Angela Trillhaase: 2021 candidate for Mundelein trustee
7 candidates running for 3, 4-year seats
Occupation: Executive, IBM
Civic involvement: benefactor, Mundelein High School Incubator (since its inception); vice president, Loch Lomond Property Owners Association; veteran mentor, American Corporate Partnership; co-founder, 100+ People Who Care Northern Illinois; Big Brothers Big Sisters (still big sister after 12 years, though no longer through BB/BS); co-founder, A-MAY-ZING Mundelein; village trustee (1997, appointed to complete 9-month term vacated by Jeff Hayes): Street Scenes volunteer; Mundelein AYSO soccer coach; Santa Maria del Popolo school board.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree -- or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: As an overall view of all issues, I believe my role is to give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom I disagree. That is not to say it would exclude deferring to state and federal authorities, when appropriate.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Monday morning quarterbacking is a tricky sport. Given that no one has ever lived through such a situation, I believe that everyone acted in what they thought was the best interest of Mundelein residents and businesses at the time. I believe it would be good to take a fresh look at plans to address such emergencies in the future, given all we have learned this past year.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: I think we need to gather all of the experts who were involved in the COVID-19 crises, discuss lessons learned and create a plan that encompasses all of those factors to address any future public health crises. I'd be interested in a full debrief once we're through this, then look back and see how we would react in the future.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: I'd like to hear what each of the department heads and their teams have to say. While not blindly accepting all of the feedback, we do need to trust people in those positions to give us the information to make solid decisions. If we don't trust the leaders, we have another issue that needs to be addressed.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board/council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: It's important to understand that the Mundelein Board did not legalize recreational marijuana. Given that it is legal, I agree with the position of the board and believe that Mundelein residents have benefitted from the tax revenues. I'd be interested in conducting an annual assessment of how the recreational marijuana sales have impacted the community -- economically, culturally, in terms of law enforcement, etc.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: While on a corporate citizen assignment in Slovenia in 2018, I experienced a really cool event they host every Friday afternoon/evening called "Open Kitchen." It's a community gathering more than anything else. All of the nearby restaurants have a mini-kitchen set up where they serve small portions of their food for a reasonable price. You can also purchase beer and wine in real glassware (you pay a refundable deposit). You can even bring your own food. There is ample seating at picnic tables and occasionally live entertainment. The event started out quite small, but now, everyone in the city of Ljubljana knows where they will find their neighbors on Friday night. I'd LOVE to bring this to fruition in Mundelein. This type of community event on a regular basis would strengthen our ties to each other and I believe we could all REALLY use that right now.
Q: What is the primary reason you're running for office? What is the most important issue?
A: I'm running because I love Mundelein, and I don't believe in sitting on the sidelines. The most important issue is transparency. That's not to say anything nefarious is happening today, but I'd like to see more effort to reach people where they get their information. A comprehensive -- intuitive -- plan needs to be developed with input from ALL the stakeholders who need the information. The information needs to be available BEFORE decisions are made and clear communication on who, what, when and how those decisions are made. After the fact, decisions need to be communicated with rationale used to make the decision and who to contact for additional information.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: The most important infrastructure project that must be addressed is being addressed, and that is the issue of flooding. The Western Slope/Courland Park area needs to be completed, as well as addressing the various flood issues around Mundelein. A close second is to address the strain on our infrastructure due to the population increase. My preference would be to see how we do this while promoting a small-town feel. As far as what can be "back-burnered," I'd say any expensive beautification projects -- and perhaps we could get creative around what could be done versus cutting them completely.