Candidate Name: Nancy Turner
Office Seeking: City Council
Subdivision with Zip Code: Naper Carriage Hill, 60565
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?
With 2 strong councilwomen stepping down, whose positions I supported, I hope to make sure that their voices on the issues that come before city council are replaced by candidates who will represent the various communities that make up Naperville.
2. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan 9-member City Council?
I have a background in education and languages without any conflicts of interest or ties to companies doing business with the city of Naperville. I have significant experience working with and leading small groups in a collaborative fashion to make decisions for the benefit of all the stakeholders. I will be an independent voice for the residents and neighborhoods, making decisions for the benefit of Naperville.
3. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
Naperville residents know that this is a great place to live, work, and play. We have wonderful schools, parks, and libraries, and we receive high-quality services from the city. It is critical to strengthen the high-quality services we currently enjoy for our tax dollars, especially in the event of an economic downturn and the pressures faced by the changing landscape in brick and mortar commercial enterprises. Also important is making Naperville greener and more sustainable. Given our size, affluence, and level of education, we should be doing more to combat climate change. We should strive to leave our children and grandchildren a safe and healthy Naperville. I also think that maintaining housing inventory for a variety of income levels and ages is important for the future growth and sustainability of Naperville, so that the viability of our city does not stagnate if younger people can’t afford to live here.
4. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the City, what would it be?
I would close off Jefferson Street between Washington and Main in the summer months on weekends to vehicular traffic, and open it up to sidewalk dining and pop-up food vendors in addition to entertainment.
5. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
The median property value in Naperville is $379,000 and the largest share of home values is between $300,000 and $400,000. This is certainly not attainable for many families, especially young families with single incomes, much less affordable for low income families.
The City Council should make sure that the Fair Housing Action Plan is followed whenever approving development and redevelopment requests. City Council can ask the Planning and Zoning Commission to track numbers and locations of housing units at a variety of values to help keep Naperville affordable for all. The PZC should develop an education and communication plan on affordable housing and what it means for individual neighborhoods, so that residents don’t automatically fear a drop in their property values when they hear the words “affordable housing”.
6. What City amenity is most important/attractive to you and how should its care and maintenance be funded?
My family and I have always prized the Naperville Public Library. It has transitioned seamlessly to the digital environment in books, audiobooks, videos, and music, while maintaining its traditional collections. We can protect the library by electing officials who value the contribution the library makes to the city and its residents.
7. What should be done about the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) fund, if anything?
Having a background in foreign languages and cultures, I think it’s important to celebrate cultural diversity and encourage our residents to have open minds and be receptive to new ideas. I like the atmosphere created in the city when we have a variety of events to celebrate the diversity of Naperville and of the world. If we close off Jefferson in the summer months (see Q4), we could have different cultural themed events throughout the summer.
8. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses that encourages development?
Naperville has what businesses want and need to prosper and be successful—an educated workforce, a community whose median income is over $100,000 per annum, and the Naperville Development Partners, a public-private partnership that has been very successful in bringing businesses to Naperville. Last year, Naperville was the second-highest generator of sales tax revenue after the city of Chicago. Future development should be mindful of the carbon footprint created, not only to help save the planet but also to protect the city from large tracts of vacant, unsustainable properties.
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…
Naperville has been a great place to raise my family. I am committed to working hard on city council to maintain that great environment. My background in education has trained me to be prepared on the issues and to listen to all the stakeholders before making thoughtful decisions. I am capable, as evidenced by my schooling in languages and business, and I am a caring advocate for my community. I have been a child advocate with CASA DuPage, a tutor in a homeless shelter with Chicago Hopes, and a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes.