Reid Foltyniewicz: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 4
Office sought: DuPage County Board District 4
Occupation: Administrative Sergeant, Oak Brook Police Department
Previous offices held: Village of Lombard Trustee
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?
I hate it when politicians say, "my door is always open." That's lazy leadership, putting all the responsibility on the public to reach out, build a relationship, and get their problem solved. That's not how I operate -- I go to the voters, and we're missing that right now. When I was elected Village Trustee in Lombard, I got business cards and went to the doors of those who voted in the election to thank them for participating, gave them my card, and asked what I could do to help their family and our community. Then I continued communicating with them and building a direct relationship. It's time to end the childish, Chicago-style political games we see on the DuPage County Board. Working families don't care about petty politics; they care about what the board can do to make DuPage County a better place to live, work, and raise a family. I will actively serve the community, fight to keep our communities and families safe and find ways to lower taxes and bring jobs to DuPage County.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
With my experience as a 16-year veteran of the Oak Brook Police Department and a Lombard Village Trustee for eight years, I am ready to protect and serve our county. Our biggest challenge is the violent crime invading DuPage. Our top priority must be keeping people safe. We need to prevent crime, and when crime does occur, criminals must be charged and locked up. I will fight to make combating the heroin and the opioid epidemic in our community a priority. To help strengthen our efforts to keep families safe, I will make sure our sheriff's department and local police departments have the training and personnel they need to continue evolving and improving. I will also work to prioritize victim services and mental health. And I will work to institute a countywide "Citizen's Police Academy" to help educate residents on ways to help keep themselves and their families safe. I've dedicated my life to making our communities and families safe. I'll continue that vital work on the county board.
Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.
Property taxes have been out of control for too long, increasing while homes lose value and services are cut. Overspending politicians and governments drive this without balanced budgets. We must reduce spending to keep taxes low and even lower taxes when possible. As Chairman of the Finance & Administration Committee for the Village of Lombard, I was known for my efforts to streamline government services and eliminate luxuries. On the DuPage County Board, I will demand a balanced budget that plans for the future. I will focus on core services while finding creative ways to save tax dollars. I will work with our legislators to fight bad policies that force our local governments to increase property taxes, which is unsustainable. I will also push our state legislators to address the pension crisis -- reforming the current system or implementing new ideas like a 401(k) plan that would ease the burden on taxes, while giving officer the freedom to control their contributions.
How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.
DuPage County has won numerous awards for the transparency it provides to residents in terms of information on how tax dollars are spent or other information on services and programs. Still, there is always more that can be done to increase transparency. Sharing more on social media, networking with residents, or sending out consistent information to households and businesses are all ways we can ensure our residents are more informed. Immediately after being elected, I will go to the families, small businesses, and local organizations throughout the community to find out what DuPage County and I can do to help create that open channel of communication.
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
If the pandemic did anything positive, it forced governments to finally think about how they should be providing services in the 21st century. To reduce costs while increasing services, we must fully embrace technology and innovate the way the county provides services to our residents. I fully support efforts toward quality automation because residents deserve convenient, cost-effective resources. The county should commission an automation study that includes recommendations to increase efficiency and drive down costs. However, this evolution must also come with a more concerted effort by our county board officials to be visible in the community. County board members must interact with residents to provide the necessary level of in-person customer service and leadership.