Meet Your Candidates: Danette O'Donovan Matyas
Get to know candidates running in the April 9 election. O'Donovan Matyas is running for Niles trustee.
In advance of the April 9 election, Patch is running candidates' questionnaires and if applicable, previous articles about them.
Name: Danette O'Donovan Matyas
How long have you lived in Niles? Raised in Niles and attended St John Brebeuf School
Family: 2 children; Tammy & Matt and a 5yr old grand daughter Kayla
Education: Earned BA in Business from DePaul Univ in 2006.
Occupation: Semi-retired, Danette now uses the majority of her timing serving Niles as a Library Board Member and soon, hopefully, as a Village Trustee.
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices (please include years of service): Currently a Niles Library Board Trustee (2011 - 2017)
1. Why are you running for this office? The top priority must be to make Niles affordable. We can't expand and grow on the backs of homeowners. By keeping expenses under control, we can keep taxes under control and build upon Niles' record of quality service to residents.
2. What are the top issues facing the village of Niles right now, in your view? In speaking with Niles residents, their concern is the elimination of animal control and the possibility of there being a charge to use the free bus. The residents are tired of seeing dead animals laying in the street for days.
3. How should the village be addressing these issues? To look into bringing back animal control whether it be the village handling or hiring a private company to handle. In regard to the free bus, expand the routes (to stop at condo bldgs, senior centers etc) in order to be better used. The free bus not only provides transportation for shopping (which keeps the revenue in Niles) but it is also used to take seniors to and from doctor appointments.
4. What ideas do you have to improve the village, whether in services, economic development, transportation, outreach to residents, communication, environment or other areas? Listen to the people on what their concerns are and to better service the senior population by bringing back Life Alert, and to better educate them on how not to be scammed by phone calls being received at their home or people knocking on their doors claiming to be from the electric company, home improvement people etc. Expand on the senior/teen program - working together, fulfilling the other's needs.
5. What accomplishments, in public or community service or your professional life, would you like voters to know about? While I was raising a family and working full time I put myself through college. I received my BA from DePaul University in 2006. I worked for Alberto Culver for 31 years in the finance department and have now decided to dedicate myself to my community through work on the Library Board and as a Village Trustee. As a Library Board member I helped swing votes to pay off the bonds that will ultimately reduce our taxes.
6. Niles has a reputation as a thriving business community and it won the Best Affordable Place to Raise Kids honor from Bloomberg/Business Week. What do you envision for its future? I want to see the future Niles borrow from the good old days. I remember Block Parties and Welcome Wagons. We had communities ‘within’ communities and I’d like to see that Niles Pride restored. We need to reach out to businesses to locate in Niles so we can increase tax revenue and lower property taxes.
7. Niles is divided between two townships, two high school districts and multiple elementary school districts. It does not have a downtown or a high school. In light of this fractionalization, what can be done to give Niles a sense of unity? Bring back the pride and spirit and begin to re-build Niles. Make Niles the All American City again. Bring back the town where block parties were held, neighbors knew all their neighbors, have sponsored activities.
8. Anything else you would like to add? In returning and attending college along with longevity in working with one corporation shows loyalty and commitment. I am a person when I set a goal I complete it, I don't give up.
In reading articles and peoples comments it has been eluded to that the 3 candidates for trustee are yes people. I am here to tell you I am NOT a yes person. If what is being talked about is beneficial for the village of course I will vote yes, if I don't agree I will vote no.