Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti is running for one of the open at-large city council seats.
She has been a Wheaton resident since 2002 with her husband Ray and children. She graduated with her B.M. from Florida International University and received her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. Sanguinetti represents municipalities and government entities, protecting them from lawsuits, and teaches at The John Marshall Law School.
Wheaton Patch talked to Sanguinetti about her thoughts on issues facing Wheaton including the budget, the future of Hubble, development of downtown Wheaton and Illinois being behind in paying Wheaton.
"Now that my children are bigger and not as needy as they used to be, I could be more involved," Sanguinetti said. "Rather than defending government, I want to be a part of government and solve some problems."
WP: How does being a lawyer help you better understand governmental legal issues?
EPS: Not only am I an attorney, but I have been an attorney who represents government, so I feel that takes me to the next level. This not only helps me see problems that government is facing now, but any sort of actions government is about to take in the future.
I will be able to guide the council in not only the short term ramifications of the proposals made before me, but also mention the long term ramifications like possible lawsuits and now the policies could affect the public policy wise, how they could affect us.
WP: What needs to be done with the budget?
EPS: Being at , I feel the city is right on course as to how its looking at the budget. They are being very conservative. I think the approach in the future is to stay conservative with no speculative spending projects. I know the Wheaton Grand Theatre at one time was considered. Now we are looking better budget wise and with tax levies remaining the same, let's not go crazy and let's not go into speculative spending ventures. Let's stay living within our means.
WP: What is your proposal for the Hubble school site?
EPS: Some of my opponents have the vision that (Hubble) can't be built upon and should be given to the park. My vision is to not give it all to the parks because we need money. My vision is for what is build-able, build upon it. What we can't build upon can go to the parks.
Otherwise, put this on the tax rolls and get some return on the build-able portion of property.
WP: How will you address Wheaton's flooding and storm water issues?
EPS: We've got the sewage backwater type of flooding and the storm water flooding. Not every flood is created equal and not every one of our neighborhoods is created equal. My vision is to be forward thinking as far as intergovernmental agreements with the park district, neighboring communities, School District 200 to put in play agreements to help mitigate the flooding.
Another thing is to work with DuPage County. I know DuPage County is working with other local governments to alleviate flooding. We need to reach out to them and get some of their help because certainly other cities and other entities have gotten help from the county. We need to stand first in line and tap into that resource.
Another part of the solution is working with property owners. We need to give them more incentives to make more permeable solutions. Rather than getting a concrete driveway where there is no where for the water to go but our sewer systems to create flooding, why not give them incentives of building a more permeable driveway? Businesses can also be brought in for permeable solutions.
All these things need to work together.
WP: What ideas do you have in improve downtown Wheaton's development?
EPS: Improving transportation is one thing. People coming from other municipalities and outside locations need to feel safe at our train stations and feel safe in our Pace system. We need to keep our streets and sidewalks clean so people could feel good coming into our community and spend money.
One thing I don't propose is leaving the business of government and going into business ventures to promote business coming in. As a government, we need to make the environment better for visitors coming in by way of safety and transportation.
We should work with the Economic Development Department to find ways to bring other businesses in.
WP: You have been to many city meetings the last few months. How does this help your candidacy?
EPS: It's very helpful and I'm hoping my opponents are at least watching the recorded meetings on TV. I don't see how anyone can speak intelligently on the issues facing Wheaton and the concerns certain citizens have if you don't go to these meetings and hear firsthand from the citizens themselves. It's not unless you go to these meetings that you could think about these solutions and answer questions intelligently when you ask people for their support.
WP: What are other issues important to you?
EPS: At Monday's meeting, there was concern about Illinois owing us a lot of money ($1.7 million) and what the state will be paying out. The question is how much money can we count on if any at all because the state is in line of owing various units of local government money. We don't know what the state will do, but depending on what the state does, we have to make some fast decisions on our money and how we spend it. I will keep my ear to the ground as to what the state is doing.