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updated: 2/14/2014 10:40 PM

Frank Avila: Candidate Profile

Metro. Water Reclamation District (Democrat)

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  • Frank Avila, running for Metro. Water Reclamation District

      Frank Avila, running for Metro. Water Reclamation District


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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.

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City: Chicago

Website: "YOU TUBE" Search for Commissioner Frank Avila

Office sought:

Metro. Water Reclamation District

Age: 75

Family: Married for 48 years to Sherry Avila; three children: Frank B. Avila, Quinn M. Avila, and Audrey Avila; two grandchildren: 17 year Clarence and 3 year Thalia.

Occupation: Professional Civil Engineer State of IL, Professional Land Surveyor State of IL, and Environmentalist

Education: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, U. of IL, Champaign-Urbana, IL; Master of Science in Finance, U. of AZ, Tucson, AZ

Various conferences/classes on Protecting our Water Environment, Wellness, and Health and Welfare of the Residents of Cook County

Civic involvement: American Society of Civil Engineers; External Advisory Board of the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP) Board with the University of IL, Chicago; Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; Board of the New Hope Food Pantry, Chicago; Member of St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Park Ridge; Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA); Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC); National Museum of Mexican Art (NMOMA); Water Environment Federation (WEF); Norwood Park, Chicago; Mather's More than a Cafe, Chicago, and Future City Competition with various elementary-middle school throughout Cook County.

Elected offices held: 2002 to 2008 - Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

2008 to present - Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

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

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is an operational-type of agency to protect the water environment, and my experience and education as a Professional Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, and Environmentalist relates to protecting the water environment and the health and safety of the residents of Cook County. My top priorities include cost effective wastewater treatment, flood prevention, the regulation of waste disposal to protect our waterways including eliminating toxic chemicals from the source to prevent endocrine disruption.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

I am the only Licensed Professional Civil Engineer and Licensed Professional Land Surveyor, State of IL; and Environmentalist running for Re-Election for a position that is relevant to my qualifications. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is primarily an operational type of agency which deals with design and construction of wastewater plants, sewers, flood management, and water quality. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Finance. I worked as a Civil Engineer and a business owner for over 40 years. As the owner of a Civil Engineering Firm; I completed flood studies, drainage studies, designed bridges, roads, and sewers as well as supervised and managed construction.

What special knowledge or experience do you have that particularly qualifies you for this office?

I have over 40 years experience as a Civil Engineer, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, and a Master of Finance Degree. I chair the Maintenance and Operations Committee, the Engineering Committee, and the Health and Welfare Committee. My Committees oversee seven waste water plants. Three are considered some of the largest in the USA, and one is the largest in the world. I will continue to treat waste water in a cost effective way to minimize the expense to the Residents of Cook County. My mission is to protect our water supply to Lake Michigan, because we need water to live, manage flooding, and to educate the public on health and welfare.

What should the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District do to prevent disasters like the widespread flooding that affected the North and Northwest suburbs recently?

The MWRD recently passed the Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance. The goal of WMO is to establish uniform, minimum, countywide storm water management regulations for Cook County. This ordinance is to ensure that future development and redevelopment do not exacerbate flooding and to ensure that there are regulations for drainage, detention, floodplain management, wetland and riparian environment protection and soil erosion and sediment control. The Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance includes green technologies. Green technologies should be utilized as much as possible because of the environmental and financial benefits--reducing run-off reduces the wastewater flow coming into MWRD system and reduces our costs.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

I give talks, and host and produce CAN-TV shows emphasizing prevention
by eliminating toxic chemicals in our personal care products, cosmetics, antibiotics and steroids in our food, and proper disposal of pharmaceutical drugs.
I received the "2012 CITIZEN ENGINEER OF THE YEAR AWARD" from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Illinois Section, and the "2013 PRESIDENTS AWARD" from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Chicago Professional Chapter for my work to protect the health and safety of the public and protect the quality of water in the Chicago area waterways.

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