Naperville's Ossyra touts fiscal responsibility, restraint
Rachel Ossyra took to social media recently to make a last-minute plea in her hopes of keeping her position as Naperville Township supervisor.
The Republican candidate said re-election would result in reducing property taxes, using public-private partnerships to bear the cost of community services, and streamlining government.
“I am committed to continue impactful progress I've made during the last four years to improve financial planning, identification and budgeting of savings opportunities and sustainable realization of property tax savings by cutting the tax levy and budget over 10 percent,” Ossyra said in her Facebook post.
But her opposition to giving the city of Naperville control of unincorporated roads has come under heavy criticism. According to The Daily Herald, the debate centers around whether consolidation would raise taxes.
Primary opponent Paul Stantucci has disputed Ossyra’s claims that consolidation would save public funds. In his own Facebook post, Stantucci went as far as calling Ossyra’s statements“unfactual” claims.
“The Straight Talk team (led by Ossyra) has been telling the public that Naperville Township will see a tax increase with the consolidation of the two road districts!” Stantucci wrote.
Others in the primary are questioning how much control over taxes the township can exercise. Chris Jacks has posted on Facebook that many taxes are set at the state or federal level and thus out of the township’s control.
“What the trustees can do is what’s been done over the past several years: make township government more efficient every year, and cut unnecessary spending whenever possible,” Jacks wrote. “I favor continuing on this trend.”
However, he reminded voters that some fees that give voters sticker shock, like those for trash collection and electricity, are established through other processes rather than town council involvement.
In a response to Ossyra’s post, Shah Haq asked whether Ossyra’s pension would be affected by changes to the tax base.
Ossyra responded by pointing out the separation of Naperville township and city government.
“These benefits are legislated, not up to local officials,” she wrote. “My focus is on modernizing & streamlining township government, eliminating duplication & redundant costs permanently. We have too many units of government in Illinois, which drives up the pension costs you speak of.”
On the Naperville Township website, Ossyra says that under her leadership, the Fox Valley Park District Board has capped its $22 million tax levy for two consecutive years.
In her Facebook post, she claims the support of more than a dozen fellow politicians, including DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, State Sen. Michael Connelly, and Naperville councilwomen Judy Brodhead and Patty Gustin, among others
An Indiana native, Ossyra studied mechanical engineering at Valparaiso University and has held positions at BP Amoco for 25 years, according to her bio. The 14-year resident of Aurora, Illinois, was also past chair of the township’s Republican party.