Elizabeth Chaplin: Candidate Profile

DuPage County board District 2 (Democrat)

Updated 2/13/2018 12:00 PM
  • Elizabeth Chaplin, running for DuPage County board District 2

    Elizabeth Chaplin, running for DuPage County board District 2

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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: Downers Grove

Website: www.lizchaplin.com

Twitter: @LizChaplin1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizchaplinforillinois/

Office sought:

DuPage County board District 2

Age: 53

Family: Married 28 years to Brian. Three Children, Ellena 22, Grace 20 and Adam 18. Two Dogs, Nova and Orbit.

Occupation: Accounts Payable Windy City Wire 1995-current

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Board Member DuPage Railroad Safety Council, Recipient of the 2014 prestigious "Lauren Elizabeth Wilson Champion Award" for commitment to the issue of railway safety.

Appointed to the DuPage Water Commission in 2002, reappointed in 2004, served until 2010.

Member of Downers Grove 100 Women Who Care, Served as President of Midwest Ballet Theatre, Served as Second VP of the Indian Trail PTA, Past member of the Downers Grove Junior Women's Club, Past Religious Education Teacher, St. Joseph's Church

Elected offices held: DuPage County Board member 2012 - Current

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?

Since 2001 I have been advocating on behalf of the citizens of DuPage County and I would love to continue doing so.

I have relentlessly challenged back room deal making, excessive salaries and benefits for elected officials, lucrative contracts for the associates of connected insiders, and the practice of allowing campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the County.

My philosophy is that government needs to be frugal and fiscally responsible while providing needed services which include public safety, quality infrastructure and human services. When tax dollars are spent lining the pockets of those connected with the insider elite, government cannot afford to do what needs to be done.

This is what motivates me to continue my efforts on the DuPage County Board.

What is your stance on county board members' pay? Too high, too low, just right? Would you propose any changes?

I believe county board member pay is too high. In May 2016 I voted against the pay increase and have not accepted the raise. I have been making quarterly payments equal to the pay increase to the county's general fund.

This position is and should be a part time job of less than 1,000 hours per year and the salary should be set accordingly. In addition, county board members should not receive taxpayer funded health or pension benefits.

I do not accept taxpayer paid health or pension benefits. I also believe the salary and benefits paid to the county board chairman are too high.

With DuPage County's budget being squeezed by the state funding reductions, what initiatives would you support to increase revenue and/or save money?

With regards to savings there are some very easy steps the board could take that would not impact the citizens of DuPage County. DuPage County is home to some of the highest paid elected officials in the state. Reduce salaries for all elected officials in DuPage County. Eliminate pension benefits and health insurance for county board members and eliminate stipends for elected officials.

The DuPage County Board's 2018 budget calls for $282,000 for lobbyists and the State's Attorney's Office 2018 budget calls for $48,000 for lobbyists. Kane County Board acts as their own lobbyists and spends $0.00. DuPage County Board and State's Attorney should mirror Kane County and act as their own lobbyists.

The DuPage County Election Commission 2018 budget calls for $135,000 for legal council. The Election Commission can use the DuPage County State's Attorney as legal council eliminating the need for outside council. The consolidation of Election Commission with the Clerks office should save approximately $300,000 yearly.

On the revenue side DuPage County does not impose a property tax on new construction. If needed this would be an untapped source of revenue that would not impact current homeowners or businesses.

It is important to attract new business and work to keep established businesses. Having a strong corporate and business structure should provide additional revenue in the form of sales tax and job creation.

What are your thoughts about the county's Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency Initiative? What role should DuPage play in efforts to streamline and consolidate local government?

The ACT initiative is more about public relations, political marketing and publicity than actually saving tax dollars. While consolidation of paper districts is worthwhile it doesn't actually save ANY money despite the hype and hoopla that surrounds such efforts. In the last several years there have not been any government consolidations that actually saved a meaningful amount of money for the taxpayers.

I do support the consolidation of the DuPage Election Commission and the Clerk's Office and believe it is long overdue.

I support DuPage County being a leader in consolidation efforts however I do not support the county interfering in municipal, township, fire district or any other counties consolidation or lack of consolidation efforts.

What initiatives, if any, do you have in mind for your specific county board district?

The citizens of DuPage County Board, District 2 have been hit especially hard by severe weather. I will continue to work on flood mitigation.

Last spring the Lisle-Woodridge and Darien- Woodridge Fire Districts did a functional consolidation. The consolidation included closing one fire station in the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District. I would like to facilitate the election of local boards such as the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District rather than appointment by the County Chairman.

Continue to encourage cooperation and collaboration among local governments especially as it relates to the heroin epidemic and mental health issues including suicide.

Increased efforts for railway safety.

Work to bring new businesses and to retain established businesses in District 2.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

There is a moral and humane aspect to this job.

Local government officials have found themselves in a position of taking the lead on issues that once fell under the federal government.

Making sure our water is safe, this includes support of the Obama Administrations proposed ban on TCE and other dangerous chemicals.

Support full funding of the Children's Health Insurance Plan so that the 13,000 children in DuPage County that are covered by CHIP can continue to have access to medical treatment.

Adequately provide for our veterans, elderly and the poor.

DuPage County is home to World Relief. DuPage County has always welcomed refugees and immigrants. It is important that DuPage County remains a welcoming community.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Pope Francis

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

How to find my own voice in family of eight.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

There are no do-overs, you make a mistake and learn from it.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Music, it taught me the rewards of hard work.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be true to yourself.