Ronda S. Goldman: 2021 candidate for Huntley Village Board
Two-term incumbent Ronda S. Goldman is one of five candidates vying for three, 4-year seats on the Huntley Village Board in the April 6 election. The other candidates are incumbents John M. Piwko and JR Westberg, and challengers Burt Natkins and Mary Holzkopf.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions about issues facing the village.
Below are Goldman's responses.
In-person early voting begins March 10 only at the Kane County Clerk's Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. B, in Geneva and the Aurora satellite office, 5 E. Downer Place, Suite F. In-person early voting at locations throughout the county begins March 22. Learn more at www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections.
For more election coverage, visit dailyherald.com.
Occupation: Retired from Chicago Public School system. High school special needs field administrator. I supervised programs, teachers, and worked with community agencies on behalf of 17 high schools.
Civic involvement: Current village trustee; Member of Huntley Chamber of Commerce and a subcommittee that focuses on supporting our local businesses; member of the Huntley Area Lions Club and received "Lion of the Year " award in 2020; member and past vice president, Huntley Citizens Police Alumni Organization; member and past vice president, Huntley Historical Society; co-sponsor, Huntley High School Leo Club; past member of the Huntley Zoning Board of Appeals; eight-year member of the Life Long Learning Committee in Sun City; recently appointed to McHenry County Board's Senior Services Grant Commission; and past president of my neighborhood.
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: I support the guidelines put out by the state of Illinois and the CDC by agreeing with all of the protocols and measures put in place via our managerial staff and the mayor. I try to be a role model by wearing masks, social distancing from people, and keeping informed from both Kane and McHenry counties and sharing that information on my Facebook page. I believe in the vaccines developed and have had my first shot.
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: Our village meetings were remotely held with public participation via dialing in. Then, we went to meeting in person but distanced from each other with public participation via dialing in. Then we went to meeting in person with public participation in a separate room with chairs apart but hearing us via a broadcast method. Finally we met in person with allowing a limited number of outside participants in our meeting room and always socially distanced. We have always had open meetings for public participation over the 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: We need to continue following the recommendations of the state of Illinois and the CDC and to be cautious about opening up our restaurants and bars to full capacity too soon. I think that communication with our hospital as well as with our assisted living facilities is necessary so that we can monitor with statistics what is going on in those places. This might help us safeguard and protect all of our residents to a greater degree.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: We have kept the tax levy frozen, prioritized some of our 5-year vision goals to the reality of the impact of COVID-19; kept spending limited to maintaining structural and infrastructural needs such as repairing water main breaks; not increasing salaries and benefits of our village staff; worked with the local unions which represent our employees to hold costs down; and listened to the comments of residents about their financial status. We have to hold off on fining people with delinquent water /sewer bills.
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: I believe that we need to go forward with our plan to straighten out Kreutzer Road by utilizing government grants and our in-house budgeting and revenue streams by taking incremental steps to do this project. Spending on bike paths could be held off for now. We are very conservative with spending in Huntley and prioritize essential projects.
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: Yes. We did approve having a medical marijuana dispensary. I did an enormous of research on this by looking at other communities and what positive or negative experiences they have had with allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries and felt that this is currently not a priority for us. I spoke with more than 15 Sun City neighborhoods and other groups in 2019 on their opinions on the subject and most people were favorable to having (and using) medical marijuana.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: To build apartments on the north side of Huntley in order to accommodate people who work in Huntley but don't live here currently and would like to have places to rent; to accommodate younger residents who graduated from high school or college and who would like to remain in the community where they grew up; to have apartments for people who no longer want homeownership for various reasons; and to bring an expansion of businesses on the north side of Huntley near those apartments.