League of Women Voters of Elmhurst
Voters Guide for the General Primary Election: March 20, 2018

Democratic Candidate for County Board District 2 — Liz Chaplin

Opening Statement

Hello, My name is Liz Chaplin and I would like to thank the Elmhurst League of Women Voters for hosting and all the candidates that are participating today. I am the current county board representative for District 2. I have been married to my husband Brian for 28 years and we have raised our three children ages 22, 20 and 18 in Downers grove, we also and two dogs.

My entry into politics was out of concern not design and began in 2001 with the discovery that our well water was contaminated with hazardous chemicals. Working with the IEPA, USEPA, the DuPage Water Commission, the Village of DG and DuPage County we were able secured a safe water supply for our family and 800 other home owners.

In 2012, I was elected to the DuPage County Board, receiving the most votes among the four candidates on the ballot in District Two.

I have relentlessly challenged excessive salaries and benefits for elected officials, lucrative contracts for the associates of connected insiders, and the practice of allowing campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the County. I have called for greater transparency in the County Board Compensation Resolution, requested that the Liquor Commission Agenda’s and Minutes be posted on line and stopped the practice of the county clerk moonlighting at the forest preserve saving the tax payers $10,000 a year salary and a public pension.

I also have worked with many constitutes on a variety of issues. Currently in Elmhurst I am working with the Virgil family in support of the Hoop House.

My philosophy is that government needs to be frugal and fiscally responsible while providing needed services which include public safety, quality infrastructure and human services. When tax dollars are spent lining the pockets of those connected with the insider elite, government cannot afford to do what needs to be done.

1. What is the best way for county government to advance economic development and green technology?

Businesses see technology, transportation and talent as reasons for choosing a location. DuPage is home to some of the best colleges, universities and apprenticeship programs. We need work to keep young entrepreneurs here. It is important that DuPage County continues to maintain its infrastructure, improve its public transportation system and continues to have access to quality internet.

In 2012 DuPage County approved the Cool Counties Initiative. The county invites homeowners businesses and government agencies to reduce greenhouse gases. In 2015 The Cool Counties initiative also encourages LEED certified construction and development, which offers incentive program for all types of construction and development that meet certain criteria. Green Building Incentives could receive: Expedited Permit Review Time, expedited Zoning and Plat process, reduction of building permit, zoning and plat fees equal to 10% of the normal fee schedule. Programs such as these are a great start in advancing green technology .

2. Do you see a need to consolidate functions, streamline processes, reduce head-count, and lower expenses in county government? If so, what do you propose?

The ACT initiative is more about public relations, political marketing and publicity than actually saving tax dollars. While consolidation of paper districts is worthwhile it doesn't actually save ANY money despite the hype and hoopla that surrounds such efforts. In the last several years there have not been any government consolidations that actually saved a meaningful amount of money for the taxpayers. I do not support DuPage County interfering in municipal, township, fire district or any other counties consolidation or lack of consolidation efforts. With regards to savings there are some very easy steps the board could take that would not impact the citizens of DuPage County. DuPage County is home to some of the highest paid elected officials in the state. Reduce salaries for all elected officials in DuPage County. Eliminate pension benefits and health insurance for county board members and eliminate stipends for elected officials. The DuPage County Board's 2018 budget calls for $282,000 for lobbyists and the State's Attorney's Office 2018 budget calls for $48,000 for lobbyists. Kane County Board acts as their own lobbyists and spends $0.00. DuPage County Board and State's Attorney should mirror Kane County and act as their own lobbyists. The DuPage County Election Commission 2018 budget calls for $135,000 for legal council. The Election Commission can use the DuPage County State's Attorney as legal council eliminating the need for outside council. The consolidation of Election Commission with the Clerks office should save approximately $300,000 yearly.

3. If elected, what three specific initiatives would you like to accomplish during the upcoming term in office?

The citizens of DuPage County Board, District 2 have been hit especially hard by severe weather. I will continue to work on flood mitigation. Last spring the Lisle Woodridge and Darien Woodridge Fire Districts entered into a functional consolidation. The consolidation included closing one fire station in Lisle Woodridge Fire District. I would like to facilitate the election of local boards such as the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District rather than appointment by the County Chairman. Continue to encourage cooperation and collaboration among local governments within District 2 especially as it relates to the heroin epidemic and mental health issues including suicide.

4. Where do you stand on elected County Board officials participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement System?

County Board members should not receive taxpayer funded pensions or health insurance. I've never accepted a taxpayer funded pension or health insurance. Governor Rauner signed Public Act 099-0900 which provides that newly elected county board members will be ineligible for IMRF pension and requires incumbent county board members to keep time sheets proving they work at least 1,000 hours per year. This offers an ideal opportunity for every member of the DuPage County Board to cease accepting a taxpayer funded pension.

Closing Statement

DuPage County will be facing some difficult budget decisions going forward. It is important that we have leaders that are not afraid to ask tough questions and challenge the status quo. I believe I have a proven track record of doing just that. Local leaders now have to take the lead were our federal government is failing. Making sure the 13,269 children in DuPage County that are covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan keep their coverage. Opposing the Trump Administrations roll back of the Obama Administration use of toxic chemicals that keeps our water safe. We are facing an opioid and mental health crisis. We need elected officials that have deep roots in the community and have had successes at finding solutions to the many issues facing the citizens of DuPage County. I am that candidate.

It has been a pleasure to participate in today’s forum. I would again like to thank the Elmhurst League of Women Voters and the all the candidates. My name is Liz Chaplin and I respectfully as for you vote on March 20th.

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate.

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