Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.
Profession: Crisis Communications & Public Affairs consultant
Years lived in River Forest: 1979-1993 and then from 2006-present
Spouse: James A. Christman, daughter Tessa Rose Christman, seven
Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before?
I have never run or served for political office before.
If you are not currently on the village board, how many village board meetings have you attended in the last year?
I have attended two meetings in the last year but have kept up to speed via the village website.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for River Forest trustee because I believe my professional history in communications and public affairs is a valuable asset for an effective local government. I grew up in River Forest and I want to do what I can to make sure my daughter benefits from a strong village and grows up in an environment like I did.
What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing the village in the next four years?
The three biggest challenges facing our village are many of the same issues towns like ours across the country are facing: we must be extremely fiscally smart, do more with less and maintain our high standard of public offerings for our residents.
What skills/talents do you have that would enable you to deal with those challenges?
There's a great saying, "If you want to get something done right, ask a busy person to do it." I take extreme pride in being able to multitask yet get things done on time or ahead of schedule. When it comes to communicating, I look at things from a 30,000-foot view to assess where an issue is, where we want to go and strategize on how we get there. We are in an era where we don't look for news, news finds us. There are ways we can improve our village's communication to not only our residents but to public and private partnerships that touch River Forest.
If elected, what are three goals that you have for the next four years?
If elected I have more than three goals but my primary goals would be to look for new revenue streams for our village, help to maintain financial stability and improve communications in the village.
If you are running as part of a slate of candidates, why? If not, why not?
I am running with teammates Mike Gibbs, Kevin Hanley and Tom Dwyer, Jr., because we share the same goals and values. Our friendships are intertwined in many layers and we all are life-long residents of the community. We are committed to raising our children here and they too are friends.
Going through an election with friends is a fun thing to do and we are having a ball. We are reconnecting with old friends in the village and making new ones. When one of us is alone at an event, a person inevitably asks about the other three. We are finding friends and neighbors are eager to help and support because they know one of us and want to know all four.
When Gibbs, Hanley Dwyer and I are together, there is laughter but there is also serious discussion about what is going on in the village. We understand no-one knows what will happen in an election, but it sure is fun trying.
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