Susan George: Candidate profile
Name: Susan George
City: Village of Campton Hills
Office sought: Village Trustee
Occupation: Business to Business Sales
Education: BBA Iowa State University
Civic involvement: Village of Campton Hills Trustee, Joint Environmental Resources Committee -- Chair, Water Resources Committee, Christ Community Church Meals Ministry
Previous elected offices held: Village Trustee
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes, 2008
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Involvement of our community residents and businesses as well as sustainability of our police department and a healthy budget with a zero tax levy will always be the top priorities. These are also the three pillars under which the Village of Campton Hills thrives. As other important issues arise (development, water resources, tax control, road funding and currently gambling) and go through their cycle of evaluation, they will be assessed through these three lenses first. I have been of public service through several difficult issues (Kiva, Maxuum and Norton Lake developments, water resource maintenance, flooding, annexations and others) and my voting record is of solid representation of all aspects of our community. I continue to serve as a "representative" of the community since being sworn in with the first elected Village Board in 2008. I seek out numerous sources and consult many different backgrounds and opinions before deciding on an issue.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
First, I love serving and it is my passion. I have lived in the area since 1991 and in Campton Hills since 1997. I've raised my children here and volunteered at our local schools, church and community. Second, I have the experience to be successful as a trustee. I have a degree in Business, manage a farm, am starting a small business and work full-time. I have also worked for both nonprofits and for-profits through prosperous and difficult economic times. Third, I know Campton Hills and have served this community first as a volunteer and now as a trustee. I created and chaired the natural resource committee and brought thousands of dollars of grant funds and in-kind contributions to the village to protect our natural resources. Through these funds I initiated the Village's Green Infrastructure Report, the Village Comprehensive Plan and soon to be reviewed Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances. These three documents provide the structure for preserving our semirural heritage and natural resources for the next generation. I am deeply passionate about issues of conservation and planning and will continue to work to make Campton Hills the very best it can be.
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 leadership style adapts to the situation. At times, I have been a visionary. Other times, I have been strategic and transformational. I have worked, researched, listened, discerned and adjusted so that we can move the village forward and uphold the village that the community voted for. I will continue to support a village that operates without a tax levy, provides voice for local decisions and brings back tax dollars for our community's direct use. I have worked to accomplish and uphold this standard over my time in office and will continue to do so.
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?
During my tenure as trustee, our budget is healthy. Our pension is fully-funded and I have worked consistently to build reasonable reserves every year. The Village of Campton Hills is one of only a few in the state of Illinois who can say this. It is a tremendous accomplishment. And, our plan for our budget is to be even stronger. In 2022, the Village Hall building will be paid in full. This is an $88,000 annual expense. Keeping our government small and without a tax levy is still my priority. I am working with the Public Work's and Finance Committees to identify short and long-term initiatives for our roads. Public safety will remain a priority as well. The Village of Campton Hills was again named a Safest City of Illinois in 2019 by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. We are proud of this recognition and I will continue to promote initiatives that keep us safe.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
There are several ideas I have explored recently such as potential revenue generators -- village solar utility and village car charging stations -- and grants -- tiling repair and detention pond shoreline naturalization to decrease flooding, retrofitting existing outdoor street lighting to strengthen our dark-sky ordinance, water resource in-depth studies involving our wells, recharge areas, sanitary district and wetlands. A few are in the works and others need full vetting. I will continue to look for community input on these and other ideas that may benefit Campton Hills.