About the Candidate
Name: Patricia Theresa Flynn
Occupation: Medical Assistant
Political Experience: Village Trustee for Crestwood, 10+ years
Facebook: Flynn for MWRD
I am Patricia Theresa Flynn and will be on your Ballot for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner.
EVERYONE deserves clean water.
Running for office was never on my “to do” list, but when a scandal involving contaminated drinking water in Crestwood surfaced, causing concerns for health, felony charges, and lawsuits; I took action. This experience is now part of the “environmental justice” movement.
With a grassroots campaign, I became the first female Trustee.
And, while I know politics is not my passion, public service is.
The MWRD is an agency vital to the health and safety of Cook County and beyond.
One of its responsibilities is the protection of Lake Michigan, our drinking water source.
I have worked for the District in both Pollution Control and the lab providing a
better understanding the mission of the District.
As a Trustee, I recognize the need to be accountable to the taxpayer. I am proud to be part of an annual balanced budget and an engine for economic development utilizing the District property.
Knowing the MWRD is one of the largest landholders in Illinois is significant. Communities can utilize District properties for parklands as well as commercial development, bringing revenue to both the district and the communities it serves.
Now is the time to act; we are all aware that the 50‐year flood and the 100‐year flood are events happening at much shorter intervals. My Village Board and I have acted on flood mitigation locally successfully removing 150 homes from a flood plain.
Let’s protect the present and prepare for the future. Infrastructure needs early intervention. Let’s ensure that the MWRD has the capability to control the flooding still happening in basements of many communities lessening the values of their properties.
Looking to the future, I would seek to increase its role in phosphorous reduction, modernize facilities at several plants and partner with other agencies to study the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater.
The role of Commissioner is policy creation, procedural and budgetary, I have been doing just that for the past 11 years.
Why are you running?
Everyone deserves clean water. My Village was devastated by a drinking water scandal over 12 years ago. My public officials were using a contaminated well, co-mingled with Lake Michigan water, unbeknownst to residents. The Chicago Tribune broke the story and as a mother, was heartbroken and worried about the health of my kids. Facing two choices, to move or to dig my heels in and become part of local government, I chose to run, walk and win.
I became the first female Trustee and have seen how effective I have been on the local level. I enjoy public service, the networking with other government units to enrich our community. I am running to champion the protection of Lake Michigan, our drinking water source and flood control, which is the mission of the District.
What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?
The District is not broken. I find this agency to be an unsung hero vital to the health of Cook County. As the District is the second largest landowner in Illinois, a second look at properties that have fallen derelict or could help the communities in which they sit, develop into either commercial use within reason, and grow green spaces where all can enjoy.
What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
Without a doubt it is flooding that constituents care about. I have been all around the County and that is the common denominator. As with my own Village, it takes networking, townhall, and garnering relationship with other government agencies to fortify a plan. With all the federal monies that will be available to the District as well as communities, now is the time to act.
What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?
I have always been an active and responsive elected official. Utilization of the District's Public Affairs Department is key, educating the public is priority. I do think the District has an excellent reach, on social media, by phone, website, Board meetings and posted agendas- and they welcome the invites to some speak at various events. Being visible is important, most people I encounter do not even know what the agency does.