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

Republican Candidate for County Board District 1 — Dino Gavanes



Opening Statement

Thank you for inviting me to this forum. I hope that in the next hour or so, I can provide some information about me, and some of my views.

I have lived in Illinois all of my life, and in DuPage county about half of my life. I was a business owner in District 1 for 30 years, having owned insurance agencies. Before we merged the business in 2011, we had about 20 employees, and wrote both commercial and personal insurance, and representing many of the premier insurance companies in the industry. We also provided employee benefits products and services to our clients. Our responsibility was to protect the assets of our clients

My wife Melanie, and I reside in Itasca. Between us, we have three grown and married children, living around the country.

I welcome your questions and comments, and hope I can offer you a glimpse of who I am.

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

Green technology includes Renewable energy; Energy efficiency; Green House Gas Emission reductions; Pollution reduction and removal; Reusing and recycling; Natural resource conservation.

Within these topics we need to promote business activities that generate economic growth. In DuPage county we can advance the practice of Energy Efficiency, such as LEED certified Building, energy efficient lighting, motion detector lighting. We can act to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by using alternative forms of transportation, such as car pools, fuel efficient vehicles, and mass transit.

Collecting and Reusing recycled waste material is another way green technology can advance economic development, as well as better technologies for Pollution Reduction and removal.

These are all examples of environmental issues that can foster economic development through their solutions. Currently, the DuPage Green Government Council, which is an advisory group to the county, has public, private, nonprofit, and utility representation. Their responsibilities include all these topics.

I am a believer that Economic activity and prosperity are a direct result of innovation and creativity. Science and technology has to be put in the forefront; in our education system; in our county board initiatives; and in our homes and lives.*


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?

There is definitely a need to continually search for ways to consolidate and/or streamline operations. It should be noted, however, that the DuPage ACT Initiative has made reforms, since 2011, which have a projected savings for taxpayers of about $100 million. Items such as restructuring employee benefits; shared services agreements with Kane County; consolidation of some local government bodies. In addition, the board voted to put an advisory referendum on the March ballot to consolidate the Election Commission into the County Clerk’s Office. Other consolidations have been planned as well.  We certainly should not stop there, however. Infrastructure advances could help reduce operating cost. *Areas such as LED lighting and motion detector lighting for public buildings and roadways.


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

If elected, there are a few areas that I would like to jump into. First, is the systematic expansion of youth engagement in our political process and governmental activities. We have excellent school districts in DuPage County, but all of us have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to give them the tools to make intelligent decision regarding our government. More needs to be done to educate our youth in the area of civics, government procedures, and political science. I would like to see the County and the school districts work together to accomplish this.

Second, I think we need more resources to stop the spread of opioid misuse and addiction. Too many people are dying from overdoses. The use of NARCAN by law enforcement officers is expanding, but we need to do something about the sources, and treatment.

Lastly, having been an entrepreneur almost all of my life, I would embrace the opportunity to work with the county and College of DuPage, as well as any other group to help foster entrepreneurship in our county. It’s happening at Argonne with the Chain Reaction Innovations. We need to do more. We need to have a county government that promotes and supports new business, including technology driven businesses, and the creation of high paying jobs


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

Currently, county board members who were first elected after 2017, I believe, are not eligible to participate in the retirement system. I know that I would not be eligible. I believe that pension reform is necessary throughout the State, and on all levels. The county, I believe, has addressed it adequately.

The challenge of governing is one that I take seriously. Having known what it means to have employees that look to you for their well-being; to have to meet a payroll every two weeks; to be responsible for protecting your clients’ assets; it is not a responsibility to take lightly. I believe my educational and professional background give me the tools that will help me do a good job, and effectively represent my district. Thank you for your time and hopefully, for your support.


Closing Statement

The challenge of governing is one that I take seriously. Having known what it means to have employees that look to you for their well-being; to have to meet a payroll every two weeks; to be responsible for protecting your clients’ assets; it is not a responsibility to take lightly. I believe my educational and professional background give me the tools that will help me do a good job, and effectively represent my district. Thank you for your time and hopefully, for your support.


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

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