Mount Prospect trustee candidates share ideas for improving communications, transparency
The four candidates for Mount Prospect village trustee recently shared their thoughts on transparency and communications in village government.
Terri Gens, Agostino "Augie" Filippone, Brian Maye and Peggy Pissarreck are running for three, four-year terms in the April 6 election. None are incumbents on the six-member board.
Pissarreck, nonprofit association leader, said the village needs to improve communications and increase transparency. That could start by updating its websites, making information easier to find, and improving the village newsletter.
"There is a lot of information on the website, but you have to really dig through it and it's not up to date," she said.
Among the features she would add is a synopsis of recent actions by the village board.
"Our residents don't have time to sit through all the board meetings," she said.
Maye, a write-in candidate, said communication should be improved, but not only between the village and the citizens.
"I think it's the communication between the (village) administration and the board," said Maye, who currently serves on the Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 school board.
Trustees should be more involved in policy developments and meet routinely with the village manager and village staff individually, instead of "getting a board packet and reading it and then making decisions on the fly," he said.
"I think that better decisions would be made if there was a greater collaboration informally," Maye added.
Filippone, a member of the village's planning and zoning commission, said he has not had problems communicating with village staff.
Trustees should set policy "and then it's up to the village staff who were hired and work for the village to implement that policy," he said.
"Day-to-day stuff shouldn't be held up by trustees trying to derail what the process is," Filippone added. "We hire professionals. We hire these people for their expertise. We should realize that and then let them do their thing to the benefit of the entire community."
He said village staff has been responsive to residents, notably during the recent debates over the police department patch.
"I don't know too many other villages where executive staff are willing to put aside an hour or two in any given week to talk with residents about their concerns," he said.
Gens, who serves on the Mount Prospect Public Library board, said village trustees and staff seem receptive to questions and discussions, but communication with residents could be improved.
"I think the village is doing a lot of wonderful things. I don't think a lot of residents know," she said.
She suggests town-hall meetings in different areas of the village.
"We have a rich, diverse community," Gens said. "Why not go and try and engage with some of those residents? They're our residents. Let's listen and see what's on their mind."