Cheryl Alopogianis: 2021 candidate for West Dundee trustee
Five candidates for four, 4-year terms
Village: West Dundee
Age: Not given
Occupation: Independent Tastefully Simple consultant
Civic involvement: Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce, Chairperson for the Ambassadors, Annual Dinner Committee, Bowling Committee. Planning & Zoning Commissioner for Village of West Dundee, events and fundraising director for Hoof Woof and Meow Animal Rescue in Gilberts
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. A mixture of all. Total deference to the state makes little sense when, as a local leader, I'm hearing first -hand the impacts of policies. That said, the science behind certain recommendations from state and federal leaders should be respected and recommendations related to that science should be listened to.
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. Yes. The community communicated clearly, provided PPE to their staff, adjusted how the employees reported for work, and took effective action when exposures occurred. The village never stopped performing well despite the challenges.
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 would recommend the development of a local plan by the village and local business leaders. As a member of the NKCC, I understand that the business community has a lot to offer and has a collaborative relationship with village leadership. I would also suggest a way of a special notification network for seniors, who might not always have the technology to stay abreast of updated info on future public health crises.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Deferring capital expenditures on noncritical items, such as the painting of a municipal water tower, would be an ideal step. Delaying the implementation of planned fee increases on things like water service might also be worth considering.
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. Making the Route 31 corridor more viable by adding additional water, sewer, and street infrastructure; utilizing TIF monies that were established. Doing that will help in its development into a more vital part of the community. As I stated above, to defer capital expenditures such as the painting of a water tower.
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, I agree with the stance. It recognizes the realities (that cannabis is now legal) without going headlong into allowing sales of all types in all places. It's a balanced approach that I support.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. A sprinkler ordinance for multifamily residential properties with more than three unrelated families within it. It's a needed safety enhancement for buildings with multiple people within them.