Name: Maripat Oliver
Office sought: Bolingbrook Village trustee
Political party: Running as an Independent
Town where you currently reside: Bolingbrook for 23 years
Occupation (employer): Director of sales for the Best Western
Spouse/Children: Paul Oliver, married 31 years
Catherine, Hannah, Natalie, David and Zachary
Education: Joliet Junior College, Waubonsee Community College, Triton College
Facebook: Maripat Oliver (political page)
Why are you running for the elected office you're seeking?
For the past 23 years, the Village of Bolingbrook has been my home. My husband of 31 years and I have raised our five children in this Village.
During my time in Bolingbrook I have sat on numerous boards; was elected as a trustee for DuPage Township; was honored as Trustee of the Year in 2014 by Township Officials of Illinois; and was also named Bolingbrook’s Female Citizen of the Year in 2014. My experience on several boards, including the Midwest Christian Montessori School, a Boy Scout Troop, and a DCFS Adoption Advisory Board show that I am a strong leader for Bolingbrook, not just for the past or present but also for the future.
I am running for trustee because I care about the future of our town. I want to see growth and further community involvement. I want our citizens to feel that they have someone who will listen to what their ideas or concerns are, feel that they have a voice and they will have someone who will take their ideas and concerns to the Village Board and follow through.
What skills, qualities or experience do you have that separate you from your opponents?
I currently serve as a DuPage Township trustee. The township has not raised the tax levy in 10 straight years. No other Bolingbrook government entity can say that! I plan to bring that experience to the Village. I sit on a state board for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. I understand that people come into circumstances that are not avoidable, and I believe in a hand up when people in our community need it. We are a trans-racially adopted family, and I understand the issues that our African-American children face in our society and would like to empower them. I plan to have a community group that meets and discusses how Bolingbrook can better serve our diverse groups.
What are the greatest challenges Bolingbrook is facing in the coming years?
Currently, as a Village we are over $400 million in debt, Bolingbrook has the second-highest debt level in Will County. We are higher than all of the communities surrounding us. This absolutely affects our property values that remain stagnant, while we have seen growth in home values in surrounding areas.
We need to look at how our tax revenues are being spent and where we can trim the excess in spending. I do not believe in no-bid contracting! We need to take bids and scrutinize the contract.
As much as I like Clow Airport, I believe it was a bad financial decision for the Village. Based on the current rate of their profit I believe it would take over 600 years to pay for itself, not including interest! I do not believe that the citizens of Bolingbrook know this. I do not believe that the Village should have purchased the land for Americana Estates. Purchasing the Golf Club is one thing, becoming a Real Estate Developer is something totally different. The grandiose ideas of the current administration are going to burden future generations of Bolingbrook residents.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
1. Getting a firm handle on the debt of over $400 million. What needs to be sold? Clow Airport that will take 600 years not including interest to pay for itself and Americana Estates that is a subdivision and loses money. We need to have a better handle on what is unnecessary and costs the Bolingbrook taxpayers, instead of raising our taxes and stagnating our home values by extension.
2. Strengthen the support systems for the underprivileged and families in need. Create living-wage jobs. We can look at what we can do to bring corporate jobs to Bolingbrook; we have a lot of warehouses and need to expand into corporate buildings. We have a perfect location off of Interstate 55 to attract people to Bolingbrook for work and for corporate headquarters. We have land that we could build office buildings on that would bring more office-type jobs to our area.
3. Due to the mayor's misguided actions, the price of our water has skyrocketed. This is occurring because the water system had been sold by his administration. Now, realizing their blunder, they want to repurchase the water system that they had already sold! This action will only increase the Village's debt, which now stands at over $400 million, the second largest in Illinois for a similar town's size. The dirty little secret not being shared by the mayor is that we, the taxpayers, would still have to purchase the water since the pipeline is owned by another company. This substantial blunder was created by the mayor and his current administration. Few towns run their own wastewater treatment plants due to the high burden that is put on the taxpayers, especially when they do not own the water system to earn the revenue to pay for the wastewater treatment plants. In short, the mayor and his current administration had botched this issue previously and now they want to cost the taxpayers more money for their continued bad decisions. We can no longer afford their political opportunism.