Full Name: Greg Abbott
What office are you seeking? DuPage County Board Member, District 3
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Village Trustee, Village of Woodridge. Since 2011.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Notre Dame
Juris Doctor, University of Notre Dame
What steps should DuPage County health and sheriff’s departments take to prevent opioid addiction and overdose?
The best way to prevent opioid addiction and overdoses is to help educate society on the dangers of opioids. Further, those who illegally sell opioids must be arrested and aggressively prosecuted and given significant sentences if found guilty.
What is your opinion of the county board’s actions and initiatives since Democrats assumed control of the board two years ago?
In my opinion, the County Board needs to devote more resources to public safety and focus more on controlling costs elsewhere in the budget.
Do you support the merger of additional county offices/departments?
Yes, in principle. Government should always look to be more efficient with taxpayer dollars and consolidating departments can be a way to do so. It would depend on the offices/departments being merged and whether taxpayer dollars would be used more wisely by doing so. Each potential merger would have to be analyzed on a case by case basis.
What are your overall thoughts of the sheriff’s department’s job performance?
The Sheriff’s Office performs its functions very well. Sheriff Mendrick’s efforts to prevent recidivism among inmates should be a national model.
The county sheriff has taken several initiatives to help reform inmates (tattoo removal services, gardening classes, job placement). What other initiatives would you like to see in an effort to reform inmates?
The Sheriff’s Office is in a much better position than the Board in determining what programs are effective and helpful. I don’t believe the Board should micromanage the Sheriff’s Office and impose our ideas on that office, since the Sheriff has greater access to available optiions and their benefit. I would encourage the Sheriff to present new initiatives to the Board which he would find helpful.
DuPage County recently provided the DuPage Foundation $10.6 million for a grant program designed to support nonprofit organizations that address food and housing insecurity, mental health and substance use issues. Discuss the county’s role to further tackle these issues.
The County can play an inportant role in this area. One way to address these issues is to foster a strong business environment which will provide good employment at good wages so that residents will be able to better afford housing and food. The Board also has to determine whether these goals can best be met through existing county agencies or not.
Assess the DuPage County Health Department’s actions to combat COVID-19.
The Health Department did a good job in providing information and making vaccines avail
What changes, if any, need to be made related to the pandemic?
As the severity and prevalence of COVID wanes, and it becomes endemic, we need to return to a sense of normalcy.
What actions can the DuPage County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while not sacrificing services?
Since the Board determines the County budget, it needs to make sure the management team has a clear understanding that they are expected to find efficiencies, cut out waste and keep expenses down. Being careful with residents’ tax dollars isn’t an “action” as much as it is a “mindset”. Being good stewards of taxpayer dollars must be considered in every action of government. As a Woodridge Trustee, we have controlled costs by having all key staff understand they are expected to find savings and efficiencies and bring them to the Board’s attention for consideration. Also, fostering business development will increase tax revenues and help ease the tax burden.
How would you encourage economic and employment growth within DuPage County?
DuPage has many advantages compared to our neighboring counties and we need to market those to existing and new businesses so that we can strengthen our economy. One way to do that is to find ways to make it easier to start and expand a business in DuPage County. We need to listne to and learn from existing businesses ways that we can be more business friendly.
Do you think there is a local crime problem? If so, what needs to be done about it?
Yes. Crime has gone up significantly throughout many neighborhoods in DuPage County, and many residents no longer feel safe. This is due in large part to laws enacted by state government and the “soft on crime” approach of Cook County States’ Attorney Kim Foxx. It is more important than ever that the Board fully funds and supports the Sheriff’s Office and the States Attorneys’ Office to ensure we have safe neighborhoods.
What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?
The County Department of Transportation is in the best position to know which projects are most needed. I would rely upon their knowledge and judgment as to what projects are the highest priority.
Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?
I strongly support decreasing property taxes since they disproportionately impact our seniors and those on a fixed income. This can be done by 1) reducing the cost of government, and 2) fostering a business climate that increases good paying jobs and broadens the tax base.
Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?
I believe the county has strong ethics laws in place.
What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?
I strongly support the Freedom of Information Act because it is a great tool that increases transparency and allows residents greater access to government information.
Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.
Transparency is vital for people to have trust in their government. The best way to maintain transparency is to constantly look for ways to put more government information on the County website so people have access to more information.
What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?
The best way to boost local business is to decrease red tape and decrease taxes and fees so that they can prosper. It is also important to engage with and listen to local businesses to see how government can be a better partner. As a Woodridge Trustee, our Village proactively engages the business community and listens to the concerns of our local businesses and works with them to help them succeed.
Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign non- disclosure agreements with private businesses?
Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?
Yes, I would push against allowing NDAs. Non-disclosure agreements with private businesses is the opposite of transparency and erodes the public’s faith in government.