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IVI-IPO 2006 WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT QUESTIONNAIRE - Section 1

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					         IVI-IPO 2006 WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT QUESTIONNAIRE - Section 1

                            Metropolitan Water Reclamation District


DATE:       January 6, 2006                      PARTY:          Democratic Party
NAME:       Barrett F. Pedersen
VOTING ADDRESS:                   9757 Schiller Boulevard , Franklin Park, Illinois 60131
HOME PHONE:             (847) 343-7008                 BUSINESS PHONE:            (847) 455-9476
CAMPAIGN ADDRESS:               9701 Grand Avenue, Franklin Park, IL 60131
CAMPAIGN PHONE:               (847) 455-9476           FAX:     (847) 455-9478
EMAIL:        Barrett@BarrettPedersen.com              WEBSITE:          BarrettPedersen.com
CAMPAIGN ADDRESS:               9701 Grand Avenue, Franklin Park, IL 60131
CAMPAIGN MANAGER:                   Fred LeBed
NUMBER OF PETITION                  15,750                    NUMBER REQUIRED:              7,996
SIGNATURES FILED:




A. Elective or appointive public or party offices previously held including dates.

Lower Des Plaines Watershed Council          2006

Democratic Committeeman of Leyden Township             2002 to Present

Trustee, Village of Franklin Park     1989 to 1993

Trustee, Franklin Park Public Library District Board     1987 to 1993

Commissioner, Cable Television Commission, Village of Franklin Park 1995 to 1989

B. Other elective offices for which you have been a candidate

Democratic Committeeman of Leyden Township             1990

C. What is your primary occupation?

   Attorney at Law - Estate Planning and Real Estate Transactions

D. Briefly list your civic activities of the past ten years.

   -American Legion Post 104
-Host of the current events television program, "ILLINOIS ISSUES IN REVIEW" seen

       in Chicago, Thursdays 9:00 p.m. Channel 21 and in 100 suburban communities

   -Leyden has a Heart Food Drive Chairman

   -Leyden Family Services Food Repository

   -Boy Scout Troop 152 Food Drive

   -Junior Achievement Instructor - Vance Hester Jr. High

   -Kiwanis Peanut Day Volunteer

   -Vice President of the Franklin Park/Schiller Park Chamber of Commerce

E. What subjects have you studied and what experience have you had which will be most
helpful to you in the office you seek?

   - Urban Studies - Urban Planning, Elmhurst College

   - Local Government Attorney - Anael Glink Diamond and Cope

   - Chairman Water and Sewer Committee, Village of Franklin Park

- Implemented $40 million worth of storm and waster water delivery and flood control measures
including a 100 million gallon retention basin

- Lower Des Plaines Watershed Council - Commissioner representing the unincorporated areas
of Cook County

   - Fifteen years of legislative and quasi-legislative experience

- Counsel to the Addison Creek Flood Control Project, whose goal is to reduce the possibility of
raw sewage discharge by reducing storm water overloads to the Districts storm water
capacity. This project also has as its goal to remove 2,200 homes from the flood plain and thus
remove the homeowners mortagee’s flood insurance requirements that average $1,500 per
year. The specific towns affected are Westchester, North Riverside, Bellwood, Maywood,
Northlake, Stone Park, and Melrose Park.

I started college with a double major in Biology and Chemistry with an interest in air and water
quality. I had developed an interest in the environment as a member of SOAP (Students
Organized Against Pollution) and CURE (Citizens United to Restore the Environment). While
serving on the Village Board of Franklin Park, I used my chemistry background to persuade the
Village President to prohibit the use of herbicides on all village owned properties; Chemicals I am
sensitive to.

I have spent many hours of free time either walking in a stream bed or canoeing streams (I own
five canoes). Through the forty years of stream exploration and observing the presence or non-
presence of invertebrates along and in streams, I have come to understand the difference
between non-sustainable development and sustainable development. I have come to understand
the damage of clear cutting to our streams and waterways.

F. What candidates have you supported? Please be specific in describing your role in each
campaign.

   Most notably, I have supported for election the following:

   Barack Obama - 2004 - Committeeman (Leyden Township Coordinator)

   Lisa Madigan - 2002 - Committeeman (Leyden Township Coordinator)

Nancy Kaszak for Congress - 5th Congressional District - 2002 Committeeman (Leyden
Township Coordinator)

Simpson for Congress - 5th Congressional District - 1992 and 1994 - Committeeman (Leyden
Township Coordinator)

   David Orr - 1990 - Coordinated Leyden Township for David Orr’s County Clerk Campaign

Paul Simon for Senate - 1984 - Paid Campaign Field Coordinator (I coordinated Oak Park, River
Forest, Norwood Park, Leyden, Proviso, Cicero, and Berwyn)

G. Please list all endorsements you have recieved so far.

   -Dick Simpson

   -Mike Kreloff

   -Teamsters Joint Council #25 - John Coli

   -Teamsters Local 731 - Terry Hancock

   -IBEW Local 134 - Mike Fitzgerald

   -Operating Engineers Local 150 - Bill Duggan

   -Gas Workers Union Local 18007 - John Groenwald
   (Attached please find a list of additional endorsees)

H. As concisely as possible, please state why you feel you should be endorsed over the
other candidate(s). What goals for the office you seek are most important to you
personally?

I am the only non-incumbent candidate to have actually performed environmental restoration by
helping to remove waste water discharge into our waterways. While a trustee in the Village of
Franklin Park, I implemented $40 million dollars worth of storm and waste water delivery and
flood control measures including a 100 million gallon retention basin. These measures, along with
other similar projects such as the deep tunnel have precluded any raw sewage discharge into
Lake Michigan since August 2002.

One of the problems facing my constituents is the high cost of flood insurance. The Federal
Emergency Management Agency expanded flood plains throughout Cook County requiring an
even greater number of Cook County residents to be subject to flood insurance mandates by their
mortgage lenders. My hometown of Franklin Park has approximately 500 homes in a flood
plane. Seventy percent of those homes carry flood insurance at $1,500 per home per year.

Flood control projects such as the Addison Creek Flood Control Project will remove 2,200 homes
from flood plains, eliminating the burdensome cost of $1,500 dollars to homeowners from flood
insurance. These projects will provide great numbers of union jobs and stimulate the local
economy. The flood control projects will reduce the possibility of raw sewage discharge into our
waterways, thereby improving the quality of our waterways. I work as counsel to the Addison
Creek Flood Control Project. I have met with the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural
Resources and other state officials to obtain state approval of this environmental project. I have
the experience in this field to be effective.

I am the only candidate, aside from the incumbents, who has attended the meetings of the
MWRD on a routine basis. Only one other no incumbent candidate has attended any District
meetings and that candidate has not been to a District meeting for over three months. No other
non-incumbent candidate has bothered to attend the District meetings.

I. What is your campaign budget? How much have you raised to date?

   I have on hand $125,000 and anticipate raising an additional $140,000. I will spend $265,000.

J. How many people are on your campaign staff? How many volunteers are on your list?

   I have five full-time and part-time staff and 270 volunteers.

IVI-IPO 2006 WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT QUESTIONNAIRE - Section 2

1. Should Commissioners be elected at-large or by district?
Electing Commissioners by District may make them more responsive. I am in favor of Districts.

2. Should cumulative voting be used to elect commissioners?

If it does not add to the cost or detract from the effectiveness of the District. I know that since
cumulative voting has been eliminated from the Illinois House of Representatives, many analysts
have suggested a less efficient House has resulted.

3. Do you have a business relationship with or financial interest in any entity doing
business with the MWRD or other governmental bodies in Cook County?

   No.

4. Will you accept or have you accepted campaign donations from current or potential
suppliers, employees, or outside contractors?

   No, not to the best of my knowledge to date and none in the future.

5. a) In what circumstances should the District contract for outside professional services?

Wherever and whenever the District’s staff cannot efficiently or economically expand and then
contract for special projects that go above and beyond what is practicable for the District’s
employment objectives. I would warn against outsourcing, where outside companies are hired to
perform routine functions of District Employees for the sole purposes of reducing costs.

These types of outside Pinstripe Patronage outfits hire workers at pay rates significantly below
prevailing wages, fail to pay the employee for overtime, and fail to provide health care, retirement
and other benefits. The only persons who benefits from outsourcing is the employer. The
employees cannot afford healthcare, education for their kids, or properly support their local
economy. Outsourcing is not beneficial to the tax payer.

   b) In what circumstances should competitive bidding for contracts be required?

Any time there exists more than one responsible bidder for a service or product and the dollar
amount of the contract represents a substantial sum of money.

   c) Please comment on any existing abuses.

The District just received three awards from the Government Financial Accounting Officers
                                                                   th
Association. One of the awards was given to the District for the 30 year in a row. Another was
for the soundness of its pension plan. The District was mandated by a consent decree in the
1970's to hire personnel through a Civil service process. Technical questions arise from time to
time as to whether a vendor complies with hiring goals of minorities and women, but for the most
part the District has been free of contract letting abuses.
6. Would you support contracts for outside services with companies located outside of
Cook County? Why or why not?

Yes, under certain circumstances. The District should play a role in safeguarding the health of the
local economy and businesses. To that end, the definition of "responsible" in the phrase
"responsible bidder" should include a formula where dollars are deducted from a "local" or "in
county" bidder’s bid to make a local bidder more competitive. Where there is a clear difference in
price and quality in favor of an "outside the county" bidder, that bidder should be awarded the
contract.

Additional terms in the definition of "responsible" should be that the bidder pay prevailing wages,
benefits, provide adequate work place protections, and be in compliance with these practices and
all labor laws in other locales or states.

7. Should MWRD tradespersons be paid the prevailing wage rate?

   Yes.

8. Do you support patronage?

No. It opens the door to hiring unqualified employees which is detrimental to the efficient
operation of the MWRD. The District has Civil Service and almost all patronage hiring has been
abolished.

9. Do you support Affirmative Action?

   Yes.

10. Do you favor restructuring the wage scale of MWRD employees to correct disparities
based on gender by instituting equal pay jobs of comparable worth?

   Yes.

11. Do you favor permitting MWRD employees to hold other public sector employment
concurrently?

No, if the employee is employed on a full-time basis. Yes, if the employee employed by the
District on a part time basis, does not present a conflict of interest with the District, does not
impair the employees ability to perform his District duties, and comports with all applicable laws.

12. Do you favor permitting MWRD employees to have outside employment or contracts
with entities which do business with the district?

   No.
13. Is the District in good financial condition? Please comment on both expenditures and
sources of revenues.

It is in great financial condition. It just recieved three awards from the Government
Financial Officers Association (GFAO). One of the awards has been given to the District for 30
years in a row. The Pension system is fully funded. The Districts Pension Accounting was one of
the areas for which the District received a GFAO award.

The District in October of 2004 was provided an additional revenue stream by the legislature for
Storm Water Management of the County. The Districts Bond rating is excellent.

14. a) What should be the MWRD’s role in policy on lakefront, riverfront, and canal
development?

   One of the roles of the district is to ensure that the wastewater discharged from the District

treatment plants comports with the Clean Water Act. Another role of the District that has been
recently placed on its shoulders is Storm Water Management for all of Cook County. To the
extent that development affects either of those roles or any of the other many roles of the District,
the District will play an important role in the development of lake front, river front and canals. As
someone who spends a great deal of time walking through streams and canoeing streams, you
can be certain that any development that needs the approval of the District will be done in a
manner that will not interfere with the quiet enjoyment and recreational activities that remain vital
to a quality urban area. To paraphrase Daniel Burnham, our lake fronts, river fronts and canal
systems should be forever open, free and clear for the public to enjoy. There remain important
commercial uses for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District canals that provide an ever
larger stream of revenues to the District. To the extent that those commercial uses do not
substantially impair the public uses and beauty of the canals, they should be given a favorable
review. Any development along lake fronts and river fronts, as well as the canal systems should
be completed within the purview of sustainable development.

   b) What responsibility should it have for planning or monitoring such development?

The District already plays a significant role in the planning and monitoring of such
developments. Most, if not all, of the property along the rivers and canals in the county are owned
by the District. To the extent that these developments on the rivers or canals do not interfere with
the general public’s use and enjoyment of those waterways, and to the extent that those
developments do not provide a deleterious environmental impact, the District should review them
favorably. Within that favorable review, however, should be a consideration as to whether the
development will increase interest by the general public in the river system. It may be that
developments along the Chicago River that enhance the public’s use and that draw attention to
the river, may serve to provide present and future political support for continued environmental
improvements and restoration of the environmental characteristics of the river system.
The District participates in a number of agencies and consortiums regarding Lake Michigan and
the Great Lakes. Through the Great Lakes Consortium, we have had a great number of highly
qualified individuals involved over a long period of time developing a regional approach to what
will be in the future an asset so valuable and so gargantuan that many of the issues confronting
the District today will pale in comparison to the value of such a large body of fresh water. One half
of all the people on this planet have to walk more than a mile just to get fresh drinking water. I
remember Paul Simon, for many years, working on the issue of available fresh water to human
development all over the world. As the amount of available fresh water continues to diminish, the
value of Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes will continue to increase at an astronomical
pace. Ensuring that human waste or any other contaminant is kept from being discharged into
that valuable asset will be a responsibility that I accept willing and seriously.

15. a) Do you support public access to the Chicago River and should access be a priority
for the MWRD?

Yes, I do support public access to the Chicago River. I do believe that access to the river should
be a priority for the District. To restate Daniel Burnham’s idea; forever open, free and clear. I do
believe that the District has an additional responsibility to taxpayers to ensure that any
development or access to the river be done in a manner that does not expose the taxpayer to
unreasonable risks of liability.

   b) Do you support the existing agreement between the district and the property owners

   on the North Branch of the Chicago River?

No agreement has been concluded. The matter remains in litigation. I believe negotiations are
ongoing with regard to whether there exists a liability risk to the District and whether the owners
of these developments will agree to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement with the District and
purchase a liability insurance policy that protects taxpayers in the event that a personal injury or a
property damage occurs as a result of these developments. You can be certain that my mind will
be open to any reasonable solution that serves the public’s interest.

To the extent that these developments on the North Branch of the Chicago River enhance
interest and political support in the ongoing improvements of the river system, they should be
viewed in a favorable light.

16. Are present systems for monitoring and eliminating water pollution from industrial and
domestic waste adequate and appropriate? Please elaborate.

No. I do not think that any waterway along areas of human development or waterways adjacent to
land is used for industrial purposes will ever have systems for monitoring and eliminating water
pollution that are completely adequate and appropriate. What remains to be seen is whether we
continue to increase our standards for monitoring and purity commensurate with the
advancement of technology on these issues. To the extent that the District’s budget allows, the
District should establish escalating limits on the amount of phosphates and nitrogen that can be
released into our waterways.

I must express a considerable amount of surprise at the number of questions asked without any
reference to flood control. The District has enjoyed a record of no discharges of raw sewage into
Lake Michigan since August of 2002. However, outside of Cook County’s boundaries,
development along water ways that lead into Cook County continues at an alarming pace. The
community I live in now, and the one I was born and raised in, is Franklin Park. Franklin Park has
approximately 500 properties that are in a flood plain. As you may be aware, anybody who
attempts to refinance or purchase a property in a flood plain is required to get flood insurance. As
a residential real estate attorney representing a buyer on Monday, January 9, 2006, I observed
that my client was paying $1,500 per year for flood insurance. Seventy percent of the homes in
that flood plain area have existing mortgage liens that require flood insurance. That means that
approximately 350 homes are spending $1,500 per year for an approximate annual total of
$525,000 departing a village that has a population of only 17,000.

Now consider the fact that Franklin Park in the late 80's and early 90's implemented a $40 million
storm water and waste water delivery system designed to avoid flooding and to slow the transport
of water from its entry to the District’s interceptor. Part of the project included establishing larger
sewers underneath the streets of Franklin Park to store water from heavy rains. An additional part
of the project was the construction of a $100 million gallon retention basin near Mannheim and
Grand Avenue in Franklin Park.

Despite these improvements, the Army Corps of Engineers, through the direction of FEMA,
actually expanded the flood plain in Franklin Park around the year 2000. Part of the increase was
due to an increase in elevation in the definition of a food plain. But a large consideration in the
expansion of the flood plain was due to development that continues outside the parameters of the
Cook County boundaries. While the District has not discharged any raw sewage into Lake
Michigan since August of 2002, these developments outside the county boundaries present a real
risk to that non-discharge record. I believe that substantial resources have to be dedicated to
flood control projects that will adequately compensate for these ever increasing water flows from
outside the District to ensure that no raw sewage discharges into the lake occur.

Large swaths of farmland in DuPage, McHenry and Lake County continue to be gobbled up by
developments. I believe one of the responsibilities of the District and its commissioners is to
continue to pressure the legislature and the collar counties to adopt a regional approach to
development for any long term solution to the Districts problems to be accomplished. Flood
control projects mean reduced chances for raw sewage into Lake Michigan.

17. Should the MWRD assume responsibility for solid and other wastes in addition to its
current responsibilities to prevent water pollution? If so, what should be the scope of the
responsibility and how should it be exercised?

Such a responsibility would be a monumental undertaking requiring massive amounts of
additional tax dollars. Since October of 2004, the District has been given the responsibility for all
Storm Water Management throughout Cook County. This task may increase the responsibilities
resource-wise by as much as 40%. To the extent that the District can provide intellectual
resources with regard to lechetes contaminating ground water from landfills, and provided that the
District was properly compensated for that expertise, such a proposal may be viewed
favorably. However, to the extent that the District would take on overall responsibility for solid and
other wastes would be a distraction from the original purpose of the District which was to insure
water quality.

18. When will TARP be completed and will it adequately address flooding and pollution
problems in Cook County?

The tunneling portion of TARP will be completed in March of 2006. Three storm water detention
basins are part of TARP (Tunnel and Reservoir Project). One is completed near O’Hare just south
of the Northwest Tollway at Elmhurst Road. Two others are under construction in Thornton and
McCook and will not be completed for several years.

19. What precautions, if any, do you believe should be implemented to protect the
environment surrounding the TARP waste water reservoirs?

Monitoring wells are used to ensure that the District is notified when there is any leakage. The
waste water retention basins are located within an area of bedrock. The one foot reinforced
concrete lining is used to ensure that exfiltration into the acquifir does not occur. I look forward to
exploring any new technologies developed for such a purpose in the future.

				
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