Thursday, March 15, 2012

Water Commission On The Right Track, Really....

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Elizabeth “Liz” Chaplin
Democratic Candidate for DuPage County Board, District 2

DuPage Board Democratic Candidate Corrects Opponent’s Tax Knowledge

Chaplin Questions Which Social Services Redick Would Cut

DuPage County Democratic Candidate for District 2, Liz Chaplin, corrected her opponent’s mistaken notions about DuPage County’s taxing, offered realistic solutions and questions which services her opponent plans to cut.
“I did not realize he was an authority on the DuPage Water Commission,” said DuPage County Democratic Candidate for District 2, Liz Chaplin, on published reports by her Republican opponent, Jeff Redick on DuPage taxes.  “Mr. Redick claims that the quarter percent sales tax collected throughout the county is to be used help fund its operations.  If Mr. Redick had properly done his homework, he would have realized that the quarter percent sales tax was to be used to pay off the 150 million dollars in General Obligation Bonds.  That is how the referendum was presented to the citizens of DuPage County.”
The DuPage Water Commission (DPWC) has been using the sales tax to stabilize rates to the Commission customers.  The rate that the Charter Customers (municipalities) paid for water during the inception was 1.95 per thousand gallons. Currently, the Commission customers are paying 1.45 per thousand gallons of water. The Charter Customers also received rebates in the amount of 66.3 million dollars.
“I have serious concerns, whether the rebates or rate reductions were passed on to the citizens,” Chaplin added. “The answer is that very few municipalities passed any savings on to their citizens. In fact many of them increased the water rates to the citizens, while their water rate was decreasing.”
The Department of Natural Resources gave the DuPage Water Commission special consideration and allowed the municipalities to keep the municipal wells opened for emergency use.  The contact between the DPWC and the municipalities states that, “Nothing in this contract shall prohibit the Charter Customers from serving its customers in cases of emergency, from any source including the wells owned by the Charter Customers and maintained for emergency use.”
Many municipalities are not prepared in the event of an emergency.  The General Manager of the DPWC has stated that, "Many of the Charter Customers have gone from a system of Service, maintenance and distribution to one of distribution only.”
The contract between The City of Chicago and the DPWC states that, “The Commission shall be responsible for there being provided and maintained at all times during the terms of this contract water storage within the commissions system and participating municipalities collectively capacity to store not less than two times the annual average daily demand of Commission members.”
Collectively the Commission meets this requirement. Naperville is supplying the majority of storage. However, many municipalities do not have adequate supply of storage.
I have grave concerns,” added Ms. Chaplin. “The DuPage Water Commission and the Municipal Members of the Commission have not been good stewards of our tax dollars.   And, they have done the community on the whole a disservice. I would like to introduce legislation that changes the structure of the DPWC.”
“And, I would prefer that the sales tax be eliminated,” Chaplin concluded. “But, with the county facing a 45 million dollar deficit, I would like to see the quarter percent sales tax transferred to the county to preserve the social services that preserve our quality of life.  Jeff Redick is in favor of cutting services. What does he plan to cut? Services to senior citizens, like my father? Or, perhaps he wants to threaten my children’s health by cutting Health Department funding, after they were so helpful in the recent mumps outbreak. Maybe he wants to cancel well water testing that would be a terror to us all.”
Liz Chaplin was the past Second Vice President of the Indian Trail School P.T.A. and is currently a member of the Henry Puffer P.T.A.  For the past two years has been a member of the Downers Grove Junior Women’s Club and served as a board member.  Liz has also been a Religious Education Teacher at St. Josephs Church since 2000.
Liz is a 21 year resident of DuPage County, her Husband Brian and three children are lifetime residents.

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