Annette Corrigan: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 4
Occupation: Attorney, Lavelle Law Ltd.
Previous offices held: Trustee, College of DuPage; Milton Township Republican Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 25
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
DuPage County has been my family's home for nearly 30 years. My husband, our four children, and I have been happy here. Thanks to those who came before us, DuPage County offers safe communities, top-notch schools, wide-open spaces, and so much more! I am running for county board because I want to ensure that the quality of life that exists in DuPage County is protected. Among my greatest priorities are supporting law enforcement and preserving our safe community. This requires adequate funding and ensuring that those who work to protect our community daily have the tools and training necessary to do the job. As the second largest county in Illinois, the DuPage County Board can influence state policy and legislation -- especially those instituting mandates affecting county finances. However, influence can only occur when board members collaborate to reach a consensus and then communicate to the legislature where DuPage County stands on important issues.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
The foremost skillset I will bring to the county board is my legal experience. While I currently focus on domestic relations matters in my practice, my legal background is varied and diverse. It includes practice in employment, contracts, construction litigation, and tort litigation. I also worked with my husband in establishing our own business and, as a result, garnered practical experience in the many areas that touch on establishing a business and bringing a product to market. As a sitting Trustee of the College of DuPage Board, I will also bring my leadership skills and experience as a board member. I create consensus and lead by listening. Therefore, one of my objectives will be to reach out to residents in District 4 and my fellow County Board Members to learn what is important to them, what they believe DuPage County is doing well and what areas need improvement.
Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.
I am a pragmatic person. Balancing county spending with today's revenues requires leadership to have a clear vision of priorities from short- and long-term perspectives. I do not default to turning to the taxpayers to solve funding issues. My approach is to always look internally first for excess and areas of redundancy. Chief threats to balancing spending with revenues include funding law enforcement (including the unfunded mandate for body cameras for all sheriff deputies), infrastructure needs, and public health.
How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.
My recent experience with the county relating to public access and transparency issues has involved the Election Division. Based on that experience, I would give the county a rating of 7 out of 10. My requests for information have related to either voter data or election judge signup and training. I have had to follow up with the Election Division, sometimes more than once, to obtain the information or documentation I requested. My rating of 7 is because, with persistence, information/documentation is obtainable. The feedback I have received from other residents seems consistent with my experiences. Without making inquiries and getting internal feedback, I am not in a position to delineate specific improvements. Generally, I believe DuPage County does well publishing crucial public information and documentation for its several departments and makes public meetings easily accessible.
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
In recent years, there has been a great deal of improvement in automating the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. The changes have improved the efficiency, access, and transparency for attorneys and individuals involved in court-related matters. Ideally, county offices should be further automated so that residents are not required to be physically present at county facilities to conduct their business. The DuPage County Board should continue its efforts to obtain the necessary funding through grants and other revenue streams to support automation projects for its various departments.