Metro. Water Reclamation District Roothaan: Candidate Profile
Metro. Water Reclamation District (Green)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Metro. Water Reclamation District
Family: Partner Laurie Livermore daughter Nishi Roothaan
Occupation: retired college teacher
Education: BA Mathematics, University of Chicago MS Mathematics, Brown University
Civic involvement: Founding member, Trees R Beautiful, an urban forestry group in South Chicago Environmental Advocate for Southeast Chicago area since 2003
Elected offices held: none
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Questions & Answers
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what? What specific professional qualifications do you possess that would make you excel in this office?
The issue that motivates me most is flood control, for two reasons. The first reason is that it is of immediate concern to many area residents. The second reason is that I have experienced flooding in my own home and have installed rain barrels and rain diversion ditches. These measures have helped considerably and given me insight into what can be done on a small scale by a committed individual. My strongest professional qualification is my experience in education. Public education needs to play a larger role in our management of waste water.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
As a challenger my first priority will be to address the issue of rain barrel distribution. The MWRD is behind schedule on this anti-flooding measure, and my experience as a community activist will help me find ways to get this done.
How do you view the role the district has played in controlling flooding in Cook County and what, if any, actions need to be taken to improve things?
The district is well aware of the flooding issue but is behind schedule with the big projects such as TARP and deep tunnel. Some of this is beyond its control, so I would like to see more aggressive efforts on small scale projects, particularly in the highest risk areas.
Does the board have the right number of commissioners to adequately represent all parts of the district?
How do you rate the MWRD on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important
I have been attending the bimonthly meetings as a member of the general public. Sometimes they seem quite transparent; at other times I feel I am only hearing a part of the story. The board frequently goes into executive session just when things are getting interesting. Understandably, personnel and discipline issues should be private, but those are not the only topics going into executive session.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
1. We need more independent oversight of budget and operations. 2. We need to address the Asian carp problem. 3. We need a way to reduce the toxins and excess fertilizers we are sending into the rivers and from there into the Gulf of Mexico. 4. We need to find a way to control the drugs that are being flushed down our toilets and from there into our waterways.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Wangari Maathai, who has just recently died, and won the 2005 Nobel Peace prize for her work planting trees and speaking for global environmental justice.
What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Tell the truth.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would be a better parent.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Mathematics taught me to always look for an answer, and then to look for a better answer.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make your own mistakes.