Monica Silva: Candidate Profile
Kane County board District 7 (Democrat)
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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: I have two sons, Alex is 16 and Daniel is 15. They are both students at Marmion Academy.
Occupation: Chiropractic Physician
Education: B.S. in Biology
B.S. in Health Sciences (PreMed)
Doctor of Chiropractic
Civic involvement: Member, St. Therese Church
I have volunteered with various organizations such as Family Focus, Marklund, Annunciation School, St. Therese Church, Marmion Academy
Elected offices held: Aurora Twp Trustee
Kane Co Board Commissioner
The county commissioned a study to determine which services are mandated and which are not in preparation for a deeper budget cut. Do you believe the county must continue to reduce costs? If so, which non-mandated services would you cut or reduce? Under what circumstances would you support a tax increase?
It is imperative that we continue to reduce costs without decreasing services. However, this must be done at the discretion of the independently elected officials. The County Board has reduced costs over the last few years. We have opportunities to reduce costs but we must do it intelligently and responsibly. Negotiating one contract for healthcare services to cover both the adults at the jail and the youth at the juvenile justice center. The same applies for food contracts. These types of consolidation in other areas could lead to additional cost savings.
The mandated services study said the law will require a reduction in the number of board seats as the county's population grows. Reducing the number of seats might also save money. What is the right number of board seats? How soon should the reduction occur?
The County Board will have to make tough decisions in upcoming years regarding the budget and how to provide services within the constraints of this fiscal environment. I believe that these decisions will be better made with more voices. With a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas, Kane is a diverse county. That diversity should be reflected on the County Board. Eliminating a couple of board seats wouldn't save the county an amount significant enough to offset the loss of the diversity of voices on the board.
Do you support adding a sunset clause to any toll created to fund the Longmeadow Parkway?
A sunset clause set to expire upon repayment of the construction bonds would demonstrate that the toll was meant only for construction. I would support a sunset clause.
Was ending the county's GPS and electronic monitoring program the right decision? If not, how would you restore the program?
I disagree with the decision to eliminate the GPS and electronic monitoring program. As a county board member, I have a fiduciary responsibility to the tax payers, and I believe that the decision to end the program will cost more money than having maintained it. The cost of incarceration is significantly higher than the cost of home monitoring. It is very important to also protect victims from a perpetrator who is released or posts bail and returns home without electronic monitoring. Electronic monitoring notifies victims when the perpetrator comes near them. County government has a responsibility to protect residents and adequately provide for public safety. Reserve funds are able to fund the program and still maintain a healthy and safe balance.
Do you support keeping the Aurora Election Commission?
If the Commission were to be abolished, the County would be responsible for the entire cost of running elections as well as maintaining and updating voter records. Currently, Kane pays a portion of the expenses for the Commission with a larger share of the cost burden to Kane County. With the County's current fiscal challenges, adding another approximately $500,000 to the County's budget is concerning. Ultimately, the residents of Aurora will determine with the referendum whether they wish to abolish the nonpartisan Election Commission.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
It is important that we continue to follow in the national trend of moving public health towards a disease prevention model as opposed to a reactive approach to disease. We must continue to identify chronic disease triggers such as obesity, but we must also be diligent to include mental health in these discussions. Suicide awareness among youth and Veterans, is very necessary. With the medical model moving in the direction of non-pharmacological treatment of pain, public health has become a larger stake holder in the dissemination of information in keeping with the scientific and medical community's standards and wishes.
We have an opportunity to continue to fight for indemnification from the pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. Any settlement should be used for the benefit of unfortunate victims in the form of substance abuse and other programs.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Hard work, perseverance and conviction are important factors that leaders have.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would spend it on working harder for my family and my community.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Science, I am a physician.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make ethical decisions. Read and stay informed and do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.