Introducing Maple Park’s trustees
by Lynn Meredith
The Maple Park Village Board welcomes two new trustees in the uncontested race for three seats, and welcomes back an incumbent. Each brings experience and a desire to serve the community as it faces challenges in the next term.
As national director of Human Resources operations for RR Donnelly, Deborah Armstrong, who moved to Maple Park in 2005 from West Chicago, is well acquainted with budgeting and completing projects during tough economic times.
â€œI have experience with budgets, projects, multi-tasking and being a change agent, especially with the economy and having to deal with plant closures. We’re doing more with less,â€ Armstrong said.
She said that her experience with policies and procedures will be helpful as she assists with bringing the village’s documentation up to speed. She also wants to work on communication between the board and the community by making the newsletter and website as timely as they can be.
Armstrong said flooding problems need to be resolved in order to keep residents in Maple Park and attract others to come. She wants to explore alternative ways for the village to generate money, perhaps by looking into wind farms and turbine power. Having grown up in Nebraska, she has seen a town the size of Maple Park put up wind turbines and partner with energy companies to sell electricity back to residents.
Armstrong is eager to be on the board and serve the people of Maple Park.
â€œI hope I can make a difference. I am interested in what the residents have to say. We can’t all get what we wantâ€”there are financial concernsâ€”but at least people will understand the answer they get,â€ Armstrong said.
Incumbent Terry Borg has served as village trustee for eight years. He has been part of dealing with the rapid development that the village saw in those years and the boundary lines that needed to be drawn with Cortland.
â€œWe did all right for the residents by annexing and getting fees to protect the citizens from costs,â€ Borg said. â€œNow that we see slowed growth, we can give considered thought to how we want to grow.â€
Borg said the village is continuing to search for ways to fund and organize the Police Department. He said that internal politics has slowed efforts to hire a police chief. Although he voted to put the referendum question on the ballot, he himself will not support it.
â€œUntil this board gets our act together, until we exhaust all avenues of aid from the county, we can’t expect anybody to vote for increases in taxes,â€ Borg said.
Borg said that the board is in a better position than it was, and shows more professionalism. He looks forward to working together on planning for the future and standardizing policies and procedures.
â€œMy hope is that we as a board would like to be with each other, that we would have open meetings and workshops, and that we have planning time,â€ Borg said.
With her first priority to preserve the quality of life she has experienced since moving to Maple Park in 2003, Suzanne Fahnestock sees the village as being at a turning point. She hopes to use her experience as a grant coordinator for the Kane County Sheriff’s department to benefit the village.
â€œMy experience with finances, government, politics, intergovernmental relations, education and grant writing (will) help our community address (the) challenges,â€ Fahnestock said.
Fahnestock said the village needs to focus on strategic planning. By understanding what has and has not worked in the past, the board can get a realistic assessment of its strengths and weaknesses and use that to develop a plan of action.
With public safety, infrastructure and road issues facing the village, Fahnestock would bring her knowledge of federal and state funding to take advantage of these opportunities.
Fahnestock does not support the police referendum, stating that an increase of $16,000 does little to address the problem of public safety.
â€œI don’t think this is the last we will hear of the problem. I see this as a planning initiative and a serious consideration for the near future, even with additional funding,â€ Fahnestock said.