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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: Carol Stream
Office sought: Carol Stream Library Board (4-year Terms)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Married with furry children
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Education: B.A. in Communication/Management; took some classes at Master level in Accounting & Finance but had to quit due to family concerns. Certificate in Personal Training from NASM.
Civic involvement: I volunteer with the Carol Stream police department; I am a CERT member and I serve as a library trustee with the Carol Stream Public Library.
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
My first campaign issue is that I am accountable and listen to the residents of Carol Stream as to what is important and or needed by them. I got on board (no pun intended) because it seemed that the previous board was not listening to the residents and tried to pass a referendum for a new library 3 times, and on 3 times it was unanimously voted down. What is bothersome is that when acting in a political role, the politicians do not listen to the voters or make judgment calls and implement plans of action that benefit the taxpayers. It's more about them implementing what works for them and I don't work that way. This action alone shows me that they are not fiscally responsible nor did they seem to care about what was important or needed by the residents.
Key Issue 2
My second issue is that the previous board purchased land before getting the "yes" vote from the residents. Why would you ever consider doing that without getting the go-ahead as well to take action from its residents. It seemed they took action first and asked questions later which is not the way things should be done. This tactic seemed back-handed since it was not brought up for approval or discussion at length. Adding additional taxes at a time when the majority did not want it or need it, was wrong. This is about doing what is right for the library and the citizens and not unnecessarily taxing our residents for something that was definitely not needed.
Key Issue 3
My third issue is to do the right thing and that is why I got on this board to do the right thing. I was brought up Catholic and my father had high integrity in everything he did - whether it was personally or business-related. This was the man he was and this is the person I am. Being Italian and Catholic was a no brainer and I was taught at an early age to be responsible, stand up for yourself and what you believe in, be truthful and be accountable for your actions - you said what you meant and meant what you said and that is the same way I lead my life.
Do you support the board's decision to put the library's Kuhn Road property on the market? Would you support a sale or lease of the property? Would you ever support construction of a new library in the village?
Yes, of course, I supported the board's decision to put the Kuhn Road property on the market and it currently is. Why? because it was sitting there doing nothing and we were paying taxes for grass! The land is worth more than originally thought and I didn't see a reason not to do this. Also, this board recently received approval in DuPage County for tax exempt status on that land. I also supported the lease of the property to the Park District which is still in discussion. But this lease is a double-whammy since it not only relieves the taxpayers from paying taxes on the land but also releases the library from maintaining the land, which might be another tax passed down to the residents. All of this, makes the land more functional for our residents rather than just sitting there as a pile of grass. As far as construction of a new library - I would only support that if in fact a majority of our residents did and that would make it completely warranted. However, what was frustrating for me, was that our previous board continually asked to build a new library when it is repeatedly turned down, I don't get that. What do you not get about "No" and yet they kept asking. In that scenario, if you think about the actual cost (and not the "presented" or "posted" cost) of that project (which was also misrepresented), we would have been paying the interest on that bond for a very long time. I doubt in this lifetime if we would have even gotten close to paying off the principal and that makes no sense either when people are struggling with their jobs, paying bills and need to put food on the table for their family. Why would we senselessly tax the residents (to the tune of about $600 plus per household) on something which they did not want, did not need, and wasn't warranted. It would have put us all in the red for many years to come.
What specifically will you do to improve the working relationship among board members?
I don't see a problem regarding the working relationship of the board members. Although on several occasions one board member was abusive to other board members and apparently is not aware of the Ethics By Laws we are sworn to under oath. The Board has addressed this situation personally, to no avail which then became an issue for the whole board.
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
I am re-running for this position because I stand for things that apparently the previous board chose to ignore. I would like to build on the good efforts we have already successfully completed, with no additional taxes to our residents, and not waste the taxpayers money with a 4th Kuhn Road referendum as was done in the past. I believe that with the tax savings we have created, we can build a library that the residents as well as staff will enjoy walking into each and every day. My motivation comes from the smaller things - a compliment from a patron, the amazement on a child's face when they see something in the library for the first time and I know that I played a part in those things.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Yes, I've had a library card for several years and I use it often for reference and to get books.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
Changing economies and technological changes are inevitable and ever-evolving. Through the sharing of ideas and suggestions we hope to continue to bring new advances and technology into the library so it will be functional for everyone - young, old, full-time job, part-time job, students, retirees, children and their parents. We want to keep our library relevant and improve the services that it offers and for it to be a primary source of information for many years to come. It is my job as a trustee to ensure that I and the rest of the board are doing our best to bring interest and creativity back to the library in a practical and fiscally responsible manner. And I think everyone will not only love the new computers but they already love the new popcorn machine as well!