Sean T. Noonan: Candidate profile, DuPage County Board District 2
Republican incumbent Sean Noonan of Elmhurst and Democrat Paula Deacon Garcia of Lisle are vying for the District 2 race for the DuPage County Board in the Nov. 3 general election.
Noonan, a Bloomingdale police officer, has represented the district since 2012. He has served as a York Township Republican precinct committeeman and former AYSO soccer coach.
District 2 serves all or portions of Addison, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Westmont, and Woodridge.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates to answer a series of questions. Here are Noonan's replies.
Q: What have we learned as a county from the COVID-19 pandemic and what changes should be made looking forward as a result?
A: Collaborating with the state of Illinois' health department leaders and our DuPage County Health Department staff has allowed us to review collected data on a daily basis giving us the ability to assess and implement safe practices in an effort to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. Wearing masks in public and social distancing will ultimately reduce the spread of this pandemic.
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
A: As a police officer for almost 18 years, I have often stated that my motivation for running for political office is merely an extension of my public service. The decisions we make today can impact a person or a community for generations to come.
I personally feel that being an elected official is the ultimate contribution an individual can make to his or her community. I am running for reelection to continue serving the citizens of this great county. Public safety is my top priority.
Q: 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?
A: As an incumbent, I have had the opportunity to participate in many discussions regarding the finances of the county, specifically the budget.
I think my main contribution is being respectful of other board members' opinions and attending the committee meetings and board meetings. We can agree to disagree, but we vote on agenda items based on our research of the subject matter, our morals, principles and beliefs. We all have to work together as a team to best serve the interests of the citizens of DuPage County.
Prior to being elected, I made a pledge to decline taking a pension and health benefits. I don't want to be part of the problem; I want to be the solution.
Q: Describe your position regarding the allocation of resources in the recorder of deeds' office. Are personnel allocated as they should be? Are there capital expense or other budgetary items that the office must address, and, if so, how do you propose to address them?
A: Initially, the county board voted to place a referendum question on the ballot during the general election, but based on a study, the findings revealed that consolidation of the Recorder of Deeds' Office with the County Clerk's Office would not be cost effective, thus the majority voted to remove the referendum question from the ballot. The election commission recently merged with the Clerk's Office and I personally feel that an increase in workload at the Clerk's Office would significantly impact and reduce the level of service that is provided.
Q: Name one concrete program you'll create or personnel move you'll make to improve efficiency in the office or make it more successful. Explain how it will be funded and how you will overcome any obstacles to initiating it.
A: If reelected, I would propose a study to see if there would be any benefit or savings if the Office of Emergency Management merged with the Sheriff's Office. As the chairman of the Emergency Telephone System Board committee, I was able to see firsthand the savings of consolidating police dispatch centers (22 dispatch centers in 2008 to three in 2019) while providing the same services.
Q: Describe your position on transparency in the office and the ease of access to records by the public. If you believe improvements are needed, what are they and how would you go about achieving them?
A: I strongly feel that the DuPage County Board members, along with Chairman Dan Cronin and our tremendous staff, do an exceptional job being transparent. The county website provides the public with all the information they are seeking.