Four candidates running for three open seats on the DuPage County Board in the Nov. 6 election all point to different issues as their top priority for improving life in DuPage.
In written questionnaires, the candidates discussed their highest priorities and each has his or her own idea on what to tackle first.
Democrat Sharon E. Bryant, a teacher and manager from Woodridge, said she wants to "bring government closer to the people" through newsletters, forums and attending township meetings.
Additionally, if elected, she pledges she would hold only one elected office during her term.
"I want to give more than 100 percent to this position to be effective and visible to the residents," Bryant said.
Incumbent Republican John Curran, an attorney from Woodridge, said his main focus is keeping down property taxes. Curran said he is proud that DuPage residents have seen no property tax increase from the county during his past four years on the board.
"The county portion of your property tax bill is still less than 3 percent, a smaller portion of your tax bill than when I was first elected four years ago," Curran said. "At the same time, DuPage County has maintained its AAA bond rating by all three bond rating agencies. Less than 2 percent of all U.S. counties can say that."
Republican hopeful Gary Grasso, an attorney from Burr Ridge, said his main aim is fiscal restraint and efficiency through consolidation and infrastructure maintenance.
Grasso said he envisions "real consolidation and shared services of government, including fire and police ... by horizontal cross-utilization of employees, elimination of overlapping programs, and value analysis of private-public partnerships and intergovernmental agreements with municipalities for shared public services."
He said maintaining and improving roads and infrastructure also is key. Both goals can be accomplished, Grasso said, through "responsible borrowing at historically low interest rates with a defined financing revenue stream for each project."
Incumbent Republican Brian J. Krajewski, an accountant and attorney from Downers Grove, said he wants to focus on economic development and job creation.
He said in his prior term, he worked with fellow board members to promote DuPage as a place to do business in an effort to bring new tax revenue and jobs for residents.
"I will continue to use the experience I gained during the eight years as mayor of Downers Grove (from 1999 to 2007) during which thousands of jobs and large corporations chose Downers Grove as the place to have their business," Krajewski said.
"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," he said.
District 3 includes all or parts of Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lemont, Naperville, Westmont, Willowbrook and Woodridge.
The District 3 term will be for either two or four years.
With the exception of the chairman's post, all county board seats are up for election. That's because once every 10 years, the county redraws district boundaries based on the latest U.S. Census results.
Next, the county board will hold a lottery to determine which three seats will start with 4-year terms, and which will have 2-year terms.