After holding the county’s top job for three terms, Robert Schillerstrom’s reign is coming to an end; he’s not running for re-election this fall.
At a recent Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting Schillerstrom shared his accomplishments and hopes for the future of DuPage County in his final State of the County address.
“We have maintained the quality of life that our residents have come to except and deserve,” said Schillerstrom.
Schillerstrom has made that quality of life his focus during his 12 years as DuPage County Board Chairman. He says despite the slow economic recovery, DuPage County has been able to maintain a positive fiscal picture without compromising the county’s’ services. Three weeks ago he presented nearly a $460 million budget for 2011.
“That budget is 3% below last year’s budget, making this the second year in a row our budget has decreased,” said Schillerstrom.
Schillerstrom praised county board members for passing a $70 million long-term infrastructure program using federal stimulus incentives. He says the program will create thousands of jobs, ease traffic congestion, reduce flooding, and improve county services.
“We’ve tried to engage long term planning,” he said. “This will remain a good place to work, live and raise a family years from now. You can make decisions based on the here and now, but I think if you really want to do a good job for the people who elected you, you look at what’s good for now and what’s good in the future.”
Local business members say that they can learn from DuPage County’s budgeting model and use its ideas to run their businesses.
“With these economic times we all need to manage our budget without compromising the services and quality,” said Teresa Ryan, Owner and Broker at Ryan Hill Realty. “These times have been a good exercise for all of us. I think in the past we all got a little comfortable with things and maybe were a little loose with our money. So even though it’s been tough for us, I think we’re all going to thrive and benefit from it on the other side.”
Schillerstrom ended his final address saying he’ll attend future Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce meetings as a member of the audience. And he’s looking forward to working with the group as an attorney and business owner, not as an elected official.
Voters will decide between Republican State Senator Dan Cronin and Democrat Carole Cheney for DuPage County Board Chairman on November 2nd.
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