Joshua Beauchamp: 2021 candidate for Itasca village board
Seven candidates are squaring off for three 4-year seats on Itasca Village Board in the April 6 election. They are incumbents Jeffrey T. Aiani and Frank J. Madaras, and challengers Joshua Beauchamp, Patrick A. Powers, Dustin Sneath, Eric J. Swets, and Jennifer C. Troutman.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions about issues facing the village.
Below are Beauchamp's responses.
In-person early voting is available at DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting/.
Occupation: Student worker at Elmhurst University
Civic involvement: Election judge and congressional campaign volunteer
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: During the COVID-19 pandemic, elected officials should represent all of their constituents and take in consideration their various needs. Elected officials too often focus on one thing and neglect the other, but a more well-rounded response of taking into consideration the needs of public health and public means should be adopted.
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 Village of Itasca took into consideration the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local businesses, many family owned. To that end, they correctly instituted the Itasca buck which was a village-funded program where they gave residents money to spend at any business in Itasca. This was meant to be a type of aid to the residents while at the same time aid the local economy.
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 that many state and local governments will learn from this pandemic and be ready to swiftly respond to similar health crisis in the future.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: The Village Board should look at all options and take into account the impact on the community and business outlook 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? What infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: The most important infrastructure project in the Village would have to be the drainage system. Too many times when it rains even a tiny bit, there is flooding in the Village.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: Everyone should be deploying strategies to ensure the wellbeing of customers. We must also take into consideration that these businesses are local and for many people, their livelihoods. The Village Board should take all of that into consideration.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: Candidate did not respond.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: We need to make the board of trustees more accountable. Ways we can make the village government more accountable to the people is firstly, follow the money. Have an annual budget pamphlet available for pickup in village hall if anyone would want to see exactly what we are spending taxpayer money on. I see this done in places like Aurora and it should be done here. Secondly, we should have easy access to the voting patterns and history of the board members. This way the residents can hold them accountable. Thirdly, there should be easier methods to contact the trustees directly and have them hear your concerns or ideas. We must change our village hall and become a more responsive local government.