DuPage officials asking residents how they want money spent in budget
DuPage County is conducting an online survey to solicit feedback from the public on budget-related issues before drafting a proposed spending plan for the next fiscal year.
The budget survey can be taken until Sept. 6. Roughly 4,700 responses have been received so far, officials said.
"We realize it's the taxpayers' budget," said Liz Chaplin, a DuPage County Board member who serves as chairman of the finance committee. "We really do want to get a feel for how our constituents want their money spent."
Some questions in the survey are the same from year to year. But others are new ones suggested by county board members, Chaplin said.
The county board now has a Democratic majority, but Chaplin said she didn't think that mattered. "I really don't see that being much more different," she said.
This year, the new questions ask:
• Whether the county should implement a 211 service, where people could call to receive information about social and mental health help.
• Whether each township should have a mental health board or if mental health services should be under the DuPage County Health Department.
• If the county should make a plan to support the performing arts.
• Whether the county should provide money for affordable housing.
• And how the county should spend federal COVID-19 pandemic relief money.
County board members also wanted the survey to ask about the importance of public safety work, including law enforcement and courts administration.
Repeat questions seek opinions about flood mitigation, transportation and environmental work.
County members have until Nov. 30 to approve a spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins Dec. 1.
County board Chairman Dan Cronin is scheduled to present his budget proposal on Sept. 28.