Donald Longacre: 2021 candidate for Winfield trustee
Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Winfield village board.
Occupation: Retired; prior newspaper advertising executive and VP Info Technology
Civic involvement: Prior Wheaton Chamber President, 2 terms; AutumnFest Chairman 6 years; Chamber Ambassador for Wheaton, Naperville, Lisle, Carol Stream multiple years; Student Excellence Foundation (not-for-profit for Wheaton District 200); president and membership director for my alma mater, the Wheaton High Schools Alumni Club; president of The Winfield Foundation, not-for-profit to benefit Winfield
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: As an incumbent Trustee, the last year has been challenging. The Village had many new edicts from various State and County offices during the pandemic such as approving new ways our business community could conduct business (outdoor dining, tent and equipment grants, outdoor alcohol restrictions, waiving fees where appropriate etc). Because Winfield has little revenue from sales tax, the impact was not huge, but was still hurtful to businesses.
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: I think Winfield did well in continuing to serve citizens. We provided more online services and after a safe period, opened up the reception area of the Village Hall. We have an incredible staff at Village Hall and they looked for ways to still conduct business while being virus safe. The Police Department did all the usual and then some -- including carrying groceries into the house for a senior!
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 think the Village has done a good job of handling the issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. My recommendation would be to gather all policies and procedures and archive them. However, since the State and County have primary responsibility, the majority of rules and regulations come from them.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: The Village has a very lean budget and is always frugal. It has been difficult to go after expense reduction so efforts have been strongly focused on spending and allocating federal/state funds.
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: Due to good planning, the Village has worked hard to be on a proactive program of repairing streets. Further, we are always doing preventive maintenance on our water and sewer system (which includes working with West Chicago, our partner in the waste water treatment facility).
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: While I support all COVID prevention measures, I cannot support individual businesses that do not. Enforcement is on the shoulders of the DuPage County Health Department.
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: I agree with the stance we have taken. Given the thoughtful debate of the Trustees when sales guidelines were approved, I do not think there is anything that needs changing. When we have our first store, it may create opportunities to review.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: I would like to see the Winfield Word expanded to be a monthly publication.