Paula McGowen: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 4
Office sought: DuPage County Board District 4
City: Glen Ellyn
Occupation: Home rentals
Previous offices held: DuPage Regional Board of Schools trustee
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?
Through my attendance of many county board meetings over the years I've noticed over the last 4 years the board's increased inability to come to a consensus over matters they're addressing. I believe as a board member I'd be able to facilitate bringing members together to work out an acceptable conclusion.
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?
As a citizen in early 2000 I became aware that a serious drug problem existed in DuPage County, with the use of heroin by our younger generation. There had been a Drug Court, but I found out it had stopped taking in new applicants. I addressed the county board about this, which they knew nothing about. Through my perseverance it took quite some time, but it again became operational. I'd be attentive of the publics needs as a priority.
Years ago a proposal for a $72 million dollar expansion of the county jail was in committee before going before the board. I appeared at the committee and questioned its need in public comment. As a result a study was conducted, which concluded that no expansion was needed in the foreseeable future. One of my main priorities is public safety. Supporting the sheriff and law enforcement.
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.
The county has been operating within its revenues and should continue to do so. The threat of COVID was handled well in DuPage with the help of The DuPage County Health Dept. DuPage County received $ 161 million dollars in Federal Funding from the Cares Act, and $180 million dollars from Arpa from Federal Funding.
The threat of the COVID Virus will remain in the future, and the The County is prepared to deal with it with its resources.
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.
The county has many documents and information that are available online for public access. Any records that aren't available this way, would require a F.O.I.A. request form filled out and submitted to the Department that has the records on file.
The F.O.I.A.,(Freedom of Information Act,) that is used by the county for public access to it's records by filling out the F.O.I.A. form, is the required norm for accessing public records throughout the U.S.A. So it's more than adequate; it's necessary.
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
I believe customer service can always be improved. As for automation; if it's adaptable to the task that would have to be accomplished by the employee. But first there would have to be an extensive study of the task of the employee. Automation can be very efficient, with increased speed, less errors, and freeing up employees time to do other task.