Theresa Materna: 2021 candidate for Bartlett Village Trustee
Five candidates for three 4-year terms
Age on Election Day: 57
Occupation: Registered Nurse; CPR Instructor (American Heart Association)
Employer: Abcor Home Health; CPR by Theresa (owner)
Civic involvement: CERT (Citizen's Emergency Response Team) trained; volunteer Hanover Township Emergency Services (2011-2013 approx.); member St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Streamwood: member Parish Pastoral Council, Bereavement Minister; Resurrection Choir; Respect Life Ministry; member Northwest Chicago Area Chapter American Association of Critical Care Nurse; Suburban Cook County Election Judge (2006-present); Member Tri-Village Garden Club; Girl Scout Leader; Boy Scout Leader
Q. What is the primary reason you're running for office? What is the most important issue?
A. A few years ago, it took me several minutes to safely back out of my driveway. This was unacceptable living on a residential street. This led to my attending board meetings, working with neighbors, the village board, and police department to try to find a solution to this problem. The villages lack of resolution to this has led me to want to be more involved within the village. During the petition process one thing identified was the overwhelming sense of apathy among residents. Many stated that the village board only listens to them when there is a problem, they do not know who the members of the village board are, and that the board is only visible during election years. I was dismayed by the feeling residents have about the perceived lack of concern board members have for them. I am running for village trustee to represent all residents of the community. I hope to do so by being accessible, willing to listen to concerns and promoting a sense of pride among the residents of Bartlett. Many issues face Bartlett. The most important issue is improving communication with residents, engaging, and encouraging residents to be active within the community.
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 believe that all roles are necessary. Local government will continue to have the most direct impact on the citizens of the village. As leaders we have an obligation to educate the public on the most up-to-date information, encourage methods of reducing the spread, and to lead by example. Those with opposing views should always be able to have a forum to voice their opinions, even if we disagree. I will pledge to provide that space for citizens to do so. Lastly, state, and federal authorities will continue to play a role in providing leadership and guidance. The board must stay informed on the policies and regulations that are being implemented by state and federal authorities to keep the village in compliance and to continue reducing the spread of COVID -- 19.
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. The pandemic is something no one was completely prepared to handle all the ramifications from. Regarding this specific question, I believe the Village of Bartlett could have done better. Within the village there are multiple health care providers and services: AMITA, Bartlett Pharmacy, CVS, DuPage Medical Group, Northwestern Medicine, and Walgreens that the village could have partnered with to provide information or services to village residents. Examples are virtual educational events: hand-washing, distancing, masking campaigns; coordinating a vaccine site for eligible village residents. Additionally, delaying the opening of the new playground at Bartlett Park. There were times were a minimum of 100 adults and children and there was not social distancing or wearing masks. Doing these things would have set an example of leadership from the village.
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. Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance guidelines is a way to not only fight against COVID-19 but reduce the spread of other communicable illnesses as well. There is very little reason to discontinue enhanced cleaning methods as it will continue to keep the village safer in the long term. Creating partnerships with both big and small pharmacies, clinics and health providers can also help mitigate future public health crises. Creating a formal action plan for dealing with health crises would also benefit the village. Establishing clear lines of communication, distribution plans, and delegating responsibilities to the appropriate government agencies would help us better react should another health crisis arise
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Cutting services to residents is a last resort. However, I believe there are ways this can be done with minimal service cuts or added expenses. Within the village there are agencies designed to serve the community. If the village collaborates with these agencies for the use of their services, this could lead to additional resources available to the village and its residents. One such service is the Hanover Township Emergency Services. This is a volunteer agency trained to assist village personal in times of crisis. Examples of their services assisting with traffic control at large events, major traffic accidents or fires. This agency is used by other surrounding communities but, Bartlett will not use their services despite being in the village.
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 am not currently a board member and not aware of specific infrastructure projects within the village. Generally, during uncertain economic times I would recommend limiting infrastructure projects to those that are of necessity with other projects put on hold. Examples of necessary items would be road repair work, replacing or fixing police or fire equipment.
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the stance your municipality has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A. Personally, I do not agree with the use of recreational marijuana. Now that the use of recreational marijuana is legal individuals will be purchasing it somewhere so why not here in the village where we can benefit from the tax revenue. One of the board meetings I attended it was discussed to allow two recreational use business licenses with the business's located in the industrial parks. I am in agreeance with this decision.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. I believe the way to a better community is with leadership and community involvement. The more the residents feel invested in the community the better the community will be. One way to start this process would be to hold a joint community blood drive and voter registration event.