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: Glendale Heights
Office sought: Glendale Heights Village President (4-year Term)
Family: Widowed, four children, nine grandchildren
Occupation: Retired Printer - Elgin Courier News
Education: Wheaton Central High School, attended Southern Illinois University, and completed Apprenticeship to the International Typographical Union. Completed National Incident Management System Training - ICS 100, ICS 700,and ICS 800.
Civic involvement: Member of the Glendale Heights Chamber of Commerce, lifetime member of Glendale Heights Jr. Woman's Club and Glendale Heights VFW Post 2377 Ladies Auxiliary, Glendale Heights Neighborhood Watch, Glendale Heights Citizens Emergency Response Team, and Graduate of the Citizens Police Academy.
Elected offices held: Glendale Heights Trustee: 1991, 1995, 1999 Appointed Acting Mayor:September 1999 through September 2000 Village President: 2001, 2005, 2009
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No, I have never been arrested for or convicted of a crime.
Key Issue 1
As an incumbent running for re-election for Village President, I stand prepared to respond to campaign issues that may be raised by those who will be challenging me to become the next Village President. Unfortunately, campaign material often misrepresents, distorts, and falsifies the facts. Unfounded accusations may also be made that aim at creating doubts, without justification, as to my personal integrity, or those of my running mates already holding office. I pledge to conduct my campaign using the basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play. If residents have any questions, concerns or need fact-checking of information, I have an open door and encourage them to come visit, call or email me.
Key Issue 2
As an incumbent, I promise to continue to serve the Village of Glendale Heights with the highest degree of personal honesty and integrity; take time to listen to the residents and always keep the lines of communication open; deliver quality public services in the most cost effective and efficient manner; represent the best interests of our residents and businesses in all Village business, not the special interests of others; spend our resident's tax dollars on what matters most and be fiscally responsible; work hard each day to preserve and improve the quality of life in the community so that Glendale Heights remains "A Proud & Progressive Village for all People"!
Key Issue 3
As an incumbent, I feel that "Proven Leadership and Experience" really does matter! I have served as the Village President for Glendale Heights for the past 12 years, and combined with my years of service as a Trustee, I have served on the Village Board for 22 consecutive years. I also currently serve on the International Day Committee, Charity Golf Classic Committee, Golf Course Committee, Founders Day Committee, Historical Committee, and the Glendale Heights Government Agency Partnership. My professional memberships include the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. I was the proud recipient of the Illinois Woman of Achievement Award in 2000 and Outstanding Patriotism Award from State of Illinois VFW in 2006.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I feel my experience, and more importantly my past performance, my initiatives and my accomplishments speak for themselves. I am proud of having a record of keeping my campaign promises. I worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for our residents, and establish a good business climate to retain and attract both commercial businesses and industry to our community. Sometimes the biggest victories are what didn't happen in our community. One example is my aggressive opposition to a proposed Waste Transfer Station just outside of our corporate limits that I considered to be the single, biggest threat to the health, safety and welfare of our community. I always support what I feel is good for Glendale Heights, and aggressively oppose what is not! I also think it very important to our residents to feel comfortable approaching me, and to know that I take time to listen them. Stepping up to a podium at a public meeting to address the Village Board is not for everyone. Throughout my years as Mayor, I hold monthly "Saturday Morning Coffee with the Mayor and Village Board", and every month different residents come in to talk to us about a concern that they have, or to share their opinions. Summer Park Parties have also proven to be an invaluable way of communicating with Village residents. Throughout the summer months, the District Trustee and I head out to neighborhood parks with the Park Party Trailer to enjoy hot dogs, ice cream, music, and games with area residents. I have found the best conversations and resident feedback happen while we sit around a picnic table in their neighborhood parks.
Given the delicate balance between the need for revenue and over-taxing local businesses, what is your opinion of your community's present level of local sales taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.
I feel our local sales tax rate is "just right", and consistent with most of our surrounding communities. The last increase in the sales tax was in 2009 and was specifically designated and utilized to support our local road program and storm water management improvements in our community. I have no plans to increase the sales tax. I will continue to support the needs of our local businesses as I consider them to be vital to the economic health and vitality of our community.
Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.
I need to start by stating that I am very proud of the men and women of the Glendale Heights Police Department, and public safety and disaster preparedness remain my top priorities. Under my leadership and support, the Village of Glendale Heights received CALEA's Certificate of Accreditation for our police operations. It is the highest recognition in the United States for a law enforcement agency, and means that the Glendale Heights Police Department has established and maintained the highest standards associated with training, operations, policy and procedure. It does not mean we are perfect, but instead it is a commitment to high ideals and that we hold ourselves accountable in adhering to the same. Statistics also show that we are on the right track, as evidenced by the continued reduction in our Part 1 and 2 crime rates. In addition, our citizen satisfaction surveys continue to provide us with important information on how our residents feel about a variety of public safety topics. Our police department continues to receive very high satisfaction ratings in all categories, however some residents have recently commented on the need for us to increase the visibility of our police force in their neighborhoods. I have set goals and objectives this year to effectively address this concern.
In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?
The most significant reduction in spending over the past several years has been a 10% reduction in manpower that is equivalent to 25 fewer full-time employees. This reduction has primarily been achieved through natural attrition and retirements, as opposed to layoffs. Many full-time positions have been restructured to compensate for the reduced manpower. Several full-time positions have been reduced to part-time to save costs on employee benefits. Some services have also been outsourced. Since manpower represents about 70% of our General Fund Budget, we will continue to seek more efficient ways to provide public services with less manpower. The Village consistently takes the position, "that we may be down on manpower, but we are full of willpower" to provide our community with quality public services that they depend on. The Village's annual operating budget has also been trimmed back and is based upon essential operational expenses. We have reduced funding for our vehicle and equipment replacement fund over the past three years, and I would like to see this particular fund have adequate funding to meet our future needs.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
An idea that I continue to support is e-government solutions that realize cost savings and greater operational efficiencies through the use of technology. This will include implementing technology that allows the Village to continue to increase the ways we connect and listen to the residents we serve. Being on the Village Board for over 20 years, I have learned the best approach to bringing good ideas to the community is by being a good listener. These grassroots conversations are truly the impetus behind the many successful programs and improvements in the Village. I listened to seniors for years talk about the type of services they wanted to see, and we now have a dedicated senior center with all the amenities they requested. I listened to working parents who were the reasons behind our successful afterschool program through our partnership with our elementary schools. And, I never forget to listen to those who can't vote yet, but who are so important to our future Glendale Heights kids. They are the ones behind the improvements at the Sports Hub, improvements to equipment in their parks, and improvements in policies, such as when we changed our skate park rules to allow skateboarders and bikers to both have equal access after they came to one of our board meetings to discuss their ideas with us.