Nadine C. Ames: 2021 candidate for Wood Dale 4th Ward Alderman
In the April 6 consolidated election, Nadine C. Ames is challenging Eugene Wesley, running for a fifth term, in the alderman race for Wood Dale's 4th ward.
The Daily Herald asked each candidate about issues facing the city and how they would contribute to its progress.
In-person early voting with paper ballots is now available at the DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting/.
City: Wood Dale
Occupation: Customer service assistant, Elk Grove Village Public Works Department
Civic involvement: Member, City of Wood Dale Citizens Involvement Committee and the Unified Development Ordinance Steering Committee; former president, Wood Dale Lioness Club; past president and secretary, Fenton High School Bison Boosters; former vice president, Westview Elementary School PTO; former member, Wood Dale Jr. High PTO; former Girl Scout Troop Leader; former Troop Committee member Boy Scouts. I have attended the Wood Dale Citizen's Police and Fire Academies to gain a better understanding of how they operate.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: I believe the council supported the guidelines that were established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Communicating these guidelines that have been established by medical professionals will provide the community with necessary information for staying safe and limiting risks.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: During these unprecedented times, the city adapted to the ever-changing restrictions by keeping services available to residents through appointments or curbside service. As a resident, I found that critical services were always available at the high levels I have come to expect.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: We all hope this never happens again. While every situation is different, there are valuable lessons we all have learned during this pandemic that should be applicable to future challenges.
If another health crisis occurs, the city should have learned from this experience. For one, we should have established a supply of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and essential items in reserves for city staff to safely perform their duties without interruption.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: During the pandemic, the city removed the requirement to purchase a vehicle sticker for all residents. The city also provided Wood Dale Dollars for residents to use toward reducing water/garbage bills or toward local dining. It is possible to delay upcoming projects to save money; however, that is a short-term decision because the infrastructure is aging and will continually need to be repaired.
While delays may be necessary, pushing projects back too far may end up costing more in construction and materials.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: I feel the most important infrastructure projects involve keeping our water, streets, storm and sanitary sewers functioning to their highest capacity. These projects are paid for using revenues from property, sales, and motor fuel taxes. It is possible to delay street projects, but delays are a short-term solution, because the infrastructure continues to age.
Projects that focus solely on beautification can be delayed if absolutely necessary, but they also serve as economic development tools for attracting businesses and improving our residential neighborhoods.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: The city does not currently allow recreational marijuana sales in the community; I support this decision. I do understand that people who use this for medical purposes have benefitted from pain relief.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: I would like to see the city offer a program to promote community involvement. An Adopt a Storm Drain Program encourages residents or community groups to adopt a storm drain to remove debris to reduce localized street flooding and help the environment by reducing pollutants from entering the stormwater system.
Programs like this can be adjusted to include other city infrastructure, such as shoveling out fire hydrants during the winter months.