Diverse Field of Challengers Brings New Perspectives to Race

Article excerpt

Four candidates - three Republicans and a Democrat - are running in the Nov. 5 election for three available 4-year terms on the Will County board.

Charles "Chuck" Maher, 45, is a Naperville Republican seeking his first term on the board. He is president of Career, Education and Management Consulting, a company that provides educational consulting and clinical services to schools, families and organizations.

Wayne H. McMillan, 55, is a Bolingbrook Republican and a member of the county board for 2 1/2 years. He is a vice president of a financial group.

Terri Ann Wintermute, 44, is a Bolingbrook Republican and a member of the county board since 1996. She also is involved in economic development for the village of Bolingbrook.

Shirley M. Valevicius is a Bolingbrook Democrat seeking her first term on the county board. She is retired from ComEd.

Why are you running for this office?

Maher: As I talk to people in the neighborhoods, they talk about being disenchanted with the system. They feel that every time they turn around they are paying more taxes for fewer services. They feel that they have no impact in what happens at any level of government.

Why should we be surprised that voter turnout is so poor?

The answer is to listen.

McMillan: Coming from a finance background, I want to help maintain the financial integrity of Will County. As the chairman of the capital improvements committee, I have spearheaded the much- needed expansion of the county's adult detention facility.

We need to double, at a minimum, the jail's capacity due to the rapid growth of the county.

This will only be done by working in concert with the finance people of the county. As I also happen to be vice chairman of the finance committee, this will help to insure that all the avenues are being used to fund the expansion.

Wintermute: For the past four years, I have been privileged to chair the county's land use committee. As chair, I guided the committee through the adoption of the county's recent Land Use Plan Update.

Committee members put in hundreds of hours to develop this plan. I was very pleased when our new Land Use Plan was awarded the prestigious Daniel Burnham Award by the Metropolitan Planning Council for excellence in planning.

It will now be my job to guide Will County through implementing the elements of our new plan. We will need to change laws to allow subdivisions to develop with more focus on the environment, give developers the tools to set aside open space and make quality of life a priority as we develop in Will County.

Working with citizens, municipalities and other units of government to plan for future growth in a comprehensive and strategic manner motivates me.

Valevicius: I am running for several reasons:

- To give voters a choice; there are now 19 Republicans and only eight Democrats on the board.

- To preserve forests and land for forest preserves, parks and open space. …