Martin Durkan: Candidate Profile

Metro. Water Reclamation District (Democrat)

  • Martin Durkan, running for Metro. Water Reclamation District

    Martin Durkan, running for Metro. Water Reclamation District

Updated 2/13/2018 12:20 PM

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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.

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City: Chicago


Twitter: Candidate did not respond.

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Office sought:

Metro. Water Reclamation District

Age: Candidate did not respond.

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Family: My wife, Una and our three sons and daughter

Occupation: Business Agent

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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?

I am running for reelection after filling the vacancy for Patrick Daley Thompson. I am running because I believe we need to protect our water environment, invest in infrastructure, and protect workers' rights. As a business agent and life working construction I have a connection to working families and the issues they face. I also served on a pension board and I am keenly aware of the fiscal realities all units of government face. These experience make me uniquely qualified for this office.

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?

On a policy end, my office was very involved in the implementation of the most progressive MPLA the district has every implemented. We have included Òboots on the groundÓ goals for minority hiring while also ensuring the most qualified contractors in the county are getting tax payer dollars.

My office has also been very active in outreach to all levels of government in all areas of the county. I am proud to day my office collaborated with many different elected officials within the county to plant about 10,000 trees over the last year through our Restore the Canopy program.


Due to the old infrastructure of a combined sewage system, raw sewage may be released into rivers and the lake during a heavy rain. While efforts such as rain barrels are important, does the district have any long-term plans to address the underlying infrastructure issue?

Yes. The district has a long-term storm water plan that mixes green and grey infrastructure, community education, and strategic planning and partnerships to address this issue. I will continue to advocate for these efforts.

For years, not one suburban Republican has been elected to the board. Should the board be elected by regional districts?

Although this may seem like a good idea, it is bad public policy. Flooding does not know political boundaries. Political boundaries create the need for commissioners to bring back funds to their districts. Clout heavy politicians would be able to being money back to only their district even though the need may or not be there for the flooding. Furthermore, I believe that my fellow commissioners balance issues on their decisions on facts and sound policy despite where they live.

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 believe that the district is fairly transparent organization. Almost all of our public documents and information is on our website that is not protected by privacy laws. I will be the first to admit that our website is not the most user friendly in the world, but is something that we ought to fix.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

I think maintaining the fiscal position of the district and investing infrastructure to protect our water environment is extremely import. That will be one of my priorities while maintaining my offices robust outreach to the community and looking for new technologies to address water issues.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Candidate did not respond.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

Candidate did not respond.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Candidate did not respond.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Candidate did not respond.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Candidate did not respond.