Campaign Website: www.electpattygustin.com
Circle one: Employed, Unemployed or Retired?
If employed, where? Employed, Independent Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeService, Starck Realtors of Naperville
How long have you lived in Naperville? 15 years.
1. What motivated you to run for Naperville City Council?
Voters will elect all 8 Council seats and a new mayor. We can’t afford hobby candidates with learning curves or self-interest motives, wanting taxpayer-paid health insurance, or giving the same old worn lecture. I love this City, served it for a decade, never cost you a dime, and earned your trust.
2. If elected to serve your community, will you accept health care benefits from the City of Naperville?
NO, and it needs to end! The City (its taxpayers) is on the hook to pay about $15,000 a year for each Councilman, each year, for what the City identifies as a part-time position; plus benefits of up to $150,000 each since the City is self-insured. This must end!
3. If elected, how much time per week are you willing to give to prepare for City Council meetings, budget workshops and liaison appointments on boards/commissions?
Average 40+ hours per week.
As the Planning & Zoning Commission Chairwoman, our meetings can go past 1AM. I serve the City on other boards, too. As a realtor I have work flexibility. City guidelines estimate about 1,000 hours a year as Councilman, about 20 hours/week. I already do that and more!
4. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan City Council?
See how I represent you on the City Planning & Zoning Commission net site (www.naperville.il.us). I’m a consensus-builder, fair, respectful, honest, open to new ideas. I know it’s not about me. We are the residents and businesses, and we are Naperville. I am your voice to trust.
5. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
- a. Preserve the quality of life that brought people to, and keeps them, especially our seniors, in Naperville.
- b. Smart economic development that will reduce taxes.
- c. Eliminate Councilman health insurance.
6. Do you favor term limits for City Council and other local/state governing bodies? YES NO
Yes. Government is filled with career politicians; pensioners building their own wealth. The statesmen are mostly gone. Elected offices are not careers; they are representative positions of trust. If officials stay too long, they seem to forget. City Council now has term limits.
7. Name one contribution you have made to our city that you think was most significant of your community service to date.
I served on the Naperville and Lisle Planning and Zoning boards for two decades, and led many development successes enjoyed today. But, my family includes veterans, police officers and firefighters. My work for them is special, including Naperville Responds For Our Veterans, Healing Field of Honor, and Operation Save Our Troops.
8. What boards or commissions have you served previously?
Naperville Planning & Zoning Commission, Lisle P&Z Board, Naperville Responds For Our Veterans, Naperville Womens’ Club, Cress Creek Garden Club, Naperville Garden Club home host, Mainstreet Organizations of Realtors – Grievance, Professional Standards Committee – Legislative Committee, Naperville Downtown Advisory Board, Naperville Chamber Legislative Committee, Naperville Healing Fields of Honor -Operation Support Our Troop., etc.
9. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the city, what would it be?
Get rid of Councilmen healthcare insurance, and fix the City’s ethics guidelines about gifts & stipends.
10. How do you hope to be perceived by city staff, city manager, other council members and constituents?
The Council implements what its residents want the City Manager and his staff to achieve by approving, or not, budgets, proposals, and visions; but the rubber actually hits the road through staff. I am a proven respectful fact finder, a listener, a consensus builder who remembers that staff does the actual work.
11. What business development needs can you identify?
Keep the downtown City engine of Naperville strong, but do not ignore other businesses, big and small, all over the City. We must better-partner to draw and keep businesses here. Look around Ogden Avenue, Washington St, and Rte 59 and you will see that our businesses are struggling with vacancies.
12. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses?
Improve permit and other City processing timelines; grow City/business partnerships; reduce or keep the City’s budget in check; always remember the co-dependent nature of successful business: our residents are our business and our business is our residents. The answers that helps one helps the other.
13. What can the City Council do to help keep real estate and property values in check?
The Assessor’s Office determines property values. We must match the City’s budget and goals and preserve its strong bond rating. Naperville is a top-City nationwide, but we are already in debt. The answer is not tax increases, it’s what and why we spend.
14. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
Taxes and affordability go hand-in-hand. Our great City and schools draw more lower-income renters and hopeful homebuyers every year. The City’s portion of your tax bill is small, it cannot control other taxing bodies. Growing our tax base and cutting excesses keep taxes low and homes affordable.
15. What service provided by the City of Naperville do you deem most important? Least important?
Most important: Life safety, without question, must remain priority one. Our Police and Fire Departments are second to none.
Least important: It varies with each resident. My job as Councilman is not to tell you what’s least important; it’s to realistically satisfy as many expectations as possible within budget.
16. Are you a member of a service club or nonprofit board of directors that receives SECA funds or other grants from the City of Naperville? NO YES
If yes, which one(s)? Yes. Exchange Club (Ribfest).
17. What city amenity is most important and how do you think it should be funded/raise revenue?
The Riverwalk remains the life-blood artery to our downtown, the City’s many festivals (RibFest, Last Fling, Naper Settlement – Civil War Days, etc.), and its public/visitor identity. Naper Settlement’s proposed Scott’s Block, and other proposals that mix public and private financing, should be contemplated.
18. How would you qualify Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) applicants for funding?
The current process is cumbersome and subjective. Enhanced use of advisory committees may assist the Council’s process. However, as discussed in the prior question, we need to evaluate the use of SECA for “amenity” funding, and reduce City tax burdens.
19. What is your opinion of the bidding and letting process at the City of Naperville?
It needs to be more transparent, but transparent does not mean buried in a series of long-winded meetings and workshops. Taxpayers deserve to have a better understanding of where our taxes go and why. E-systems already exist to do an annual e-mail summary budget-blast to every resident.
20. In addition to employee salaries and public safety, place in order of importance to you 12 assets and public/private partnerships that currently receive funding from the City of Naperville.
1) City Hall building
2) Public Works building
3) Parking garages
4) DuPage Children’s Museum
6) Central Park
7) Naper Settlement
8) Naperville Alliance – Naperville Development Partnership – Visitor Bureau
9) Naperville Library
10) Riverwalk Park – North Central College
12) Von Oven Camp