensation for the chair or vice chair of a committee as well as board member mileage reimbursement; less then two years ago compensation for county board members was cut 6%. A change that I would like to explore would be reducing board members income for missed meetings. During my eight years as Mayor of Downers Grove I never missed a vote. I have completed my first year on the county board and have observed that most members work diligently and have regular attendance. However, I was surprised that there were a couple of county board members who did not attend numerous meetings. It is my opinion that as an elected representative it is an obligation to attend meetings not only to grasp the issues at hand but out of respect for your constituents. In regards to the matter of pensions, this is an issue that needs to be addressed statewide; I am in favor of changes to the overall pension system in Illinois.