BOLINGBROOK, IL — Jackie Traynere is one of the three candidates running for Bolingbrook mayor in the April 6 Consolidated Election. Here are his responses to the Patch questionnaire: Age (as of Election Day) 58 Town/City of Residence Bolingbrook Office sought Mayor of Bolingbrook Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)Non partisan race Does anyone in
BOLINGBROOK, IL — Jackie Traynere is one of the three candidates running for Bolingbrook mayor in the April 6 Consolidated Election. Here are his responses to the Patch questionnaire:
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Mayor of Bolingbrook
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)
Non partisan race
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Bolingbrook High School
Joliet Junior College
Coursework at Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Please include years of experience.
WIll County Board Member, 12 years, Small Business Owner, 17 years, Labor Organizer 20 years
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
Will County Board Member
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Bolingbrook residents tell me that they pay a hefty garbage tax for a poorly provided service, and it will be one of my top priorities as Mayor to ensure that we fix this broken system through renegotiation of the next contract after consultation with our residents.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My experience, my commitment to Bolingbrook, and my transparency are where the differences between my opponents and I lie. My experience working on the Will County Board, my volunteer experience with different organizations, my professional experience working as a union organizer, and my experience owning and running a small business with my husband makes me a well rounded and knowledgeable candidate ready for whatever challenges lie ahead. I am a lifelong resident of Bolingbrook, I’ve raised my family here, and I intend to continue my dedication to making it a better place whether or not I’m in the Mayor’s office. I am clearly dedicated to my community and to the people who make Bolingbrook such a wonderful place to live, and I want to be able to give back to those who have given me so much throughout my life here. I take great pride in my accessibility, transparency, and keeping my office open. My commitment to transparency is why I am the only Will County Board Member to proactively send regular updates and useful information about the County to the people that I proudly represent. I fully intend to carry this dedication to transparency and accessibility into the mayor’s office by giving residents a voice at Village Meetings with fewer restrictions, and opening channels of communication for residents who can’t attend to make sure all can share their input. I also intend to put an end to backroom deals by enacting new ethics restrictions and making sure our vendors are doing what is best for our residents, not politicians.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)?
The current Mayor was handpicked by former mayor Roger Claar, which is a prime example of the Republican machine that has dominated Bolingbrook for decades. This machine operated on backroom deals and focused on lining their own pockets before helping the people of Bolingbrook. As I mentioned previously, I have a fierce commitment to transparency and accountability, and I intend to lead with those values and put an end to these unethical practices to ensure that our vendors are doing right by Bolingbrook residents, not politicians.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
As Mayor, I will work to reverse the garbage tax, responsibly address the debt plaguing our Village, and end the heavy handed, business as usual politics of Village Hall. I will do this with the same high level of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to community residents that I have demonstrated in my role on the Will County Board. I pledge to listen to all voices within our community and will work as our Mayor full time, no matter the pay, bringing new ideas and positive results to the community.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
For one, I’m currently serving in my fourth term on the Will County Board, where I’ve successfully held the line on our local property taxes, improved public safety, eased traffic congestion, and protected our parks and green spaces. I understand the demands of an elected position, and I understand that I am a representative for the people of Bolingbrook, not myself. Additionally, my experience as a union organizer for 20+ years will lend some benefits to this role as well. During my time with the union, I was a strong advocate for social and economic justice for workers, and I brought people together to collectively fight for a better life through higher wages, improved working conditions, and reliable benefits. And lastly, my experience as a small business owner gives me perspective on what families right here in Bolingbrook are facing when it comes to their own businesses. I know what it’s like, and I know how to help.
Why should voters trust you?
I’ve been a Bolingbrook resident all my life. I’ve raised my family here, I’ve worked here, and now I want to work for you all. This community has given me so much, and my intention running for mayor is to pay it back. More than that, I’ve shown in my position on the Will County Board that I am a transparent individual who stands for accountability. I’m the only board member who regularly updates my constituents on the happenings of Will County, and I’ve always kept my office open.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Creating an environment where the cozy relationships between village contractors and campaign contributors are no longer welcome. Bolingbrook has been under Republican machine control for decades, and I would deem my term a success if we were able to redefine the environment surrounding the local government to ensure that the residents are the focus of each decision, not donors and contractors.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the handling of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
I think as Mayor, I’d need to review the profitability of all Village-owned facilities and take action to determine what changes are needed to make each property more accessible to the public, more profitable for the village, and less impactful on our long-term debt. Additionally, I believe in promoting economic development & business opportunities through establishing a committee of local business leaders and Village staff to focus on economic development and the repurposing of vacant commercial space. I take great care when it comes to fiscal matters, and I do not take these kinds of responsibilities lightly.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
I support Black Lives Matter and the protests that took place in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the shooting of Jacob Blake. These are avoidable and unacceptable results of a system that is no longer working to protect its community members, but rather persecute them.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
I think there is always more to be done to support racial equality. I think one of the first things we can do right here in Bolingbrook is partner with our school systems and community organizations to encourage our youth to deepen their learning about social justice and racial equality. But more than that, we must look inward at our current systems and at ourselves to ensure that our actions always reflect the anti-racist values I know Bolingbrook holds.
What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?
The most important thing leaders can do in this pandemic is provide clear, concise guidance to our constituents on public health recommendations. There are too many political decisions being made and we should let scientists and health professionals advise us on the best practices and implement them. As a Will County Board member, our Board worked to support the townships we represent as they dealt with the pandemic. With the passing of the CARES Act, the responsibility of allocating those funds to local taxing bodies fell upon the county board, and we worked diligently to ensure that relief was given to our community. Outside of that, we have done our best to keep county projects moving and continued to provide assistance to those struggling. I am in support of measures that seek to protect residents from COVID-19, even if that includes potential interruption to businesses. I do favor a local mask mandate.
What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?
I think that there could be some improvements made to the rollout, as we have seen many vaccines expire and be wasted because no one was there to get it. I think it is imperative that local governments and healthcare organizations work together to find solutions to these issues we’ve seen in the rollout so far. Most importantly, I think we need to listen to the experts and public health officials as we continue to work towards widespread vaccination.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
No, there is not.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
That to dare is to do, to fear is to fail. Also that the good you do to today will be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway. Both were from my Father who lived by the adage “Can’t never did nothing”
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am a lifelong Bolingbrook resident and a dedicated progressive organizer, who will stop at nothing to ensure that my community is represented fairly and with transparency. Bolingbrook is in need of a change in leadership, and I am committed to putting in the hard work to make it happen.