Scheketa Hart-Burns: 2021 candidate for Aurora city council, 7th Ward
Voters have a choice for Aurora alderman in Wards 4, 7 and 10 and for the at-large seat in the April 6 election. In the 4th Ward, incumbent William Donnell is facing John Bell. In the 7th Ward, incumbent Scheketa Hart-Burns is being challenged by Saul Fultz. In the 10th Ward, Shweta Baid and Arjun Nair are running to fill a seat being vacated. And Raymond Hull, Brooke Shanley and Ron Woerman are running for the open at-large seat. All are 4-year terms.
Occupation: 7th Ward alderman for City of Aurora
Civic involvement: Missionary, Food Drive and STEAM
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: In my role as an Alderman I would answer the questions of the constituents about city concerns in regards to the pandemic. I'll also work with other taxing bodies within the City of Aurora to provide services to my ward and other wards.
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 City of Aurora provided information, masks, testing locations, hotels for the homeless. I supplied daily, food for low income residents and distributed food weekly to senior citizens.
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: Continue follow the Governor and Mayor's safeguards and abide by the CDC and health Department guidelines. Please wear your masks, wash your hands and stay away from crowds.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: • Table large budget improvements for the next year or beyond.
• Repair the streets as needed.
• Review the budget and trim where we can.
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: Farnsworth Bridge Project is a major project that need attention. I will work on getting federal and state funding so we all can enjoy.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: I would work with Kane, DuPage, Will and Kendall county health departments and sheriff's offices. They have been given the authority to address these issues.
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 that Council took permitting recreational marijuana sales. I would like to see more minority licensed and ran businesses. For recreational and medicinal marijuana it has helped bring much-needed lost revenue during the pandemic.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: We need a centralized youth center to help at-risk youth. It would keep them off the streets and away from gang involvement whereby they can instead be in STEAM Program (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), Career, Vocational, Technical Training, Sports and Exercising.