Candidate Name: Whitney Robbins
Office Seeking: City Council
Subdivision with Zip Code: Park Addition, 60563
Campaign Website: www.whitney4naperville.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?
I started thinking about it two years ago when my daughter started kindergarten. I’m running for City Council because I want Naperville to remain one of the best cities in American to raise a family, grow a business and live an enriched life. I believe council members should have an open mind and an open door and not step into office with predetermined biases or agendas.
2. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan 9-member City Council?
As a mom first, my desire to serve the community stems from wanting the best for our children. Not only am I a mom, but I have to balance a full-time job outside the home where I am constantly faced with business and organizational challenges. I take great pride in collaborating with my partners and leadership team to discuss various scenarios and consequences that ensure we identify and achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. In my 20+ plus years in business, I have found that it is important for me to consult, brainstorm and problem solve with a team before any action is taken. By listening and learning about different perspectives, I believe I can be a dedicated and fair community representative.
3. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
- Public Safety
- Economic Development
- Community Needs
4. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the City, what would it be?
Based on 20 years in the technology industry, ushering 5G to the Naperville community, making us a “Smart City”, would be on my wish list. This technology has the ability to detect temperature, pollution, water leaks, full garbage bins and traffic jams. A “Smart City” will help manage the costs of operating our parks and ballfields with smart lights (that also provide a layer of security) and smart water features.
While 5G sounds like the next incremental advancement for telecom, it is similar to the giant leap that occurred when phones moved from rotary dial to push button and when jet power airplanes replaced propeller planes.
5G infrastructure has the potential to speed up government…a daunting and exciting possibility. Plans and decisions require research, input and facts. The faster that information is conveyed from multiple sources, the faster that intelligent decisions can be made for the benefit of our community.
5. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
This challenge to meet housing guidelines and make our town compliant is real. The city needs to look at the overall cost, construction and city codes and compare them to other communities similar to ours in size and demographics. We also need to look at a partnership between public and private organizations to help identify solutions that will work in our environment.
6. What City amenity is most important/attractive to you and how should its care and maintenance be funded?
I love the Naperville Riverwalk. The beautiful Riverwalk is the gem of our downtown. Its meandering paths are enjoyed by locals and visitors, dog-walkers and businesspeople, young and old. I am grateful to those Napervillians who had the vision to build it. It is a true representation of Naperville’s past, present and future. I believe the Naperville Park District should continue to care and maintain the Riverwalk for the city.
7. What should be done about the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) fund, if anything?
SECA has been highly successful in the past and is an enormous benefit to the community. We should continue the transparency of disbursement of the grant monies and revisit whether or not sponsored events are of value to the community.
8. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses that encourages development?
- Develop infrastructure that will support the technologies of tomorrow
- Foster economic growth through fast-tracking for companies that meet city criteria
- Keep Naperville on firm financial footing with balanced budgets and support our schools to provide an educated workforce
Naperville needs to make sure we are providing a welcoming environment and a partner to our existing and future businesses. We need to continue to market Naperville as a great place to live and work. Our residents want and need area businesses that provide goods and services and that have a stake and will be engaged at many levels in our community.
9. Are you a proponent of Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?
Yes – if done correctly and ALL taxing bodies agree to the terms of the TIF.
No – otherwise
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…
Having grown up in Naperville, I have a deep respect for our past and present leaders. I remember our first and only female Mayor Peg Price and her plans for our current municipal center. Followed by Mayor George Pradel, “Officer Friendly” carved out his own way of leading our city through tremendous growth while connecting with so many residents. Our city benefits from the various expertise each official brings to the table. I am a working mom with two decades of experience in the technology sector that gives me a unique, innovative perspective to guide future planning in our city.