Candidate Name: Barbara O’Meara
Office Seeking: City Council
Subdivision with Zip Code: Huntington Estates, 60540
Campaign Website: www.omearaturnernaperville.com
The following answers have only been formatted for purposes of this website. Answers submitted by candidates have not been edited for grammar or content.
1. When and why did you first decide to run to serve Naperville City Council?
When I found out the Becky Anderson was not running for reelection I discussed it with my friend Nancy Turner and we thought we both had the background and the desire to represent the citizens of Naperville so we decided to join forces and make a run for city council.
2. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan 9-member City Council?
I’ve worked for public health for 28 years, I deal with the public day after day and always work to find a solution to their problem. I actively manage 12 state inspectors and oversee the enforcement of 8 different environmental Acts and codes. I am always looking for solutions or changes that can make the whole system work better, that’s important in my job and at a local level.
3. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
Fiscal responsibility is always the number one issue for any municipality.
Development, commercial and residential
Environmental health and sustainability
4. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the City, what would it be?
Parking for the 5th avenue train station. When I moved here 20 years ago there was a parking issue and here we are 20 years later with a 14 year waiting list. Naperville needs to find creative solutions to deal with this problem and at the same time not add to the congestion around the train station.
5. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
Naperville needs to incorporate affordable housing in each new development planned for Naperville. I believe by adding affordable housing in small doses rather than in massive high density projects.
6. What City amenity is most important/attractive to you and how should its care and maintenance be funded?
The Naperville Riverwalk. It is amazing how many people utilize this everyday and it should be maintained and funded through the park district with assistance if needed from the city.
7. What should be done about the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) fund, if anything?
I think this fund was a great idea, but, I don’t want it used as a slush fund for everything. I believe every dollar taken in by the city should be transparent to the citizens in how it is used. So keep the SECA fund but make sure the oversight is in place.
8. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses that encourages development?
Most cities have an economic development board that helps attract and retain businesses. In Naperville there is a group called the Naperville Development Partners. I think we may be able to work through this group , but once again, the transparency needs to be there and if they are using public funds they need to report on how those funds are being spent.
9. Are you a proponent of Tax Increment Financing (TIF)? NO
10. Do you live in School District 203 or School District 204? D203
Please tell anything else that distinguishes your interest in serving Naperville in 150 words or less…
I bring a unique skill set in dealing with public health for over 28 years. I’ve handled state inspections, worked with CDC, write legal cases for violators and managed a variety of state inspectors. This is part of the reason I am passionate about sustainability of all future development in Naperville and reviewing our sustainability in every existing department in Naperville. We need to look for and develop a plan to deal with environmental hazards which often times remain hidden for years like the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook. The people of Naperville deserve to know what is being manufactured in their town and what is being put into their air, water and soil.