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

Republican Candidate for County Board District 1 — Sam Tornatore

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

Answer: I believe the best way to advance economic development and green technology is to continue the policies of the County Board.

  • Continue our LEED Certified buildings on the County campus, which have saved $750,000 in energy costs over the past 4 years.

  • Attract environmentally friendly businesses, such as rewarding environmentally friendly companies with reductions in permit fees and quicker acceptance of their application process.

  • Continue the latex paint and electronic recycling events as well as our 13 annual shredding events throughout the County.

  • Continue to promote the Cool DuPage Initiative working with businesses to cut greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of 20% (currently at 11% reduction)

  • Neighborhood revitalization program on abandoned and unkempt properties that are cleaned or demolished through County initiatives.

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?

Answer: I do see a need, which has been advanced through the ACT Initiative, which is projected to save $20 million over a 20 year period. In addition, the County has advanced the following:

  • Reduced headcount in the last five years by 100

  • Reduced the County budget by $38 million since 2011

  • Cut County sales tax by 0.25% in 20, resulting in $36 million in annual savings to taxpayers.

  • Dissolved four units of local government

  • Joint purchase agreements with other counties and municipalities

  • Cross training of employees

  • Reforming of employee benefits, resulting in a projected savings of $20 million over the next 20 years

  • Transforming the underutilized juvenile detention facility into the DUCOM Center (911 call center) which has reduced the public safety answering points from 22 to 3, resulting in an annual savings of $4.5 million.

  • Advisory referendum to consolidate the Election Commission into the County Clerk’s Office.

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

(1) O’Hare noise reduction/Western Access to O’Hare and Route I-390

  • Reduce airplane noise

  • Growth of the region through industrial and commercial development resulting in significant job growth.

(2) Resolve storm water and flood issues.

  • Continue working with City of Elmhurst with Elmhurst Quarry

  • Resolving storm water issues through the Woodridge-Green Valley Watershed project.

  • Continue to work with CMAP and the Army Corps of Engineers to lower the Salt Creek watershed and flood risk alternatives on the DuPage River.

  • Neighborhood Revitalization project which will result in more open space to capture increase water flow.

(3) Continue to work with the County to address the heroin/opioid epidemic:

  • DuPage County has joined with four other counties to sue pharmaceutical companies (similar to tobacco lawsuits).

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

Answer: I. as well as nine other county board members, participate in IMFR, as we believe it is based on work performed, responsibility of our jobs, and time expended.

  • When offered participation in IMFR, it was the best decision for my family and myself.

  • IMRF does not suffer the same issues as State pension programs, has a negligible impact on County tax payers and the benefits are relatively low.

  • The 2017 legislation allowing County Board members to opt out of IMFR would have required an affidavit stating that I did not work 1,000 hours per year, which I refused to sign, as the contents therein would have been a misrepresentation of the facts.  I have and continue to work more than 1,000 hour per year as a county board member. As a result, I remain in IMFR though I have not, nor hopefully will not in the near future, be deriving any benefits through the pension system.

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

Return to Voters' Guide