By Bob Goldsborough, Special to the Tribune
7:03 PM EDT, March 10, 2014
Three Republicans are on Tuesday's primary ballot for the chance to take on the Democratic incumbent in November for the District 6 seat on the DuPage County Board.
The GOP candidates are Valerie Bruggeman of West Chicago, Kevin Wiley of unincorporated West Chicago and Erica Sutton of Wayne. The Democrat one of them will face in the fall is Laurie Nowak, D-Bartlett. District 6 covers all of the DuPage County portions of West Chicago and Wayne and large amounts of Bartlett, Carol Stream, Winfield and Warrenville.
For the three GOP hopefuls, the major issue is flooding. More than anything else, they identified finding stormwater solutions as the most pressing matter in the district. Other issues are taxes, government consolidation and the future of the DuPage County Fairgrounds property.
Bruggeman, 50, a director of external affairs for AT&T and a lifelong district resident, worked for DuPage County for 20 years in its convalescent center and human services department. She also served on the West Chicago Fire Protection District's board and has been involved with Choose DuPage, a group that works to grow, retain and attract businesses.
Bruggeman said she favors a "holistic approach" to addressing flooding and if a proposed stormwater utility fee is enacted, it needs to be done fairly and so it won't hurt businesses or nonprofit organizations like churches.
"While everybody has to be responsible for stormwater management, how are we going to do it in a way that we're not driving businesses out of the county," she said. "I want to maintain DuPage as a destination for businesses, and not only attract new businesses but retain the businesses that we have."
She also said she favors a close look at the fate of DuPage's fairgrounds property, because "if we ever make any decisions to move or change it, it'll be lost forever. I'd be supportive of making sure we keep it where it's at unless there's some revelation or something that's brought forward to say that it makes better sense somewhere else."
Wiley, 53, a director of portfolio management at Schaumburg-based pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran Corp., also ran for the district seat in 2012. He serves on the Bartlett Fire Protection District's board and is a 30-year reservist colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Wiley points to successes in the military and in business.
"Residents can count on that I truly mean what I say when I come to them as a quality candidate," Wiley said.
Wiley said he believes that flooding in the district is the result of engineering problems and mistakes by developers and government officials. He said the first step should be to understand and repair stormwater engineering before collecting any new fee.
"The stormwater utility fee is just a revenue solution to an engineering problem," he said. "I can raise all the money in the world and I can spend all the money in the world, but until I get the engineering right, I'm just wasting money.""
Wiley said voters need a say on any changes to the county's fairgrounds property since it is a "cultural icon" and important open space.
"I would put it to the people and not just to the highest bidder," he said.
Sutton did not respond to requests for comment.
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