DuPage County Forest Preserve District 5
(Vote for 1)The Forest Preserve District is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, which translates the open-space needs of county residents into ordinances designed to protect and enhance natural areas and support general operations.DuPage County contains six districts. Voters elect one commissioner from the district in which they live. The seventh member — the president — is elected by the county at large by popular vote. [source: https://www.dupageforest.org/our-board/board-commissioners]Salary: $75,000, PresidentSalary: $50,000, Commissioner[Source: https://www.dupageforest.org/hubfs/About/Documents/Departments/2021-03-08-Elected-Officials-Compensation.pdf ]
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Elizabeth J. Folk Van Arsdell
Barbara A. O'Meara
What qualifications do you bring to the office?
What is a major challenge facing your constituents and how will you address it?
What are the major goals you hope to achieve should you be elected to office?
As a practicing CPA for many years with a “Big Four” accounting firm, I managed services to some of the Firm’s most significant clients. I subsequently studied biology and physical sciences at Benedictine University, and received an MD from Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1998.
I grew up in Naperville, and my husband and I raised our six children here. For almost four decades, we’ve been actively involved with the Conservation Foundation and the Morton Arboretum. I have also volunteered in our schools, church, and community. I know DuPage well, have watched growth with both admiration and concern for its environmental achievements.
My business and science backgrounds, together with my work and community experience, provide solid, broad qualifications to address all aspects of this position: preservation and stewardship of our natural resources and assets with a focus on sustainability; fiscal responsibility; and outreach, engagement, and response to DuPage citizens.
Stress from uncertainty surrounds us. Forest preserves are important for affordable recreation, adventure, and serenity; many of us have rediscovered physical and emotional benefits of freely interacting with nature. Especially for children, open space to freely explore and grasp allows love of nature to take root.
The Forest Preserve District must be responsive to citizens: provide safe access through completing the trail systems and other access items; quickly respond, not allowing simple requests to be unheard, or tied up in unnecessary process; and communicate and listen.
Our Board must engage residents in the essential work of preserving and enhancing our environment. Opportunities should be pursued to inform and educate, so that the Board, through accountability and communication, may garner the respect, trust, and support of the citizens to whom it is responsible. This includes seeking voter approval for significant capital projects and issuance of debt used for its funding.
Maintenance of Forest Preserve properties must be given priority in the annual budget to achieved measures, to avoid the need for massive ecological restorations now included as Master Plan projects. Efforts should center on increasing health of the land and water, including the East Branch DuPage restoration, on asset maintenance, and on supporting biodiversity to enhance our current and future environment, to protect our lands for the generations to follow.
For the benefit of future generations, it is vitally important that we act now to reduce our carbon footprint. The study, implementation, and continued enhancement of using renewable and sustainable energy sources in a practical and reasoned manner must be a continuing goal as assets are maintained or replaced.
Our trail system envisioned and fought for so hard 20 years ago must be completed. The trail connectivity throughout DuPage and beyond has stalled, especially in our District #5, and it is time to complete our trail system
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