2021 City Council Candidates

The Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force sent a questionnaire to each of the 2021 Naperville City Council Candidates. Their responses, in ballot order, follow. We are not endorsing any candidates. Candidate's responses to help voters understand candidate's position, knowledge and initiative for the sustainability of our community.

The election is April 6th and residents may vote for not more than 4 of the 11 candidates.

We thank all candidates for their willingness to commit to public service as a Council representative for our community.

Paul Leong

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • My family and I try to minimize energy consumption on a daily basis as part of our family values of being thrifty and not wasting (most noticeably electricity, natural gas, and unleaded gasoline). The earth’s resources are finite, and our financial resources are also finite.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • Yes. The calculator reported less than 34,000, and I used non-pandemic estimates for transportation. I would like to replace our home’s windows over the next three years to improve energy efficiency and to further lower our natural gas bills. A refresh of attic insulation might also be in order. I would also consider a replacement of both our furnace and AC (both of which are more than 15 years old) units to something more efficient for the same reasons.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • As an individual, I would try to further improve my energy efficiency and reduce waste. As a Naperville City Council member, I would advocate for similar measures across city services and continue to support educating our residents and encourage residents to pursue financial incentives for being energy efficient.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • Naperville electricity being generated by coal fueled power plants (80%+). I would like to gradually minimize our dependence on coal for generating electricity, but due to long term contracts this presents a challenge to the Naperville City Council. Further adoption to solar where possible is already being pursued, and I support that goal.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes. Reducing waste and being energy efficient are components of being financially responsible and spending the taxpayers’ money wisely. Long term planning and sustainability are values that I would try to bring to my service. I would prefer to move towards those targets gradually to minimize the financial shocks to residents and businesses. For example: changing light bulbs from incandescent to LED is very workable in the short term, requiring no internal combustion engine vehicles in the next year would be a lot to ask.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • As a member of Council, I would encourage and support the hiring of city employees who have work experience and skills that would bring new ideas regarding sustainability and renewable energy to the forefront. While serving on the D203 board, we hired Patrick Dolan to be our Director of Building and Grounds. One of his big selling points was many years of experience as a Sustainable Design Specialist, and he has brought a greener sensibility to his work.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • Inasmuch as each of these partners (school districts, parks, county) has their own elected leadership, my way of partnering/leading would be to open communication channels to bring those boards together to attempt to build consensus with a spirit of cooperation between the groups regarding environmental and sustainability goals. To promote efficiency, I would prefer sending perhaps two Council members to a annual/semi-annual/quarterly summit meeting and then have those members report back to the entire council a summary of what is learned/discussed/proposed.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • I think that the March 2020 land use plan is a good start, but more conversations regarding sustainability and green space need to be started with various stakeholders to ensure that they are heard; good development should have adequate open space. Higher density could lead to lower cost, but that should be balanced with the community needs to be in character with other historical development. We need to move towards state and federal guidelines for affordable housing, but we need to proceed cautiously to ensure that stakeholders are heard. Naperville is already the largest recipient of Section 8 housing vouchers in DuPage County.

John J. Krummen

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • I consider myself a minimalist, so the primary thing I do for sustainability is to limit my consumption which in turn limits the amount of waste I generate, as well as energy and resources used for production, packaging and shopping. For the waste I do generate, I am a strong recycler, with my recycling bin always fuller than my garage bin, and I try to donate as many items as I can. I bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store. During Covid, I choose to go without any bags from any store. I do not water or use chemicals on my lawn and limit mowing. I am starting a garden, increasing the amount of native plants in my yard this year and reducing lawn area. I try to limit the amount of energy I use at home including not running my air conditioner and keeping the heat low.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • In the coming years, I plan to upgrade, install new windows, and doors. I plan on taking advantage of Naperville renewable energy grant programs. I have been involved in the creation and administration of these plans since 2013 and continue to look for new and better ways to increase the utilization of these programs. I am happy to report, there has been a 300% plus increase in renewable energy installations throughout Naperville.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • As a councilman, I championed the creation of N.E.S.T. and am also the council liaison to N.E.S.T. I have a strong record of supporting forward thinking environmental policies over my past 6 years as a city councilman and look forward to helping move the NEST recommendations forward.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • The Naperville electric utility, and the delivery of electric power to Naperville residents, is a very convoluted and complex situation. Naperville is part of IMEA, and in turn IMEA is part owner of the Prairie State Power plants. The Prairie State power plants are coal fired power plants and are the worst carbon emitters in the state of Illinois. There are both highly technical and financial details that need to be worked out. However, the city of Naperville, needs to start today on separating from the Prairie State power plants immediately. A strong policy for more renewable energy should be implemented as soon as possible.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes, because climate change is real.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • I have supported strong environmental policies and will continue to support strong environmental policies. I am also championing the development of the technical infrastructure for distributed energy generation including roof top solar, storage and community solar.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • The city and other community organizations have a strong history of cooperation on many different and varying community projects. I believe distributed energy is the key to moving forward, and I believe community solar is a key part of this development. I have, and will continue to, work with all stake holders to create and implement effective policies to increase clean, renewable energy generation in Naperville.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • I have strongly supported the N.E.S.T report and believe this is a good first step in becoming a more sustainable community. The five main focuses are energy generation, transportation, natural resources, waste, and building codes. I have spoken about energy generation extensively. The other 4 areas need to also be addressed. Transportation is paramount. Walkable communities, and bicycle paths for every day transportation are key. The implementation of more sustainable building materials and building codes must also be part of the solution. All of these must be included in the master plan because this plan serves as the directive for development in our city and determines sustainability for our future.

Vasavi Chakka

Not yet responded.

James Haselhorst

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • Replaced all bulbs with LED bulbs, installed electric heating in remodeled basement, installed tankless water heater, set thermostat at 68 in the winter and 78 during the summer.

    • Purchased 150 watts of solar cells to provide power for garage and looking into vertical axis wind turbines.

    • Walk to work and generally limit car usage to 1 “grocery” trip per week.

    • Last car purchase was flexfuel – E85 usage. Next car purchase will be EV (on waiting list hope to have later this year).

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • According to this link my carbon foot print is 21,124 compared to an average of 19,702 (much higher during the coldest winter months and much lower during the summer months). Almost all of this comes from heating my house, which was built in the 1950’s. It still has the original windows and doors (which are not thermally efficient) and the exterior walls have no real insulation (the only insulation is in the attic). My plan is to redo the exterior facade of the house and at this time install exterior wall insulation (with house wrap to seal air flow) and newer more efficient windows (with better air seals around the windows).

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • Increase miles of bike lanes in Naperville as well as walkability in some parts of the city

    • Increase public transportation availability and options.

    • Start replacing current city ICE vehicles with EVs

    • Look at geothermal options for city buildings and facilities

    • Look into solar/battery storage additions to existing LED street lights

    • Public Announcement program to promote use of bike/walking as well as public transit options

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • Traffic because of the large volume of commuters transiting to and thru our community. We need to incentivize people to rely less on POVs and more on public transit and other options (i.e. walking, biking, telecommuting). Failing this then encourage replacing their ICE vehicle with an EV.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • The city should try, but I am not sure the resources are available to the city, in our state and county, to reach these targets. Also I am concerned that failing to meet these targets in the past is increasing the size of these targets each year making it more difficult to reach and more likely not to be reached. As to why, I think the changes we have seen in weather patterns over the last couple of years is reason enough to act.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • There are really two aspects to this issue. One is those things the city has direct control or at least influence over and the other is those things controlled by each resident.

    • To change resident behavior I am willing to commit to public programs to educate and promote renewable and sustainable energy choices by residents. From thermostat settings to transportation choices.

    • To change city government behavior I am willing to commit to policies that focus on increased reliance on renewable and sustainable energy resources. Starting with policies moving more of IMEAs energy contracts to these type of energy sources (solar, wind, nuclear, etc).

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • Actually the city of Naperville has a strong history of working with other government and private organizations in our community on joint projects that enhance our community. When problems do occur with these partnerships they seem to be more the result of policies within these other organizations then with Naperville city policies.

    • That said I would be willing to review any city policy limiting these types of partnerships and listen to the recommendations of interested parties and stakeholders, including city staff.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • Naperville’s growing Land Use issues are really the result of the city’s own success. Namely, ever increasing land values are a serious barrier to maintaining and developing an affordable economy within Naperville’s large economy.

    • Our community has a strong history of growth and there is no reason to believe this will change anytime soon. The only way to accommodate this grow as well as address affordable house well be to allow higher density for newly incorporated and redeveloped properties.

    • The only way to preserve green space while accommodating higher density is to build up and not out (allow greater building heights).

Ian Holzhauer

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • Our family tries to be mindful of the environmental costs of our decisions, and to reduce consumption where possible. We eat a whole foods plant-based diet several days a week, in part for health reasons, and in part to reduce our consumption of more environmentally-intensive foods. Even when we do eat animal-based proteins, we tend to eat a lot of chicken, eggs, and other lower-impact proteins. We also make an effort to avoid unnecessary food waste.

    • As far as transportation, we considered the proximity of our house to my place of employment when finding a place to live. Being less than two miles away from my office, I drive relatively few miles each day. My wife and I drive plug-in hybrid vehicles and my kids walk and bike to friends’ houses. We have been planting a patch of prairie plants in our back yard to help attract pollinators, assist with drainage, and restore native habitat.

    • Within our house, we try to keep our thermostat at a reasonable temperature and use an extra blanket in winter. In the summer, we keep the shades down on in sunnier parts of the house during the day to avoid running up air conditioning bills. We use LED bulbs throughout the house.

    • Finally, we are always looking for ways to learn more about reducing our ecological footprint.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • Our carbon footprint for our family of six is 65,087 lbs. In order to reduce our footprint and our monthly energy bills, we plan to replace our air conditioner within the next few years with a much more energy efficient model. When our refrigerator needs to be replaced, we will do the same.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • NEST is the designated subject matter expert on environmental and sustainability issues in Naperville, and accordingly deserves a great degree of deference. Just as Council relies on the Special Events and Cultural Affairs (SECA) Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, or the Planning and Zoning Commission for recommendations in their respective areas of expertise, I would greatly rely on the input of a task force which is collectively dedicating hundreds of hours to make sustainability recommendations to our city.

    • Human activity is unquestionably the driving force behind climate change. Without serious efforts to change our emissions of carbon, methane, and other greenhouse gasses, we will leave our planet in great peril. These effects will not take hundreds of years to be felt – they are already impacting our world, and our children and grandchildren will have very serious problems to unwind if we do not take action now. For this reason, it is wonderful that we have a task force in our city that is devoted to tackling this problem.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • The most significant environmental issue facing our community is our current predominantly coal sourcing of energy. Currently, the challenge is that we are tied to a long-term contract with a regional power buying collective, the Illinois Municipal Electrical Authority (IMEA).

    • IMEA’s (and by extension, Naperville’s) largest supplier of energy, a coal plant in Marissa, Illinois, is one of the ten largest greenhouse gas generating facilities in the country. Our second largest supplier of energy is another coal power faility in Trimble County, Kentucky.

    • One of the benefits of our city owning its own electrical utility is that Council can have an enormous impact on our city’s future carbon footprint. We should begin the planning now for a transition toward greener and more economical energy sources in 2035, when we are no longer obligated to the IMEA contract.

    • However, even before 2035, Naperville can take steps in the right direction. Within IMEA, we are by far the largest single user of power, accounting for over a third of its power consumption. I believe Council should direct staff to leverage Naperville’s position to exert more influence over IMEA’s power acquisition decisions. Although the bonds on the Marissa plant will not be paid off until 2035, IMEA’s obligations to purchase Trimble County power end in the next five years. Therefore, Naperville should be lobbying for a more environmentally sustainable replacement. Additionally, this will have the benefit of diversifying our energy supply, which makes us less vulnerable to spikes in the price of coal. I recently attended the March 1 Clean Energy Town Hall forum. The panelists described the Rocky Mountain Institute’s recent findings relating to our power sources, which revealed the economic problems we can expect to face in the coming years as a result of our reliance on coal. I believe we can do better with a greener energy portfolio.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes. Naperville is the best place in America to raise a family. Being the best means we are a community of strong values, including valuing our environment. It will required shared sacrifice on the part of our generation to be able to leave behind a better community and a better world for the next generation.

    • Failing to tackle climate change would be a terrible failure, and we cannot allow it to occur. Greenhouse gas reduction is a global problem, but change begins locally. I believe in Naperville, and I believe that we always go the extra mile to do what’s right for our next generation.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • First and foremost, Council sets the strategic vision for the city. We need to make it an explicit priority of the city to transition away from greenhouse gas-causing power sources toward greener energy.

    • Within that broader mission, the most important thing our community can do to transition to renewable energy is to revisit our relationship with IMEA, as described in detail in question #4. By leveraging our buying power within IMEA to demand greener sourcing over the next 14 years, we can improve the sustainability of our energy portfolio.

    • Additionally, we can make more efforts to publicize resident opportunities to opt in to our city’s voluntary program to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs). This is a program where residents can help offset our carbon-intensive power sourcing by subsidizing renewable energy projects. Surplus funds from the program are also used to provide assistance to Naperville residents in making energy efficient improvements to their homes.

    • Early adopters of solar energy in Naperville have shown that it is a workable (and even profitable) concept; I think it would be wonderful if the city had a web page dedicated to describing the process for adding solar panels. I’ve heard some residents tell me they would be interested in solar installation but don’t know where to start.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • I think the City of Naperville maintains a solid working relationship with other local government agencies on a broad range of issues. I think the City of Naperville should strongly affirm its commitment to environmental sustainability in its strategic planning update, and make it a priority to work with other government agencies on environmental issues. Over the next decade and a half, this could mean collaborations on solar panels on government buildings, fleet charging stations, or any number of opportunities for cooperation.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • I believe Naperville got many things right over the past 40 years, in large part by following its Land Use Plan. With each new subdivision, we set aside sizeable portions of land for Naperville Park District parks. Newer parts of town incorporate bike trails. The preservation and expansion of our downtown core has been managed beautifully. However, one area where we could’ve done a better job is in preventing sprawl.

    • Sprawling developments, where low density neighborhoods are built far from shopping centers, separated by major thoroughfares, are not easily walkable. Accordingly, they result in more miles driven, more pollution, more traffic, and longer distances to parks and open space.

    • The March 2020 proposed Land Use Plan contains many suggestions which could help address the sprawl issue identified above. It also contains many important affirmations of principles and updates. It discusses incorporating sustainable best practices, bolstering our economy for a diverse mix of businesses, and adapting our housing stock for a diverse and aging population.

    • To me, an example of a neighborhood in Naperville where we’ve been able to successfully integrate a wide-ranging mix of housing options at different price points, and avoid suburban sprawl, is the Brookdale subdivision. Not only is it a wonderful, walkable, beautiful place to live, but there are apartments, townhomes, duplexes, single family homes, senior living, and lots of open spaces, all in one place. This would be a good model for future developments on Naperville’s few remaining parcels.

    • One major concept in the March 2020 plan is providing housing for our aging population. I like the idea of exploring Accessory Dwelling Units, something embraced in the March 2020 plan, as a way of offering our senior population the ability to age in place at a reasonable price point.

Jennifer Bruzan Taylor

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • The biggest environmentally friendly impact we have as a family of four is that we only have one vehicle, and it is a sedan. This encourages us to incorporate walking into our everyday lives. We walk to school and to run errands. My children will walk to their elementary, middle, and high schools. We already made the decision that our children do not need their own vehicles when they become teenagers. They can find a place to work that is walkable. I live near downtown Naperville and so this makes life easier with only one vehicle. At the same time, I grew up in South Naperville and my family only ever had one vehicle at a time and even there we made it work. Not only is this decision great for the environment, but easier on the pocket book.

    • We also are huge recyclers and are conscientious of our carbon footprint in our everyday lives. We are proud that we only throw away one small bag of garbage each week. We had to purchase a new furnace and air conditioner in the past two years and made sure to spend more money for a high efficiency model. We have multiple rain barrels. We also use reusable bags, hang dry most of our clothes, and are constantly trying to repurpose items. I prefer to purchase furniture and décor second hand to give an item new life, rather than new from a store. I also am a “dumpster diver.” People throw away perfectly good items and so I collect and donate to Good Will. Our biggest issue right now is the amount of packaging that we receive. We collect and then advertise free moving materials, but there still is waste. We wish more companies allowed us to choose to wait until everything could be sent together rather than send in separate packages.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • According to the above carbon footprint calculator, my family’s carbon footprint is 6,575 compared to the U.S. average of 47,354. I am happy to see that my family has already implemented almost every recommended measure in the carbon footprint calculator. Within the next three years, I do know that some of my appliances (although I hope not all at once) will come to the end of their lifespan. Although they are already energy efficient, there will be much better energy efficient appliances for me to purchase at that time.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • Naperville needs to encourage environmentally friendly building methods and sustainable measures to make sure that we are preserving our natural resources and not building something that will be an eyesore 10 years from now. As discussed in other questions, the City needs to be a role model to make sure it is acting in as environmentally friendly manner as possible. Utilizing solar panels on all public buildings is one of many steps the City can take. The City can also look to its operations, such as only purchasing recycled paper and prioritizing purchasing locally, to reduce transportation carbon outlays. I do not have all the answers, but I will turn to those with more knowledge on this subject matter, be open to communication, and think outside the box.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • Our disappearing green space is the most significant environmental issue that we are facing. Naperville is pretty much developed on its borders, and so what we are seeing now is infill development on both the commercial and residential side. This infill development tends to be bigger and denser than what was previously standing. For example, more and bigger homes are being crammed into smaller lots. Even with the ultimately rejected proposed 5th Avenue baseline proposal, the plan called for the loss of some of Burlington Park. This loss of green space causes loss of trees, loss of wild life, and water runoff issues. Plus, there is the additional environmental impact of demolishment. The most sustainable building is the one saved. This issue is recognized by residents. Whenever there is a new development proposed, the lack of green space is often a concern raised by residents, especially in relation to the water runoff issue.

    • Despite this issue, the City does need to promote development to keep Naperville economically viable. Balance is the key. Naperville is lucky because it has both NEST and is in the process of hiring a Sustainability manager who will help the City in its goal of becoming more environmentally friendly. If elected to Naperville City Council I will not only work with NEST, but also develop a close working relationship with the Sustainability manager and be open to suggestions on how we address this issue, among many others.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes, the City should commit to reducing its community greenhouse gas emissions. The best way to do so is to transition our community to renewable energy sources. Like many in our City, I take issue that the majority of our energy comes from Illinois coal, which is known in the industry to be especially dirty and bad for the environment. I am disappointed because Naperville helped support the creation of a new coal plant in the early 2000s when the world was already looking to renewable energy. At this time, only 17% of Naperville’s energy comes from carbon free sources. In my extensive conversations with Brian Groth, Naperville’s Electric Utility Director, I learned that, unfortunately, we are under contract with the Illinois Municipal Electric Utility (IMEA) until 2035. If we decide we want to renew with IMEA we need to tell them by 2030. This means that City Council will start looking into the renewal process 7-8 years from now. This newly elected Council will not impact that decision and cannot control IMEA’s decisions.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • Although our City is currently in a binding contract with IMEA until 2035, what this newly elected Council can do now is guide IMEA on where to get their power source from because Naperville is the largest IMEA purchaser. Right now, IMEA pledges to reduce coal reliance by 40% in the next 5 years. If elected I will make sure that they follow through. I also will support experimental co-partnership projects such as the Springbrook Solar Farm project. This month the project is supposed to go live, where we will see if 6 acres of solar panels can generate enough power for 145 homes, as expected. Naperville owns the land, but IMEA paid for the entire cost of the project. If successful, IMEA pledged to expand its use of solar power.

    • Other things the City can do to support a more sustainable city is expand our own use of solar panels. City Hall already has solar panels on the roof, but all public buildings should have solar panels. The City also provides credits to residents and businesses who install solar panels, and I will continue to support this incentive program, as well as the plan to convert our fleet to electric over the next 5 years. Together we can work to reduce our carbon footprint.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • These all are separate entities and City Council has no power over these agencies. However, the most effective type of government is one in which different parts work together for a common goal. The City itself has already decided to prioritize sustainability and has done so through a number of measures such as hiring a full time Sustainability manager, moving towards an electric vehicle fleet, and its solar panel program, among others. The City needs to continue to lead by example by further improving their own sustainability measures, such as having all City buildings be solar powered, not just the municipal building. In addition, we are unique in that the City is hiring a full time Sustainability manager. We need to use our new Sustainability manager to pull together leaders from these other agencies to start discussions on how we could partner. For example, all public buildings in Naperville, no matter the agency ownership, should have solar panels. We should join together and have solar panels installed all at one time on all buildings, which would keep costs down for all involved. Actual implementation will be tricky because of different budget priorities, for example. However, our Sustainability manger can take the lead and dedicate the necessary time to coordinating.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • Naperville’s current Master Land Use Plan is outdated, and the City has been working on an updated Master Land Use Plan for about two years now. There was heavy resident outcry as to the newly proposed Master Plan because it generalized all residential, as “residential” without differentiating what type of residential. It ultimately was rejected by the Planning and Zoning Commission, where it was sent to City Council. Staff has been directed to make changes that clarify what areas are to remain as they are, and what areas the City is considering putting in more dense housing and development. There are some areas of Naperville where more dense housing is appropriate. Depending on how designed, denser housing can be more environmentally friendly because you fit more people in a smaller ecological footprint. However, this denser housing should not go right to the borders. It needs to contain adequate green space. Please see my answer in #4 as to why green space needs to be prioritized.

    • As for the “affordable” housing question, there is no clear answer at this point. The current City Council has been working on this issue for two years now, and the newly elected Council will as well. What we need to remember again is balance. There are a lot of ideas, some of which are being further researched by staff. Those on Council need to keep an open mind and I am sure that both NEST and the hired Sustainability manager will help guide Council members to make sure that whatever is built has a sustainable element.

Allison Longenbaugh

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • My three daughters list Climate Change as one of their main concerns, so I’ve always been aware of what I can do to leave our space in the best condition for their future. As their Girl Scout leader, one of the badges our troop earned was “Use Resources Wisely”. We visited S.C.A.R.C.E. on a field trip, where the girls learned about reducing their waste, reusing items instead of buying new, and recycling.

    • Here are a few ways we’ve already incorporated sustainability into our daily life:

      1. I’ve had a compost bin in my backyard for over 10 years. Though it takes a couple of years to turn it into usable compost for my garden, I put most of my food waste into it.

      2. Pre-COVID I commuted into downtown Chicago via Metra. Even when I lived in Chicago, I always took public transportation and never relied on taxis to get to/from work.

      3. Years ago, I converted all of our lightbulbs to fluorescent, even though they looked weird. As those burn out, I’m converting to LED light bulbs. It’s unfortunate that it is so difficult to dispose of the fluorescent bulbs but thankfully we can dispose of those properly at our Hazardous Waste Facility at Fort Hill.

      4. We got a lot of snow this winter but do not have a snow blower. In fact, my husband and I fight over who gets to shovel the sidewalks because it’s a way to get a lot of exercise.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • I’d never calculated that before! Our family came in at 49K, which is under the US average of 67K. My highest cost is for heating/cooling, and though I keep my thermostat low in the winter (never higher than 65F) and high in the summer (never lower than 72F), I know there are things I can do to make my home more energy efficient. A few years ago, we had a local company do a full house energy assessment that gave us many recommendations on how to improve our energy efficiency. For example, we added insulation in our attic, winterized around doors, and replaced the original basement windows. There are still things we need to tackle, such as installing a fireplace door to reduce drafts and sealing our skylight windows.

    • The EMPOWER website that the city recently rolled out could help residents change their behaviors for energy use. While it doesn’t link to the electricity cost per hour, it does show residents when they are using the most energy. Ideally, linking it to cost would allow residents to strategize when they operate appliances. For example, if I had data that demonstrated how running my dryer at noon was cheaper than at 5:00pm, I would change my schedule. Unfortunately, that data is not linked but I can still use it as a way to identify times when I am using a lot of energy in order to investigate what might be driving any spikes.

    • As the mom to three teenagers who will soon all be driving, I will look at purchasing a hybrid vehicle for them in the fall when all three have their licenses. We will also research the Solar Panel rebate that the City of Naperville offers to see if our garage would be a suitable place to install panels.

    • Bottom line, climate change begins at home. We are going to do our homework to see how we can move away from our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our energy use.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • One of my platform ideas is to expand the city’s compost program. I have family in Austin, TX and friends in Portland, OR and they have robust composting programs. Each program has three bins: the smallest for trash, the largest for recycling, and the middle one for anything that can be composted. All yard waste and anything food-related goes into the compost bin. If you’ve ever had one of those small kitchen counter composters, you know that there’s quite a lot that you can’t put in because it takes forever to break down. These programs take it all: meat, citrus, onions, paper towels that might have come in contact with the food, corn cobs, and the normal easy fruit and vegetable waste. Reducing food waste is not only good for the environment by reducing carbon emissions; it would be good for Naperville’s budget. The more we compost, the less landfill space we need and taxpayers’ money is saved. The waste can be used as fertilizer or converted into a biogas energy source.

    • Sustainability doesn’t just mean composting, though. It also includes transportation, city planning, and new building requirements. Any road construction should include bike lanes. The city is already moving to an entirely electric fleet of vehicles. (As a side question-- do our school districts own their busses? If so, could they convert their fleet to electric or push the bus company to do that?)

    • I would work with the new sustainability hire and the NEST team to promote this mission and to implement the recommendations in the upcoming report from NEST that the board votes for.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • Here are two environmental issues facing our community: 1) our electricity contract with the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) and 2) not thinking long term on development. Most people agree that our contract with IMEA is not good for the environment, but there are hurdles to get out of it. Luckily, Naperville is not in the fight alone. We have support at the state level, and it is being addressed by the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA).

    • As far as development, we should be thinking long term and not allowing development to proceed unfettered. I am not against development; I would simply ask that we require developers to take sustainability into consideration and to think long term about materials they are using, how much green space they are incorporating into their plans for commercial and residential space, and the negative impacts they might be causing during construction.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes, Naperville should make this commitment. As a leader in the United States on other levels (Safest City, Best Place to Raise a Family, Blue Ribbon Schools), Naperville should lead on this issue as well. We should use our power as one of the largest stakeholders in the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) to demand a move to renewable energy sources. The Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC) is the worst carbon polluter in Illinois and in the top 10 in the US, and it is only 12 years old. It’s important to move ourselves away from an energy source that is polluting our air and streams. There are cheaper and cleaner alternatives. We can and must do better.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • Naperville doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are many communities who have successfully implemented sustainable programs. For example, Lombard added new ordinances on construction where residential lots must maintain a certain percentage of open space. Let’s do some homework and see what might work for Naperville.

    • Naperville should use our majority holder position on IMEA to demand they move to renewable sources as the contracts with Trumbell, KY roll off this decade. Naperville is already partnering with our state representatives to lobby IMEA. In this case, I would support the council proposing a resolution to urge our state lawmakers to disconnect from the Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC).

    • I am excited to see that many residents are taking advantage of solar credits. It’s exciting that we had a 76% increase in participation in 2020! I’d love to see us expand the program to encourage even more residents to take advantage of the rebates.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • There is already a lot of overlap between the city, park district, forest preserve, and schools but we could have more organized synergy. I’ve been here for 16 years and am sometimes unsure who has jurisdiction over something-- the city or park district. We have so many great services and I think all of the partners could benefit from more coordinated communication. We also have other community organizations like The Conservation Foundation and local scouting troops. The new Sustainability Manager should have as part of their mandate to have a monthly meeting with representatives from each organization and report back to Council with their findings.

    • I have three daughters at Naperville North HS and climate change is one of their top issues. Getting youth voices involved with boards and commissions will go a long way to moving these efforts forward. I would like to hear more from them during council meetings. We could also take guidance from Park District practices. Their Knoch Knolls facility does a great job to educate the community with simple things like having audio in the bathrooms explaining how they recycle their rainwater! When we get kids excited about conservation, they will lay the groundwork for our behavior as adults.

    • I mentioned composting in one of my other answers. This would be a great thing for Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops to help out with by promoting community gardens. The Park District does an annual pumpkin smash where residents can have fun smashing old jack-o-lanterns at the Garden Plots that then get composted for the next year. These are community events that bring the focus of the city back to shared experiences.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • Sometimes it’s difficult to think long-term when short-term rewards are much easier. Let’s use our health as an example: we all know the benefit exercise and eating right has on our long term health. We need to apply that same forward thinking to city planning if we want our town to thrive in the 21st Century. Naperville is still a suburb; not an offshoot of downtown Chicago. We like our small-town feel even though we have 150K residents.

    • The Master Plan offers us the opportunity to address some issues, like our lack of affordable housing stock. Our master plan can tackle that via offering a variety of housing size options without needing a lot of density. We should not change residential R1/R2 zoning to allow multi-use apartment buildings (affordable or otherwise). In addition, a house shouldn’t take up the entire footprint of its lot. The 5th Avenue development is another place where the master plan will offer guidance. Given the changing commuter patterns post-COVID, we are thankfully not breaking ground on a parking deck. We now have an opportunity to address other options for that space, and make sure that includes stormwater management to alleviate the flooding in Park Addition, Park Extension, and Pilgrims.

    • There are a few steps that the city could take that could reduce our energy footprint to be in harmony with the environment. The council could incentivize builders to use sustainable products in new homes. Black roofs create more environmental heat, so one option would be to move towards alternatives to asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, metal roofs are expensive, but if there was an incentive to builders/homeowners wishing to use them, we might see more. Topsoil removal is also a danger when building new homes, and we could make it a requirement that it not be removed from residential lots during construction. Retaining topsoil is a low cost way to prevent flooding by allowing water to soak-in on-site and it keeps additional runoff out of our overburdened storm sewers. We could also incentivize commercial developers to use permeable pavers, natural landscaping, and to mandate water retention ponds or vaults on all new builds. All will help the environment by requiring less water.

Vincent E. Ory

Not yet responded.

Lucy Chang Evans

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • Sustainability can be practiced by anyone in their everyday lives. I incorporate sustainability through waste management (reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost), efficient energy usage, and eco-friendly yard management. I have reduced my purchase of packaged goods and I avoid making unnecessary purchases. I reuse and repurpose my items as much as possible to keep them out of landfills. I also compost a lot of my food scraps. Not only does this keep waste out of the landfill, but the compost helps to fertilize my lawn and garden.

    • My family has committed to reducing our energy consumption. We recently installed a programmable thermostat to make our heating and cooling usage more efficient while we are sleeping or away from home. Last year, we had solar panels installed on our roof to generate renewable energy. We estimate the cost savings on our electricity bill will pay for the system in less than three years. When we replaced our air conditioning unit last year, we installed a more energy efficient unit. I hope more people reduce their energy consumption and add renewable energy to their homes to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

    • When I purchased my house, I wanted to make it a non-toxic environment. I opted not to use weed killer or fertilizer on my lawn, and I have added clover to the grass mix to rebuild soil health. In order to foster biodiversity and create a friendly habitat for native wildlife, I planted a broad mixture of native plants in my yard. My yard is now certified as an environmentally friendly landscape through the Conservation@Home program offered by local non-profit The Conservation Foundation. This past year, I decided to mulch and compost all of the leaves in my yard instead of raking them into the street for bulk curbside collection. I will be interested to see what added soil benefits I will see in my yard. I feel good knowing that I am reducing the phosphorus load in our downstream waterways by keeping decomposing leaves out of our storm drains.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • According to the carbon footprint calculator, the home energy carbon footprint for my family of five is 26,783 pounds of carbon emissions. I have been working to reduce my carbon footprint in many ways over the last several years. As I mentioned earlier, I have added solar power to my home. As a family, we have reduced our energy consumption through our programmable thermostat and energy efficient lightbulbs and appliances. I consolidate my shopping trips as much as possible to conserve fuel and I try to buy items that are sustainable.

    • In the next three years, I plan to reduce my carbon footprint even more. Next month, we will be replacing our windows with energy efficient windows. When we purchase our next car, we will purchase an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid. I will continue to plant native landscaping in my yard to capture more carbon, increase soil health, improve water quality, and provide more habitat for native wildlife. I love that monarch butterflies regularly visit my garden!

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • I would support the efforts of Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures by staying informed of their activities and initiatives and advocating on their behalf in front of City Council. As a member of the DuPage County Municipal Engineers Discussion Group (MEDG), I collaborate with other local municipal engineers to discuss issues related to the stormwater regulations. These issues relate directly to environmental sustainability and resiliency. I would share my knowledge with the community at large to create awareness.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • Currently, the most significant environmental or sustainability issue facing our community is our energy source. Naperville purchases its electric power from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), which is a joint agency of municipal electric systems. Most of the electricity purchased is generated from coal. This is not a clean energy, but it is reliable and affordable. It should be noted that although the coal-fired energy generated is currently “affordable,” the cost of energy does not include the true cost of pollution. Environmental damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions is born by society as a whole. Changes to Federal subsidies for energy and the implementation of a carbon tax could soon significantly increase the cost of this type of power as well. Naperville must be prepared for this.

    • If elected, I would push Naperville to use our IMEA membership power to collaborate with IMEA members to advocate for a transition plan away from coal. The proposed provisions in the Clean Energy Jobs Act that will be reintroduced to State legislature this year would mean the shutdown of our coal plants by 2030. The transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is inevitable and we need to start planning for this to ensure that the citizens of Naperville have reliable power.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Yes, I think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets. For the survival of humanity, we all need to do our part to reduce the effects of climate change.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • I spoke to this issue in Question #4. If elected, I would push Naperville to use our IMEA membership power to collaborate with IMEA members to advocate for a transition plan away from coal.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • The position for a full time Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Naperville has recently been posted on the City’s website. I am very excited for the hiring of this new position, because I believe the Sustainability Coordinator will have the knowledge, skills, and ability to identify the changes necessary to the City organization and processes to enable collaboration between departments. The Sustainability Coordinator will also be able to partner with other community agencies to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • The biggest consideration for sustainable development in our community is to balance green space with development. We can achieve this through careful planning that utilizes smart city initiatives and green infrastructure. Smart city initiatives help us better manage our resources and operate more efficiently. Green infrastructure are structural and vegetative measures used in land development to mimic natural functions. These measures detain stormwater, filter pollutants, reduce the heat index, and provide wildlife habitat.

    • Other than building setbacks from property lines and building heights, there are no other restrictions on the amount of impervious area that is allowed on a property. What does this allow? Big houses on small lots. This can throw off the balance between greenspace and development. If enough homeowners tear down their small houses and replace them with bigger houses this contributes to flooding, water quality issues downstream, and reduction of wildlife habitat. We should consider restrictions on building sizes to better balance nature with development.

    • A cost-effective way to balance population density, affordable housing, and stormwater management would be to encourage the development of more planned use developments (PUDs) in existing commercial areas. A PUD is a designed grouping of compatible land uses such as retail, office, recreational, and residential. Currently, there is an increased inventory of vacant commercial properties and there is a high cost to redevelop those spaces. PUDs can address immediate community & environmental needs, with the foresight to evolve more efficiently and address changes in the future. If an inclusionary zoning ordinance were applied to new developments, a PUD could address affordable housing through the construction of new affordable housing or a fee-in-lieu payment into the affordable housing land grant fund.

    • With higher density developments come additional demand for water, wastewater treatment, energy, and traffic control. This is why smart city measures are needed. Solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations should come standard with all new developments. More efficient allocation of resources will help us determine what housing/building density we can withstand and what infrastructure improvements might be needed to support new development.

Mark V. Urda

  1. What have you done or do you do to incorporate sustainability into your daily life?

    • For the last two years I have been driving a Chevrolet Volt as my primary vehicle. The Volt is an electric vehicle that has a gasoline powered generator to extend range if travelling more than electric charge can provide. Typically, I work in my Naperville office on Quincy Ave. and travel to and from my home in Naperville's Historic District and I make this travel with using any CO2 emissions at all. At home, we changed out all windows in our home from original single pane dual hung windows to dual pane argon filled, highly energy efficient replacement windows. This has dramatically reduced energy and noise.

  2. Do you know your household carbon footprint? If not, you can click here to calculate it! Share if you are willing, along with thoughts on if/how you plan to reduce your household carbon footprint over the next three years.

    • Carbon footprint is 27,869 lbs. CO2. We have already replaced windows and will add smart thermostat for winter. Since our house is heated with hot water, there is no central air conditioner. We only use one small 3000BTU window air conditioner downstairs and in our bedroom upstairs for cooling in summer.

  3. How would you support Naperville’s environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives for the community (e.g. NEST)?

    • By educating the public about these efforts by holding public and virtual meetings.

  4. What do you see as the most significant environmental or sustainability issues facing our community, and why? If elected, how would you take initiative to address any issues you identified?

    • The most significant environmental and sustainability issue facing our community is changing from coal to renewable energy sources for our electricity needs. The recent PRI report outlines how we can make this transition by 2030 but it will require co-ordination with state and federal legislators to bring it about.

  5. Do you think the City should commit to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions that align with global reduction targets? Why or why not?

    • Climate change is a real and present danger to all life on our planet, and as such we all share in the responsibility to address it.

  6. As a member of Council, what can and will you commit to do to transition our community to renewable energy?

    • In the short term we should encourage all homeowners and business to consider energy saving items like adding insulation, changing out single pane windows and where economically feasible adding solar power.

  7. How do you think the City should partner with and lead other community agencies (e.g. Park District, School Districts, County) to implement and promote community environmental and sustainability efforts? What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue?

    • NEST would seem to be the vehicle to co-ordinate these efforts. What changes do you see as necessary to the City organization and processes to enable effective collaboration for this issue? This will require a greater willingness on behalf of City Council to not merely listen to the recommendations made by NEST but to actually implement them.

  8. What are your thoughts on the March 2020 Land Use Plan? What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? How would you prioritize and promote density? How should affordable housing be addressed?)

    • I think that the March 2020 Land Use Plan is a good step forward but it needs more detail in dealing with residential areas. What do you see as the biggest considerations for sustainable development in our community? (For example, how would you prioritize open space and development? I think that Naperville is in danger of being overdeveloped and I believe that open space should be required in all future developments. How would you prioritize and promote density? I would prioritize low to medium density in all existing residential areas and consider a mix of density in new developments. How should affordable housing be addressed?) All new developments should be required to contain a percentage of affordable housing. This is particularly true of city owned land like that associated with possible Fifth Avenue Station development.

Benjamin White

Not yet responded.