Cheryl Tucker: 2021 candidate for Villa Park trustee
City: Villa Park
Age on Election Day: 64
Occupation: Mechanical Claims Specialist at Ally
Civic involvement: Villa Park Village Trustee since 2017; Hotrodders of Tomorrow, organization that helps keep automotive technology in high schools, along with providing scholarship money; member of CCC Church; running and biking club; volunteer for veteran organizations
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 stand my ground, because giving in could be a life and death situation. I don't take my role lightly to protect the people of Villa Park. When the rules came down from the county and governor, the village set up guidelines for the business and residents. I lead by example.
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. Just because village building had to be closed. Essential services were kept running. Programs and assistance was still available to residents. Through options to pay bills online, assistance giving to businesses and residents that were having difficulties through the pandemic. Help for businesses to open up quickly after the shutdowns. Creative ways to still have recreational activities with social distancing, in a box or through zoom.
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: Budget that can withstand lose of revenue. Better measures to keep the residents safe, even if they do not want to follow them. Better communication at the beginning of pandemic, now that we have gone through it.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: Reduce staff, control spending on nonessential repairs and purchases, and a budget that does not have extra expenditures.
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: Roads and sewers to stop flooding Through Rebuild IL Capital Plan, Fast Track Public Infrastructure Grants, apply for CDBG and federal grants, road referendum.
Get businesses up and running again with helping them get state and federal funding if need be.
I would not put anything on the back burner -- Possibly delay infrastructures that have no safety concerns involved. Things put on the back burner tend to be forgotten.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: Yes. Give them warnings and remind them of the guidelines are put into place for everyone safety. I understand it is hard to control everyone of their customers, but they still need to be responsible to their customers and employees and not promote bad behavior. Last thing, I would not want to shut down a business and take away their means to be a thriving business or employees supporting their families. but, I would if the greater good of all is involved.
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: Although I may not agree with the board stance. I understand the trend and need for the business to be part of the village. Like any other business it brings needed revenue into the Village.
Even though the state has restriction on how many there can be and how close together they can be. I would make sure that ordinances are put into place, that it does not filter through the Village in illegal ways.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Affordable senior housing & assisted living. Seeing the numbers are increasing toward the older generation and people are living longer. I would like to keep the retiring population in Villa Park instead of moving away.