Wendy Morgan-Adams is a candidate for Prospect Heights Alderman Ward 3
Name: Wendy R. Morgan-Adams
City: Prospect Heights
Office sought: Alderman 3rd Ward
Age (on Election Day): 64
Family: My Husband- Rodney Adams, my Daughter and Son-in-law -- Katherine and Augusto Delgado, and their Daughter, my Granddaughter- Calliope Delgado
Occupation: Attorney and CEO of the Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgalocated in Prospect Heights
Education: B.A. Loyola University 1977. J.D. Chicago Kent College of Law 1981
Civic involvement: Incumbent Elected City Clerk of Prospect Heights on City Council, Appointed to Prospect Heights Strategic Direction Committee, Appointed to represent Prospect Heights on the Northwest Municipal Conference Legislative Committee, Elected Director of the Wheeling/Prospect Heights Chamber of Commerce, Re-established Prospect Heights Water Committee, Appointed to work to revamp City website to promote transparency in city government, 14 year Rotarian and Past President of the Prospect Heights Rotary Club, Rotary District 6440 Youth Protection Officer, 15 years Past President Rand Olive Commercial Condominium Association, Worked with Prospect Heights Police to derail adolescent crime.
Previous elected offices held: City Clerk of Prospect Heights.
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes. April 7, 2015
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Infrastructure issues such as Flooding and Drainage. An engineering study has been done to identify the areas which need attention and set priorities. My Strategic Directions Committee worked with these issues and made recommendations to the council. Council has already approved the Willow Road project to raise the level of the road on Willow to alleviate the frequent flooding and drainage problems in that area. This project is over 80% funded by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. As Alderman I intend to work with the newly formed Ad Hoc Committee to investigate residents' concerns and make recommendations to the council. I intend to work with the other Aldermen with regard to the above and the second study once completed which is the Arlington Countryside area. I will then tackle the other identified areas to resolve flooding and drainage in those areas as well. Although the City has had limited funding, with the sale of the arena land we will now have those funds coming in over the next three years and as Alderman I intend to advocate that our budgets include these funds for these capital improvements as well as repairing streets, installing sidewalks, and fixing other infrastructure issues.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I am the only candidate who has the experience, knowledge, and skills to provide solid and responsive representation on the City Council and as Alderman of the 3rd Ward. As an elected official intensely involved in many key committees and serving on the Legislative Committee, I have already been working on major projects and problems facing our City, including but not limited to flooding and drainage issues, sidewalks, street repairs, sewers, economic development and more. With 38 years' experience as both a successful litigation attorney and advocate, a successful business entrepreneur, and 15 years' experience as President of a Commercial Condominium Board, I am well able to represent the needs of my Ward and the City. I have successfully dealt with many of the same kinds of issues and concerns which are involved with our City. I will further promote transparency in city government and I have already assisted to revamp the City website. During my 32-years as a Prospect Heights resident, other public service to the community includes 14 years in Rotary both as President of our Prospect Heights Club, and Rotary District 6440 Youth Protection officer serving the underprivileged, youth, and elderly.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your city council.
My leadership style stems from my 38 years professional work and experience as a lawyer. I will advocate for the residents of the 3rd ward and the city as a whole and provide vigorous representation of their interests on the city council. I have a reputation as an independent thinker who cannot be intimidated, manipulated, coerced, or influenced by others. I am no one's puppet and will vote for the best interests of the City and my Ward even if others do not agree with me. I will prepare my arguments and issues much as I do as a lawyer. I will listen to my residents, do my research and review the facts, listen to the positions of the other Aldermen and the Mayor, perform my own investigations, be responsive to the residents in my City and my Ward and vote based on the best interests of my Ward and the City. My leadership style also entails the ability to work well with the Aldermen and the Mayor to solve problems. Great things can be accomplished through consensus that has come about through rigorous debate. Our residents deserve good leadership and my style will best serve them.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
Our operating budget is in the black and we have the financial ability to pay operating expenses in our budget. With the recent sale of the arena land we will now have additional cash flow for the next three years to be able to better fund capital improvement projects like flooding and drainage issues, installing sidewalks, street repair, and fixing other infrastructure issues. I intend to make sure we set aside these additional funds for that purpose and to continue to set aside funds in the future for these capital improvements, maintenance, and repairs. We need to also continue to focus on economic development because sales tax is still our main source of revenue. We have made good deals with commercial stores such as Tony's for sales tax rebates and must continue to build on these kinds of projects. We have a new restaurant opening near the corner of 83 and Palatine Road and we must continue to pursue bringing new business in our city, filling vacancies in businesses and retail establishments which have left our community to be able to continue to operate in the black and provide the level of services our residents need.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
We need to develop a plan with regard to our sewer system and costs to residents regarding maintaining and repairing our sewers. Many residents are upset and don't understand the new rise in the assessed costs. Sewers were the domain of the Old Town Sanitary District, "OTSD" which unfortunately did not maintain our sewers and little has been done over the last 50 years. The OTSD has now been dissolved by the State per Rauner efficiency programs and Prospect Heights took over. To be preventative and avoid a disastrous sewer breakdown, the council approved the televising of the entire sewer system to determine where the problems are so the City can fix these areas before they become disasters. The cost was over $350,000.00. As a result, sewer costs were increased. Once the televising is completed, we need to determine what we have to do over the next three to five years to properly maintain our sewers and then we can develop a better plan to appropriate associated costs. Residents should also know that even now with the rise in costs, our sewer bills are still lower than our surrounding communities.