Kim Brondyke: Candidate Profile
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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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Family: Three children
Occupation: Project Manager
Education: B.S. Communication, Illinois State University
Civic involvement: Former race director, Scarecrow Scramble 5k Run/Walk, all proceeds go to Lisle Partners for Parks Foundation and Lisle Teens with Character
Former Lisle Partners for Parks Foundation board member
Lifetime member Lisle Heritage Society
Former member of Lisle Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee
Elected offices held: 1995 - 2001: Lisle Park District Commissioner
2001 - 2009: Village of Lisle Trustee
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 have been an active participant in local politics and volunteer activities in Lisle for most of the 28 years I've lived here. Lisle is a homegrown, hometown community, and that alone motivates me to seek elected office again. I am proud of my community and will enjoy doing all I can through this office to make it an even better place to live.
I am running for an office that, considering my diverse background in government, makes me uniquely qualified to serve as Village Clerk. This position requires attention to and participation in the governmental process in Lisle. As a former Village Trustee, I have attended over 100 village board meetings, including executive sessions. I have worked with village staff and understand the importance of the checks and balances inherent in that relationship. I have worked in the district and Springfield office of a state senator, and worked for the DuPage County Board Chairman.
I am greatly concerned about the efforts of a small group of disaffected residents to annex Lisle into Naperville.
We must remain the Village of Lisle. Naperville has struggled with the issue of geographic representation through the aldermanic form of government within their own city and the concept was voted down. Absorption into Naperville would diminish the attention paid to the needs of Lisle residents.
Some communities have contracted out for certain services, such as snowplowing, to save money. What innovative methods would you propose to reduce your office's budget? Explain your answer.
In the past 20 years or so, some of the duties of the office of Village Clerk have been shifted to the Assistant Village Clerk - a staffed position. While the Illinois Compiled Statutes do not allow for disbanding the office of Village Clerk outright ((65 ILCS 5/) Illinois Municipal Code), consideration should be given to making the office an appointive office instead of elected with an appropriate reduction in stipend.
The state's revised Freedom of Information Act guidelines renewed focus on open government. Name one specific step you would take if elected to increase government transparency in your office.
I was the FOIA officer for the DuPage County Board while employed there, so I have experience with FOIA. I applaud all that FOIA has done to make government more transparent. And it has made its mark. The Village has done a good job making information available to those who seek it. Board meetings are televised on the Village website which includes a transparency portal where anyone can access or request relevant information. I will continue to encourage transparency as Village Clerk. The annexation referendum is a good example of a weak spot in transparency. When an important and life-altering decision to annex the town one lives in to another town can be done anonymously - that's simply not right. I will lobby state legislators to fix that glaring loophole. While it is important to respect anonymity regarding requests for documents, anonymity is not acceptable when it comes to putting questions on the ballot.
What steps would you take as village clerk to improve and increase the flow of information to residents?
The Village of Lisle has a FOIA officer; it is the Village Clerk's responsibilities to oversee the activities of the FOIA officer. The law is very clear about its guidelines in fulfilling a FOIA request. However, internal processes should be reviewed to determine what could be improved and how. As the Village Clerk who is responsible for maintaining all village records, I will ensure that the guidelines are being followed.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for village clerk? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
I am neither a newcomer nor an incumbent. I served on the Village Board as Trustee from 2001 to 2009. While in office, I advocated the redevelopment of downtown, supported the private/public Benedictine University sports complex, and was the chairman of the anti-drug awareness committee, Lisle In-Touch. What separates me from others is my background in government. For over six years, I ran the district office of State Senator Michael Connelly. That gives me a better understanding of how the interests of the village and the state intersect, as well as how to best advocate for Lisle when bills are being considered in Springfield that might adversely impact Lisle. Also, I worked for the DuPage County Board Chairman, so I have a good understanding of how county government works with the surrounding communities, and that would absolutely benefit the village.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Simply put, this election is about the heart and soul of Lisle. There are disaffected elements in our community who, instead of seeking to work to improve the village, are actively attempting to push annexation of Lisle into Naperville - a move that neither community supports. Lisle at its heart is a small-town community with a big heart. It is not an endless string of subdivisions where residents are largely unknown to each other. Lisle is a community where people still check up on each other - and each other's kids. It's a community where you grocery shopping at Jewel is more like socializing with everyone you bump into. Lisle has a vibrant volunteer base of unsung heroes (many of whom are employees of Lisle businesses) who work every day to make this community a better place to live. And together, we all continue to work toward that goal.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
The only thing you carry through life is yourself. Always be true to yourself.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Wish I could have more than one do-over - one of them would be running cross country in high school.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History. It gives one great perspective about how to handle crises.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I always tell my kids that you can't change anyone, you can only change yourself.