Shawn M. Ryan: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 4
Office sought: DuPage County Board District 4
City: Glen Ellyn
Age: Not given
Previous offices held: None
Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.
A: Currently the county has a reasonable ratio of revenue to spending with a surplus due to the influx of funding during COVID. I, of course, am a fan of the surplus and look forward to funneling those resources into the most important programs as determined by our constituents needs.
Threats to the county are real and present issues. Infrastructure well as cyber security are two very real concerns at present. As a board member, I will work to assure quality assessments are made in each of these areas to assure state of the art, safe systems are in place for our citizens.
Q: Is there a specific service or amenity that is lacking in the county? If so, how do you propose to provide and fund it?
A: I see the services as a whole for seniors and those struggling with disabilities to be areas where we can improve. Creative resolutions will be needed but we have the people to develop those. As stated previously we do have appropriate funding levels as well as a surplus available. That said I do not advocate additional taxation to fund any programs. We simply need to do the work and push for allocation of resources already available.
Q: Should the county board continue to start its regular board meetings with an invocation? Please say why or why not.
A: In the spirit of contemporary diversity, I see no reason not to explore an updated meeting protocol. Everywhere throughout the world thoughtful people are trying in earnest to consider other perspectives when making decisions. Why should we buck that trend.
Q: Does there need to be more bipartisanship and cooperation on the county board? If yes, what would you do to help make that happen?
A: Cooperation is a cornerstone to success in every conceivable type of organization. The most effective way to assure cooperation is for voters to elect candidates with team oriented backgrounds. Teachers and coaches are among the best equipped to accomplish group based goals. If elected I would look at each challenge as if it were a curricular challenge or a game prep. opportunity. In short, what can we do as a team to accomplish the goal?
Q: If your political party has control of the county board after the November election, how would that benefit DuPage residents?
A: The Democratic Party of DuPage County is a fiscally sound and pragmatic organization staffed with compassionate, thoughtful people whose primary goals are to help others, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. Safe communities stimulate the economic drivers of that area. DuPage County deserves the opportunity to further develop a secure and vibrant environment for all (not only the well off) and that's what a 'Democratic majority will continue to build toward.
Q: The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?
A: DuPage County should continue to support its health department in its goal of providing excellent services. Leading the way through word and deed, our county must continue to provide high quality services and information. Mental health services are an important component to a comprehensive community health plan and the county needs to remain engaged. On that point, we must avoid parroting propaganda and misinformation that uses mental health issues as a convenient scapegoat. This is another reason a Democratic majority is a necessity moving forward.
Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?
A: There is no single answer to this question. Developing and repairing infrastructure is important, maintaining a consistent revenue stream is important, providing clear and accurate information to our constituents is important. Most of all however we need to provide high quality services to our citizens including public transportation, educational opportunities and affordable housing.
Addressing one or two of these items is tough but managing all of this plus many other things seems daunting.
That said, I know many of the candidates and am confident that a Democratic majority will continue building on the great work already done while steadily moving the ball down the field in a positive direction.