Barbara O'Meara: Candidate profile
Name: Barbara O'Meara
Office sought: Naperville City Council
Age: Did not respond
Family: Did not respond
Occupation: Public Service Administrator with the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Education: MPH (Masters in Public Health)
Civic involvement: Various coaching positions in Little League and soccer for my children; and was an Illinois Mosquito and Vector Association board member for 17 years.
Previous elected offices held: None
Q. What are the most important issues facing Naperville and how do you intend to address them?
Fiscal: Naperville is in a good financial spot and we need to make sure to continue that oversight.
Development and sustainability: Making sure that all new development, residential and commercial, are being built with sustainable practices, energy efficiencies, ecologically sound building and parking areas, and runoff being accounted for before building begins.
Health of Naperville: There are environmental hazards that exist and need to be addressed, such as lead leads on water lines. Naperville needs to have a plan developed and in place to remove all lead leads. The citizens of Naperville have a right to know what manufacturing is gassing into the air, adding to our stormwater or being dumped on the ground. Sterigenics should not have happened and every municipality needs to know what is happening in their community.
Q. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Fiscal responsibility: Nancy Turner and Barbara O'Meara joined forces to be fiscally responsible with their campaign, and will continue that mindset when on the council.
Public Health: Barbara O'Meara has a master's degree in public health and has worked for 28 years in public health. These issues are going to continue to come forward and having a public health background is unique among the candidates.
Environmental/Sustainable background: Barbara O'Meara has taught Environmental Biology and Biology for 10 years at Waubonsee Community College. Teaching is the key to staying current on environmental issues and what is being developed for use in the real world.
Q. Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with the city council.
Barbara O'Meara deals with the public everyday, listening and helping them with a variety of problems. She oversees 12 state inspectors and works to communicate with the public along with enforcing the regulations that are in place. Enforcement of laws is a huge part of what her Division of Environmental Health does, but working with her inspectors to try and help people navigate those laws is also important. Barbara is a leader who leads through action -- if she asks it of her employees she was out there with them or training them, so everyone knows the expectations of the job and to do things safely.
Q. How would you describe the condition of Naperville's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the city should take to assure it is providing the level of services people want?
Fiscally Naperville is in a good spot. We need to make sure that what has been undertaken is continued and that all tax dollars are accounted for. No group should be getting close to a million dollars without reporting back to the city how and what the money was used for. This is the citizens' money and they have the right to know everything is accounted for.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
My idea is a commitment to public health. Deal with the lead water lines, figure out where there are and make a plan. Ignoring issues or letting them sit for years does not solve the problem. Again, Sterigenics should not have happened but it did, so we need to make sure something like that never happens in Naperville. Raising the awareness of environmental issues only makes a community stronger and healthier, and keeping our citizens safe and healthy should always be at the forefront.