Rachel Ossyra: Candidate Profile

Naperville Township Supervisor

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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. Jump to:BioQA Bio City: AuroraWebsite: Candidate did not respond.Twitter: Candidate did not respond.Facebook: sought: Naperville Township Supervisor Age: 57Family: John Ossyra - son, age 29, live in Knoxville, TN with wife Jessica and son John Emerson. Chemical Engineering grad from U of Illinois. Working on PhD in Molecular Computational Biophysics at U of Tennessee.Angela Whitman - Daughter, age 25, lives in Virginia Bean with husband Michael. Environmental Science graduate from Western Michigan U. Works as Financial Planner for Northwestern MutualOccupation: International Business Manager, Mechanical EngineerEducation: BS Mechanical Engineering, Valparaiso University, with highest distinctionCivic involvement: -Rotary Club of Naperville - Board member, District Grants Committee chair, International humanitarian grants leader-Naperville League of Women Voters - member-Fox Valley Park Foundation Board - Chairman-Aurora Aquatics Administrative Board - President-Fox Valley Park District-Treasurer, past President-Elected offices held: Naperville Township Supervisor 2013-presentFox Valley Park District Trustee 2011-presentRepublican Precinct Committeeman 2006-presentQuestions Answers Name the three most important goals or objectives this board should tackle in the coming term. Prioritize them, and briefly discuss why you believe each to be critical, and how the board should go about addressing them.1. IMPLEMENT MORE EFFICIENT SERVICE DELIVERY MODEL THROUGH COLLABORATIVE CONSOLIDATION AND STREAMLINING OF TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT. I've actively supported the effort to consolidate the Road District, which has only 14.8 miles of road, with Lisle Township or City of Naperville to create a more efficient system, capture economies of scale and eliminate redundant costs and assets. I'm the Naperville Township proponent for the binding referendum on the April 4 ballot. Similarly, the Supervisor's office has an opportunity to improve quality, scope and cost of our social services by combining efforts with the Naperville Police Social Services group, Lisle Township Supervisor's office, DuPage Co Social Services and community social services providers. While there is much coordination at this time, we should systematically determine the service and cost benefits and feasibility of co-locating teams together and deepening their coordination.2. FURTHER GROW COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO MODERNIZE DELIVERY OF EASILY ACCESSIBLE, OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO RESIDENTS. We have established valuable contract partnerships with 9 outstanding social service providers in Naperville and Aurora that enable us to provide township services more efficiently and effectively to residents than we would be able to do on our own. 3. CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION. Continue progress I've made during the last 4-years to improve financial planning, identification of savings opportunities, budgeting of savings and sustainable realization of property tax savings by cutting the tax levy over 10%. Much has been accomplished by managing health care costs, realigning staff, implementing technology, improving communications and establishing community partnerships.What should be the primary responsibility of township government?In metropolitan areas, such as the Chicago collar counties, the primary responsibility of township government should be property tax assessment only. Social services and road services can be administered more efficiently and effectively through municipalities and counties.The township property tax assessment process should continue to improve accuracy and cut costs by implementing technology advances and professionalizing staff and officials. Ultimately the township assessor role should evolve from being an elected office with minimal professional requirements to an appointed position filled by highly qualified non-political individuals. The Naperville Township Assessor's office does an outstanding job and is a leader in modernization and cost reduction.In rural areas, where municipal and county infrastructure and services are not widespread, traditional township government providing social services and road services may be the most efficient service delivery model.In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?It's time to roll up our sleeves and work together to modernize local government in Illinois. Illinois has the most units of local government, the 2nd highest effective property tax rates and outdated provisions for delivering public service. The township system was created in a more rural time hundreds of years ago. Today it's often an unnecessary layer in our metropolitan counties of mostly incorporated areas. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for multiple layers of government that duplicate services and allow local governments to borrow and spend more. By eliminating redundancies and introducing efficiencies, streamlining and consolidation of local government can save taxpayers money and increase public participation in the democratic process. We need legislation that will provide a roadmap and tools for modernizing townships and local government. An option is to adopt the modernization processes that have been successfully used in other states that had township government.I don't believe that township government should take on any new responsibilities.Are there any township offices that should be eliminated or consolidated?In metropolitan areas such as DuPage County, which have strong municipal, county and non-profit services, we should carefully examine combining township supervisor's and clerk's offices together and/or merging them with the municipalities and county. As has been demonstrated in Evanston, where the township supervisor and clerk offices where dissolved into the city, the quality of the services deepened and improved, with more wrap-around to residents, and the cost diminished due to eliminating redundant administrative and elected official costs. The road districts, which handle pockets of unincorporated areas inside of mostly incorporated metropolitan areas, should also be carefully studied to determine the most cost effective way to perform the services. Possibilities include merging township road districts, contracting or dissolving into municipalities or counties and private outsourcing.Can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?As I described above, supervisor and clerk's offices and road districts can be streamlined and consolidated to reduce the tax burden in metropolitan counties and areas. Unfortunately the township code is antiquated, restrictive and does not provide a process for modernization. We need help from our legislators to provide effective tools for smart streamlining.We should continue to implement technology to reduce administrative costs and improve responsiveness. During the last 4 years, we have examined every program and activity to improve efficiency and cost, and sunset activities that weren't needed. Through this process we have identified sustainable cost savings, reduced our budget and cut the tax levy by over 10% to achieve sustainable tax reduction.What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?Transparant governance is extremely important to me, and I have made enormous improvements during my 4 years in office. After taking office, I quickly brought the township in compliance with the Open Meetings Act by posting meeting agendas and minutes on time. I created board meeting packets which were sent to all elected officials and posted on the public website at least 48 business hours before the meeting. I have ensured closed session meetings and records are appropriately conducted and maintained. I immediately had governance and ethics training conducted for the new board. I put together a comprehensive system of governance policies, which were lacking. I also instituted video recording and posting of the board meetings last year. This will continue to be a major area of focus for me.It's also very important to me to continue to strengthen the Ride Du Page partnership program which provides safe, convenient and affordable transportation for residents aged 65 and above and disabled residents, including para-transit service. Local mass transportation is also a challenge in our area, with a limited number of bus routes. I am committed to advocating for more options for our residents.Please name one current leader who most inspires you.Condoleezza RiceWhat is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?To respect everyone, conserve resources and be disciplined in setting goals and achieving them.If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?I would learn a foreign language as early as possible in my life, and continue to learn more languages.What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?Mathematics. I started school in Australia and we spent half the day doing math. Math helped me understand how things relate to each otherIf you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?Service above self