Name: Jaime Olson
Office sought: Village trustee
Political party: Bolingbrook United
Town where you currently reside: Bolingbrook
Occupation (employer): Labor and employment lawyer. I am the labor and employee relations officer for the Chicago and Kansas City Regions of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Spouse/Children: Local Attorney Joe Giamanco and two children (grade school and pre-school).
Education: Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law. Bachelor of Arts from University of Iowa in Political Science and History (graduated with honors). Graduated from St. Charles High School.
Why are you running for the elected office you're seeking?
I’m running because I believe it is time to make the Village of Bolingbrook work for everyone, not just a select few. This election is about the future of Bolingbrook. Bolingbrook needs people like me who are poised to come up with new ideas and solve problems. I will not just be a “yes” woman. I will be your voice in Village Hall.
What skills, qualities or experience do you have that separate you from your opponents?
In short, my experiences show that I not only “care” about Bolingbrook, but I also have the experience necessary to lead and implement change in Bolingbrook.
I’m a lawyer, a manager and have worked in both the public and private sectors. I am well-versed in labor, employment, contract and appropriations law and would be the only attorney serving as a trustee on the Village Board.
Over my career, I have worked with and managed numerous public employees. I have created successful labor and management partnerships and participated on contract negotiations teams. I am skilled in dealing with unions and employees covered by collective bargaining agreements. There is currently no elected official in our Village with my level of experience in these important areas.
As a manager for the federal government, I’ve helped to develop and manage the budgets of multi-million dollar facilities. I’ve conducted staffing analyses, headed interview panels and taken all types of managerial actions (hiring, removal, promotion, disciplinary and performance actions).
I’ve done all of the above, while investing time and energy in our community. In the past 13-plus years that I have lived in Bolingbrook, I’ve have done the following: Led Girl Scout Troop 70315; coached Bolingbrook Soccer (go team Barcelona!); am a member and current vice president of the Illinois Democratic Women of Will; am a member of our local chapter of National Organization of Women; am a member of and volunteer for Bolingbrook Pride; created and maintain the original Bolingbrook Events Facebook group page; volunteered with my local PTO; volunteered legal services to Bolingbrook residents and charities; and donated to and supported numerous Bolingbrook charities.
What are the greatest challenges Bolingbrook is facing in the coming years?
The greatest problem facing Bolingbrook in the coming years is the fact that we are now landlocked; we have built up close to all of the remaining property that is in Bolingbrook. As a result, we will no longer be able to accrue new forms of taxable income based on property. In order to survive, Bolingbrook needs leaders who are able to come up with new ways of generating income for our Village.
Another huge challenge is Bolingbrook’s debt. We are over $300,000,000 in debt and our credit level is not great. Our ability to take out future bonds is affected by our current leadership’s failure to spend within our means and pay back our obligations.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
1. Transparency: Contrary to our current leadership, I will listen to and work with everybody in our community. I want to end no-bid contract and/or sweetheart and closed-door deals. We need a transparent village government.
2. Stop Wasteful Spending: We need to evaluate what our Village is spending/losing money on and determine whether it is worth it to our community. For far too long we’ve been sinking money into things that do not benefit our community as a whole. I’m tired of throwing money away on things that only benefit a small portion of Bolingbrook. We need to stop wasteful spending and focus on what makes Bolingbrook great – our families, community and diversity.
3. Stop Local Politicians from Profiting at Taxpayers' Expense: I want to restore the public’s trust in Village government by banning automatic pay raises for elected officials and eliminating multiple paid positions for Village officials. It is completely unreasonable that our village clerk is employed as both the village clerk and the assistant to the village clerk. It is also reprehensible that our mayor holds three positions for our Village and gets paid salary and benefits (including pensions) for those three positions.