March 28, 2011 1:48PM
Office sought: Richton Park Village Trustee
Full Name: Cynthia A. Butler
Address: 5240 Roberta Lane, Richton Park, IL 60471
Birth Date: 10/3/57
Phone Numbers (not for publication):
Occupation, employer: Former Application Development Manager, CNA Insurance, 31 years; Laid off, 2009
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree
Spouse, spouse’s employer: Donald Smith (Retired)
Children, ages of children: Sons: Antoine Butler (33), Jerome Butler (29)
Please list any relatives who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state or local levels.
What other elected offices have you sought? What Year?
Village President of Richton Park in 2005 and 2009.
Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?
Do you have any criminal convictions on your record?
Political (elected or significant appointment) experience:
I am currently a Village Trustee. I have served on the board for 12 years.
What are the top issues facing your community? How would you address those issues?
• Major issues are attracting businesses to the village, economic development, continued excellent quality of life, Downtown Redevelopment, expansion to the West, police presence in the neighborhoods with residents’ involvement and support and needed infrastructure investment.
o As a current Trustee, I have been working with staff and providing support to improve the village economic status. The economic status of the village in terms of businesses and sales revenue has increased 20% since 2007.
o The village has just hired a new police chief that has an extensive background in community policing which will help with police presence in the neighborhoods.
o I will continue to provide the support and ideas that staff needs to continue to make the downtown redevelopment and expansion to the west a reality.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish within the next two years if you are elected to the office to which you aspire.
• I am an experienced, proven leader that will continue to work hard to keep the excellent quality of life that Richton Park is known for. I will continue to be an advocate for recreational space for positive youth and teen programs. I will continue to work with Village staff on Economic Development, make the downtown project a reality and improve the Villages economic value. I will continue to be an advocate for Village beautification.
Please explain how you believe the office you’re seeking can help in creating local jobs.
• The office can’t create local jobs but I will continue to work with staff to bring new businesses and jobs to our village, which will help lower property taxes, make the downtown project a reality, and expansion to the West.
• I will continue to help provide support and leadership to the Village Board of Trustees, promote knowledge sharing which will increase the Boards knowledge and help them serve the residents better.
Do you believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working? If so, why? If not, why not? What would you change?
I do not believe the way Illinois pays for education is working? I don’t think the distribution is fair. But, I am not in a position to state what I would changes without knowing details. But, I would make changes.
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which you are seeking elected office? If so, what?
As the senior trustee, I have seen the budget change, evolve and refine into what it is today. Staff and the board have done an excellent job to maintain staffing levels even with shortfalls that are out of the village hands. The budget has been greatly tightened over the years and the current budget process is working smoothly. There is always room for improvement, which the board and staff continue to look for.
Are there any other issues you want to bring to the public’s attention? If so, what?
Background in community activities:
• I was a strong advocate for getting a community center in Richton Park and having someplace for our youth and teens to go. A place for them to have structured and drop in activities would help to keep them off the streets and help them grow into responsible adults. That is the reason that I formed the Community Action Council. I have always been an advocate for children being involved in activities. The community center became a reality Fall of 2010.
• Supported and pushed for the increase in Police Officers to the force resulting in additional police presence on the street.
• Pushed for an increase in Public Works employees resulting in additional manpower to support the village infrastructure.
• Pushed for a change in Code Enforcement administration and processes that resulted in increased Code Enforcement staff and improved Code Enforcement throughout the village.
• My management, business and project planning skills are an asset to the board and village. I have planned and organized the Village Manager recruitment strategy and process, saving the Village thousands of dollars. I have gained knowledge and experience over the past years in the operations of the Village and the legislative processes.
• Actively working to find creative ways to generate revenue without increasing taxes.
• Voted against the last water rate increase but provided sound reasons why.
• Major advocate in the change to improve the Information Technology within the Village. This resulted in updated technology to insure that the village staff had the right hardware and software to do their jobs.