Linda H. Cools: Candidate profile
Name: Linda H. Cools
City: Barrington Hills
Office sought: Village board
Family: Father, 1 sibling
Occupation: Freelance public relations writer
Education: B.A. Psychology, minor in German
Civic involvement: Village Resident Advocate, current CAG resident panel member for IDOT widening of IL Route 62, former HEC village committee member
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent: If yes, when were first elected? No
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
My goal is to increase the transparency of our Village government. This goal can be accomplished several ways.
- By recording Board of Trustees and committee meetings and posting them on YouTube so all residents may view them at anytime. This economical solution to providing information will save money by reducing the number of FOIA request requiring attorney's fees and staff processing.
- Posting reports, bids and contracts and contractor documentation on the village's website will allow residents access to information that to date has not been readily available to them.
- Timely information is essential in addressing fiscal responsibility code enforcement, and tax revenue.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My ten plus years of experience as a volunteer advocate for public comment and citizen input, uniquely qualities me to be a Barrington Hills Trustee.
- I am committed to setting aside enough time to communicate with residents, learn their issues and develop informed positions as well as to attend village meeting.
- I have effectively represented the community's interests with IDOT regarding the widening of IL Route 62 and its impact on Barrington Hills residents. - I differ from other candidates in that my experience originates from a volunteer facet.
- I have served Barrington Hills as a former member of the HEC committee.
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 style of leadership is Democratic. I build consensus through participation.
- I believe in Open Book management, that everyone has the same access to information.
- I support participation and value the opinions of others.
- I accept participant comments, ideas, and suggestions, and encourage input on decisions and strategies.
- I am experienced at developing teams that accomplish goals by respectfully working together to achieve success.
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?
The budget of the Village has heightened in importance to the residents, as the property in Illinois have dramatically increased. This year the budget will increase about $125,000 for the first time in years. Vigilance needs to be the focus of our village officials and employees. This can be accomplished by:
- Advocating at the State level to resist unfunded mandates for municipalities.
- Reducing local operational costs by closely evaluating the need for every expenditure.
- Establishing a competitive and open bidding process for Village contracts.
- Re-evaluating the number of consultants hired and making changes when better value can be attained.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
- To hold informal meetings with residents outside of the formal Board of Trustees at village hall, because public comment at these meetings does not allow for a responsive dialogue between residents and their representatives.
- To advance resident issues onto our Board of Trustees meeting agenda. Presently, the agenda is set by the Village President alone, further restricting the range of topics that our Board can address or debate.