Frank J. Madaras: 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 Madara'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/.
Age: Candidate did not respond
Occupation: Bedford Mortgage Corp.
Civic involvement: Lions Club
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 follow the science. I am fortunate to be married to a front-line health-care worker who works for a major academic medical center in Chicago. She has been able to provide me with information based on science that, coupled with one of our board members who also works in health care, I was able to make informed decisions based on science. Although the science may have forced unpopular protocols to be put into place, they were done with the intent to provide safety to the community and prevent the overburden of the health care system.
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, Itasca was able to provide communication via several modalities. We used the village website, robocalls, and print to keep the community abreast of what was happening.
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. Again, I will follow the science. I feel as a village we were remained nimble and were able to institute necessary changes to help the community members and local business mitigate the challenges of the pandemic. I believe if we are faced with this type of crisis again, we will be able to draw on our experience and provide protection as needed.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Local government needs to be able to gauge the pain points for the community. This includes both residents and business owners. Providing residents and business owners with information regarding federal, state, and local programs put into place to aid the community as needed. We were able to support local business and residents by instituting Itasca Bucks and grants.
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. All infrastructure projects addressing flood mitigation are of utmost importance to the village. We will start with the Elm Street Project and move toward the curb and gutter program as funds will allow.
Q. Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A. We were fortunate in Itasca that businesses adhered to the Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
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. We currently do not have zoning for this type of business in Itasca which I believe is a reflection of what the community desires at this time.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. Even before I became a trustee, I have felt that Itasca has the potential to become a destination community. I believe with this comes the responsibility of creating an organized parking plan to accommodate both business and consumer growth.
By creating a structured parking plan, this will allow for the highest and best use of the proposed area of development.