- Position sought: Naperville City Council
- Website: www.electpattygustin.com
- E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 630-220-0548
- Address: Naperville
- Age: 51
- Family: Married for 21 years to a wonderful man who is the chief enforcement counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We have two daughters and a son. Courtney is a sophomore at Marquette University, Lindsey is a senior at Naperville North High School, and Randy is a marketing executive for an aeronautical engineering firm. Our family is animal-friendly and home to an aspiring DVM. So we also have two cats, a yellow lab, at least one snake, and several tanks of fish.
- Education: Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; earned paralegal certification from Roosevelt University; Real Estate Broker, State of Illinois Department of Banks & Real Estate.
- Occupation: Real estate broker
- Party affiliation (if any): Republican
- Previous elected offices: None
- Applicable experience qualifying you for the position: City of Naperville Plan and Zoning Commission (view hearings live at www.electpattygustin.com and click 'experience' tab); City of Naperville Zoning Board of Appeals; Professional Standards/Arbitration Board; Real Estate Association of Western and South Suburban Board; Village of Lisle Zoning Board of Appeal; Village of Lisle Planning Commission; Naperville Exchange Club; volunteer for Healing Fields, Ribfest and Last Fling; member and officer of Subdivision Boards; Youth Organizations director and supporter/volunteer at Naperville North High School, Steperette Cadets Guard and Parent Organization.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
As a City Councilman, I am ready for my voice to be a vote for the Naperville residents and businesses I have represented for years. I have been a voice in shaping municipal government for over 15-years, worked for the federal government for over 11 years, and have been a business woman in our community for over 20-years. But, in Naperville, virtually all City decisions are made by the City Council and the Mayor. Its Boards and Committees are advisory panels. I have the experience and balance to plan and safeguard the City’s future. I understand and respect what our residents, businesses, and City staff expect of the Councilmen. It’s time to deal with issues before they are on our doorsteps, before the deficit void exists to fill each year. And it’s time to return the respect and constructive decorum to the City’s Council that too many of its residents and businesses have found missing.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
There is no single-most important priority, but I have 3 fundamental goals as Councilwoman:
- Restore respect and integrity to the City Council. People are tired of the bickering and the long-winded speeches. They are tired of disrespectful dialogues among the Council members and with people that bring business before them. Many residents believe the Council is out of touch, that they are not heard, that they are not represented (the ward referendum shot that message across the bow of the City Council loud and clear). Many of the City’s staff are intimidated, feel unappreciated, and feel that their livelihoods are at risk. We must be forward thinking, forward planning, and, above all, respectful of the people and businesses that we serve.
- Improving, now, how the City of Naperville meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of all of its residents and businesses; and planning, now, for how to do that in the future. Two years ago I ran for City Council. Two years ago some sympathy existed that the great recession was not predicted and the City was unforeseeably caught in the lurch. Two years later, we still have budget deficits projected for as far as the budget years predict. Yet, as our revenues have slipped, we still spend at levels that are wishful, but not sustainable. As city councilwoman I will be a pro-growth fiscal conservative. To be clear, I do not disagree with most of the expenditures that the City Council has approved. I disagree with their timing. I disagree that some simple and expensive matters never have the time to be decided (such as camping on public right-of-ways anywhere in the city), and that some matters don’t have the time to accrue the money to pay for them or to reshape them in a fiscally responsible manner (as examples, city staff benefits, vehicle replacement, and the many matching funds projects that the city has committed funds through borrowing and accounting shifts). The city of Naperville cannot wait for Springfield or Washington to find its solutions. The answer lies within our own often ignored and deferred fiscal responsibility.
- In the next two years, balance our city’s budget and reserve for the future. At the same time, we must rebuild, as necessary, and retain a strong city workforce. We must cultivate a unified city council that has a common short- and long-term vision for the city. While not raising taxes, we need to make some budgetary sacrifices to build for the future. We need to have a respectful conversation with our city staff to partner with them in our recovery. Our deficits exist simply because we spend more than we tax. But, what seems not so simply understood is that the city’s future revenues are only as solid as the residents and businesses it draws and retains. High taxes, high debt, unsafe streets and buildings, a disgruntled city staff, overtaxed and over-feed residents and businesses, are not conducive to needed city stability for growth. As city councilman I pledge to freeze city taxes at current levels, to promptly reduce and then eliminate unnecessary “stealth” city fees and “special” taxes, and get the city back within its budget and its foreseeable means.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
First, all of the candidates deserve our respect for stepping forward and wishing to make our community better. However, I am different in that I bring a fresh perspective, a new face to the Council, and a balance to the sometimes unruly tenor of City deliberations. I am different because I have 20 years of proven and tested municipal government experience. I have 10 years of federal government experience. I am in touch, as a real estate broker, with our residents and businesses. I know their needs and wants. I am a Naperville business woman. I know the needs of businesses generally, and in candor, that of business women in particular. And, I am a Mom that knows the interplay and needs of strong schools and parks, and how the many facets of government, not just the City’s must work in concert.
What's your favorite thing about Naperville?
Its people and businesses. More specifically, Naperville’s diversity, innovation, and charity.
What is the biggest problem in Naperville?
It’s deficit and the effect its deficit has had on City staff, residents and businesses.