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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Lisle Township Supervisor

  • Richard J. Tarulis (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Mary Jo Mullen (Dem) Strategy Consultant; Civil Engineer

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Biographical Information

Tell us about your background and decision to seek this office?

What are your top three priorities? What do you hope to accomplish in your term?

Some question the need for township government in this day and age. What are the services that the Township can best provide? And why?

There is a referendum on the ballot that, if approved by the voters, would consolidate the Naperville Township Road District and the Lisle Township Road District into one consolidated road district. Do you see any other services that could be consolidated with or shared by the surrounding cities, counties, townships or other governmental bodies?

What is one major change you would like to see in the governance of the Township?

How will you reach out to include more resident communication and seek more input from your constituents who are currently not actively involved with township government?

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Campaign Phone (847) 602-9720
website For 20 years, Mary Jo Mullen has committed her professional career to serving communities through efficient program delivery and successful risk management. Mary Jo is a licensed Professional Engineer and certified Project Management Professional with expertise in transportation, storm drainage and flood mitigation. During her ten years at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mary Jo worked with hundreds of local communities to help them understand their flood risk so they could make improvements and mitigate that risk. As part of Chicago’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Mary Jo managed $30 million in contracts and operated a call center aiding disaster victims. Mary Jo is formerly a Vice-President of a Lisle-based engineering firm where she led a staff of 30+. Mary Jo launched her own consulting firm in 2016, which provides strategic services to the federal government and engineering firms. She is an active volunteer with a passion for getting children excited about STEM. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, Mary Jo lives in Lisle with her husband and three young sons.
I run to focus on our local communities in Lisle Township, and ensure our neighbors receive the services they need. I have planned to enter politics 'when the time was right.' Leading up to the General Election, there was so much divisive speech and an overall feeling that people were voting against a candidate rather than for someone they believed in, that I knew this was the right time. With national politics being tumultuous, it is time to look locally to our communities and take care of our neighbors. Lisle Township is in need of change, and this change will be grassroots.

I run to bring EXPERTISE, EFFICIENCY and ETHICS to Lisle Township. I have the background and proven ability throughout my career to do so.

I am an engineer, a strategist, a mom, a former federal servant, a flood geek, and a passionate public servant. I believe every member of our communities should have the opportunity to thrive. I will do what is in the best interest of the residents of Lisle Township.
As your Supervisor, I will meet the following goals within existing budgets and no new taxes:

1. Increase efficiency in Township operations

- Reduce spending on elected officials and overhead costs - I will not take a pension or benefits and will bring down the salaries of elected part-time positions.

- Improve and streamline existing processes and procedures. 2. Provide excellent services and assistance to Seniors, veterans, jobless and all residents facing financial challenges

- Improve these programs and services

- Increase outreach and education on services

- Collaborate with organizations with a similar service mission to provide comprehensive solutions to residents

3. Grow Lisle Township’s resilience to hazards, especially storms and floods

- Partner with the County and others to improve storm drainage issues and mitigate flood hazards.

- Be an advocate and resource to Township citizens for all flood recovery and mitigation issues.
Townships must maintain a high level of program service and responsiveness—including road and neighborhood services to unincorporated areas—while seeking cost efficiencies. Services can be made more efficient through partnerships and reductions in administration. Even as consolidation can save on costs, it can also create inefficiencies when those most in need can’t access centralized resources. Programs such as General Assistance, Senior and Food Pantry programs must be viewed not only through the lens of cost efficiency but examined for the impact they have on citizens, especially those most vulnerable. Those in need often do not have the ability to travel to a centralized location in a large County, especially within office hours.
Lisle Township residents receive better services than incorporated communities because of the focus of the Highway Commission and ability to respond quickly to our immediate area. Consolidation of two Highway Commissions takes two Township governments and creates a third unit of government - increasing the size of government. This consolidation has no plan in place, and it is not proven if the current agreement is feasible from a cost perspective. While consolidation can be more efficient, it must be done planfully.

Townships actually provide a better opportunity for efficiency in consolidation of Highway Commission services went from municipalities to the Township. You can achieve much greater economies of scale in working long stretches of road and right-of-way.

Administration costs are the easiest to share - and is a current trend amongst small businesses. Shared space, accounting and legal services can decrease these administrative costs and focus resources on residents.
I would like to see increased transparency and communication in the governance of the Township. The website and its use should be improved, there should be greater outreach about meetings, and meetings should be recorded and published. I will institute timekeeping and records management practices that will increase transparency and accountability of elected officials.

An open and transparent government is the expectation of every voter, and it is disheartening that as I talk to residents most do not know what the Township even does. This has to change. The programs and activities within the Township should be understood and allow all residents to benefit.
I will leverage technology and innovation to increase efficiencies and transparency, and improve communications with residents and businesses. The website must be improved, and the Township needs to reach young residents through a wide variety of social media platforms. Additionally, I will foster partnerships with organizations that have a similar mission or interest as the Township and ensure their membership are aware of Township programs and activities. I have done this successfully in the federal government and in my engineering and consulting career.

One very valuable partner must be schools and universities. This will allow us to increase the involvement, data and innovation for the Township, while provide a real-world projects for students. I have an existing partnership with College of Dupage GIS department that can be immediately leveraged. logo


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