Four seek appointment to DuPage County Board seat
Cathy F. Terrill is the chief executive officer of the Institute on Public Policy in Elmhurst. She has a bachelor’s degree from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Michael Ledonne is a supply chain manager for Sears Holdings. He has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and a master’s in business administraiton from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
William J. Mulligan is a marketing executive with Acxion Corp. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Tuscon, and a master’s in business administration from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.
Zachary Wilson is self-employed as a lawyer. He has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, and a law degree from Loyola Law School.
Updated: March 24, 2012 8:15AM
What started off as 13 applicants was eventually brought down to four, and on Thursday night at Elmhurst City Hall they made their case as to why they should fill a District 2 vacancy on the DuPage County Board.
Michael Ledonne of Lombard, William Mulligan of Downers Grove, Cathy Ficker Terrill of Elmhurst and Zachary Wilson of Lombard all hope to replace Brien Sheahan, who resigned in January. District 2 includes Oakbrook Terrace, Oak Brook and northern portions of Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale.
Because the position is for a limited time until the next election, one of the main topics was the candidates’ first priorities.
“My first priority would be to continue to support the current direction of the board subject to transparacy, accountability and consolidation,” Ledonne said. “I can help analyze using my skills from the private sector to analyze current strategies and give my input as to where I think the strategies may or may not lead you, and also look at the future strategies of the board.”
“I would meet with the chief of staff and ask what the current works are in progress and how it is that I can use my expertise to help the county fill its goals,” Ficker Terrill said.
For the other two candidates, it was about reducing spending.
“We must continue to make difficult decisions as things can only get worse with procrastination,” Mulligan said. “I believe it’s a time when we really have to roll back and examine county needs and really look to see if there’s a smarter way to deliver.”
Wilson said his first goal would be to eliminate wasteful spending and make government officials more fiscally responsible.
“I would approach every issue with the same attitude,” he said. “Is the service we’re providing essential? And if it is essential, can it be done best by the private sector or by the public entity? If it can only be done by the public sector then we must make sure that service is provided most efficiently and be the best service we can provide.”
Another issue was whether they supported reducing the size and cost of local government, something they all agreed needed to be done.
“I do support the reduction in size of government, but only if it means that there is another entity that can do it quicker, faster and better,” Ficker Terrill said.
“I say the first thing you do is to eliminate jobs best done by the private sector,” Wilson said. “When you want to consolidate you want to make sure you’re eliminating redundancy in all the agencies. We need to use the government only where the government needs to be and do that as efficiently as possible.”
“Eliminating those entities would in fact create better government, and a more responsible government for the people, because it won’t eliminate the services, just the bureaucracy that runs them,” Ledonne said.
For Mulligan, he compared consolidating government to the same way it works in the private sector in that when a company buys another company they expect a cut in expenses.
“Consolidation is needed,” he said. “It has to happen for us to continue to be financially stable.”
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said he wanted this process to be open and transparent to allow residents and taxpayers to view the selection process.
“In the end, it is my responsibility, along with the County Board, to choose the candidate who I think will best represent District 2,” he said.
Cronin will make his decision and give his recommendation to the board for the Feb. 28 board meeting.