Peter M. Dabertin: 2021 candidate for Elmhurst 6th Ward Alderman
In the April 6, 2021, consolidated election, Peter Ahern, Emily Bastedo, Peter M. Dabertin and Yeena Yoo are vying for a four-year term as Elmhurst 6th Ward Alderman. The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions about issues facing the city.
Below are Dabertin's responses.
In-person early voting with paper ballots is available at DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting.
Age: Not given
Occupation: Recently retired from Emerson Electric
Civic involvement: Former Scout leader
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: Give voice to constituents
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Yes, I do think that the city served the constituents. I am not aware of citizens not being able to contact city personnel when necessary. The city also made some adjustments during the pandemic, one example was providing specific areas on streets for food pickup, and another was allowing for outside dining. I think the city could have done more to urge support for local businesses although I did see some signage asking people to do so.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: If the COVID-19 pandemic is any guide, then safeguards/guidelines are directed by the respective states and the federal level through the CDC. There seems to be no home rule or local control. However, what we can do is to plan the best way to communicate with residents about what the city is specifically addressing and how.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: We can continue to leave some positions open where personnel have left, perform some scheduled maintenance on a longer interval, and delay the replacement of city vehicles and equipment.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: I think that projects relating to stormwater management that are in the capital expenditure budget should remain a high priority. All infrastructure projects are assigned a priority designation consisting of a A,B,C, or D. A is deemed essential so those would be the ones that I would be inclined not to put on the back burner, (this is approximately 5 out of 41 million dollars).
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: Some businesses have been so severely impacted by the pandemic that I would not want to impose additional penalties on them unless it could be conclusively demonstrated that community health was negatively impacted.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: Elmhurst has not allowed marijuana sales. I would want a referendum on this and let the voters decide the issue.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Establish a historical districts or incentivize developers to look at incorporating older structures into new ones. A community's past provides character. A city or town with only new structures has no more character than those built on a cornfield over the past 30 years.