Hanzelin promises to put taxpayers first as trustee
Deciding to run for Naperville Township trustee is something Catherine Hanzelin began considering after she grew interested in township government a few years ago.
Then, last year, when the township began exploring the idea of consolidating Naperville and Lisle road districts, one of the top issues facing the township, Hanzelin gave the idea serious consideration.
“It was controversial, but I spoke publicly at the meeting in favor of having the township board consider the consolidation,” she told the Will County Gazette. “I felt like it was the right thing to do. My feeling for a lot of years is that there are too many ‘untouchable’ units of government and expenses that no one will even question here in Illinois.”
The vast majority of Naperville residents agreed, according to a referendum question on the November ballot asking township voters if they support consolidation of the two road districts. It revealed that 90 percent of the public favored the proposal.
“That is a mandate,” Hanzelin said. “But I believe it is a mandate for more than just the consolidation of the Naperville and Lisle Road Districts. It is the voting public conveying they expect their elected officials to be creative and think outside the box. And that wherever appropriate -- wherever it makes sense and where the numbers work -- to take steps to reduce the size and scope of government.”
Ensuring that the consolidation, if approved by voters in April, is implemented carefully and thoughtfully is extremely important, she added.
Hanzelin, who is a real estate broker and sits on the DuPage County Regional Board of Schools, said transparency is also a top priority.
“This is not just for Naperville Township, but across the region and across the state,” she said. “My hope is that the movement of scrutinizing ‘untouchable’ units of government, and seeing how the delivery of the service can be modernized and made more efficient will catch on across the region.”
Ten candidates are vying for four trustee spots on the Naperville Township board this election cycle, but Hanzelin said voters should vote for her because she is committed to putting them first.
“That means several things,” she explained. “Among them, a commitment to the taxpayers to ensure quality world-class services provided as efficiently as possible, (and) to explore ways to grow community partnerships to improve delivery and accessibility to those who rely on the services.”
If elected, Hanzelin also vows to facilitate the township’s senior services outreach and transparency initiative, so seniors feel they are involved in the process.
So far, she has encountered multiple Naperville residents who have been supportive and share the same vision she has for the township.
The second prominent issue facing the township right now is its high property taxes, Hanzelin continued.
“Seizing opportunities for property tax reduction and budget savings opportunities would be a strong focus for me as trustee,” she said.
Hanzelin has lived in Naperville for over seven years and is active in the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. She also owns a small home renovation business with her husband.