Maria A. Reyes: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 1

 
Posted5/28/2022 1:00 AM

Bio

Party: Republican

 

Office sought: DuPage County Board District 1

City: Addison

Age: 47

Occupation: Police Officer

Previous offices held: Addison Fire Protection District Fire Commissioner, Women's Club of Addison Treasure, St. Philip the Apostle School Board Member

Q&A

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?

I am running in this elect for the first time for position of DuPage County Board, in District 1. The random and violent spike in crime in DuPage County has already had serious safety and financial implications. As a police officer, I intent to take back control and combat crime in our communities in DuPage County.

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, I would bring almost 24 years of law enforcement experience to the DuPage County Board. It is imperative law enforcement serve on the DuPage County Board. For too long legislators have made decisions with little or no input from law enforcement. My priority is public safety. As a member of the DuPage County Judicial and Public Safety Committee, I intend to support and advocate for the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, and local agencies alike, with current and upcoming training standards, creating team building and strategic approaches to policing, develop more community engagement and ensure recruitment and retention of personnel. I will also foster a relationship with all county board members that promotes understanding of the police culture and modern day challenges for the profession. These efforts will serve advantageous when we collaborate and vote on matters regarding the public safety of DuPage County.

Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.

The DuPage County Board recently presented a balanced budget that did not include an increase in property taxes and I commend the board. The budget did take into account increased costs for the recent Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act. The costs for mandate reforms are vague and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police recently detailed $759 million as expected costs. More than $206 million is required to implement mandate forms such as technology upgrades, costs that include funding for body cameras and video storage, vigorous and continuous training, recruitment and retention. Associated costs include additional specialized personnel required to oversee and ensure mandates. Smaller police agencies may be unable to sustain those costs and be subjected to consolidate with other agencies, possibly the DuPage Sheriff's Office. The board should further research the Safe-T Act to explore unintended long term costs for DuPage.

How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.

DuPage County government with regard to public access to records is above average. It has been my experience, the county has provided records quicker that anticipated. I do not feel any improvements are required.

What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?

DuPage County services are not thoroughly promoted through out the county. For example, at the start of the pandemic, information regarding DuPage County services were not readily available to everyone and any information later disseminated was only in English. Additionally, many residents seek out their local municipality for questions about a service that is provided by the county and those employees serve as county's liaisons. It is timely for municipal employee to navigate then research the county's website. Unless you repeatedly utilized services at the county, most residents do not know what office pertains to their matter. I suggest DuPage County create an interactive portal that lists every county office in DuPage. The portal should list tabs for respective services, a county liaison and downloadable forms. The portal, available in different languages, will serve to provide up to date and consistent information to everyone.

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