Darlene Bakk: Candidate profile
Name: Darlene Bakk
City: Village of Campton Hills
Office sought: Village trustee
Family: Husband, Dan; Two children; Three grandchildren
Education: Northern Illinois University -- BA English-Secondary Education
Civic involvement: Appointed to the Kane County Community Block Grant commission; Member -- League of Women Voters; Mental health advocate-state, county, local; Affordable housing advocate.
Previous elected offices held: Deer Run East Homeowner Association -- Secretary; League of Women Voters Geneva-St. Charles, President
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Maintaining our current, peaceful rural life style and low-taxation environment. Recently, the village board has been hearing comments and requests from business owners who have asked to have an ordinance passed that allows video gambling in their businesses. The board will be adding a referendum on the ballot during the April election to learn how the Campton Hills residents feel about this. After the election the board will once again look at the topic and reassess what decision should be made for the betterment of the community. I will be prepared to listen and help make a competent decision.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Over the past three decades, I have served in numerous leadership positions. As the president of the League of Women Voters (LWV), I have spearheaded a research project entitled, "A Profile of Community Services for Adults with Serious Mental Illness and/or Developmental Disabilities in Kane County, IL 2007." The study is posted on the web and is used today by advocates, and those interested in bettering community mental health throughout Kane County. In 2010 I formed a countywide LWV group that participated in a transparency project funded through a U.S. LWV grant I wrote based on the sunshine laws. We filed Freedom of Information requests asking for city, village, and local government salaries for their workers. The results determined how transparent, cooperative and open they were to sharing information with citizens. We analyzed and published the results and shared it with the media. I recognize things that need to be done and initiate plans to accomplish them. I bring an informative and new voice to the job and hope to offer a fresh perspective. If elected, I look forward to working with existing trustees and keeping the community fully informed.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
My past leadership positions were democratic. I made decisions based on input from all team members so everyone had an equal say on a project's direction.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
Since I would be new to this job, I would be interested in hearing from citizens about their service needs. The condition of the current budget appears fine.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I don't know if they are talking about it, but my recent observations have shown that communication between the village and the citizens is lacking. If you sign up for the village's weekly newsletter, you can become somewhat informed, but many get their news from the local paper -- The Kane County Chronicle and Daily Herald. Unfortunately, because of the decline of news coverage, substantial village news isn't being covered. Perhaps a more robust village website with frequent updates for current news could be tried. This may require additional small expenditures but could be a valuable investment if residences of the village found the added information useful.