SSIP Candidate Questionnaire Clerk Candidate
Name: Jaime J. Olson Age: 39
Immediate Family: My husband is Joe Giamanco. He is a local attorney and partner at the Law Offices of Giamanco and Ooink. We are the parents of Natalia (8) and Jack (3).
Current Occupation: For the past 15 years, I have worked as a labor and employment law attorney and specialist. Immediately after law school, I served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board. I then had the privilege of working as labor law attorney for the Federal Labor Relations Authority and as in-house counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150. In 2009, I became a labor law specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration and then served as a Human Resources Manager for the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, IL. For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of serving as the Labor Relations Officer for Region 5 of the U.S. General Services Administration.
1) Why have you decided to run for election/reelection in the Village of Bolingbrook Clerk race? I originally decided to run for office the day that our Mayor invited Donald Trump to town. I was in disbelief that our Mayor and our Village government would welcome someone so divisive to our diverse community. My resolve to run for Village Clerk came as a result of the lack of transparency in the current Village government. The Village Clerk is the keeper of records and is charged with the responsibility of making such information easily accessible to residents. If you search the Village’s website, however, information regarding important things debt is insubstantial and other information which has mandatory yearly reporting requirements is outdated. I know that I have the skills necessary to bring transparency to the Village of Bolingbrook by ensuring that government documents, plans, and data, are easily accessible to the public.
2) What project most needs to be completed in Bolingbrook? And how would you work to ensure the project is actually finished and done well? The single most pressing issue is the $316,000,000 of debt our Village has accumulated. While the Village Clerk does not control the debt, the Clerk is the keeper of records and is charged with the responsibility of making such information easily accessible to residents. If you search the Village’s website, however, information regarding the debt is insubstantial. While the current Clerk did not cause the debt, she was the keeper of the records and charged with making this information available to the public. For far too long our residents have had to jump through hoops, such as multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, in order to obtain basic information about what is going on in our Village. If elected, I will ensure that residents are made aware of critical issues, like the debt. I will publish this information on the Village website and in a monthly newsletter to residents.
3) Bolingbrook is very diverse. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, 20.4% of Bolingbrook residents are African-American, 24.5% are Latinos, 11.4% are Asians, and 41.7% are white. What will you do to ensure Bolingbrook remains a diverse community and welcoming to people of all backgrounds?
- First and foremost, I will vocally support my immigrant neighbors and friends and I will do whatever I can to help make Bolingbrook a sanctuary city.
- I will continue to support my Muslim friends and neighbors by relaying their message of peace and inclusivity. I will also be in line with them should the Federal Government institute a Muslim registry.
- I will continue to encourage participation in fabulous groups (like SSIP) and programs that support diversity in our community. I will also support local charities (like the Power Connection) that help to close the economic divide affecting so many of Bolingbrook’s residents.
- Last, unlike our current Village government who called Trump “a breath of fresh air”, I will not stand by and allow people to malign our neighbors. If you elect Bolingbrook United, people like President Trump will not be welcome to spew their hate and vitriol in our Village.
4) What differentiates you from the other candidate running for this seat? My education, finance knowledge and work experience set me apart from the other candidate in this race. As a political outsider, I will bring a fresh perspective to Village hall. The current Village Clerk has held the position for nearly three decades. She not only serves as the elected Village Clerk, but has also hired herself as the Administrative Aid to the Clerk. As Administrative Aid (to herself), she garners a second salary and benefits from the Village that amount to an additional $70,000 at the expense of taxpayers.
Contrary to the current Clerk, I will not parlay my election as the Clerk into a full time job at the Village. I intend on keeping my personal livelihood separate from my elected responsibilities. I will serve as intended by the Village code and will not take advantage of our Village government for personal gain.
5) Outside of politics, what are some of your other interests? As a working mom, I have very little time for many activities and those that I do participate in invariably involve my children. I am so proud to be leading and inspiring young women through the Girl Scouts in Troop 70315 (my daughter’s Brownie troop). I also like to play golf with my family, run, and regularly work out. I support the Arts, am an accomplished pianist, and am a drama mom for my daughter’s budding musical theater career. Last, but not least, I like to get on the ground and play matchbox cars and dinosaurs with my son and read stories to both my children.
6) Why should people vote for you in this race? I am not content to see things continue as they are. I want to make the following necessary changes in order to improve Bolingbrook:
- Residents have a right to know where their taxpayer dollars are going, especially when it comes to paying public officials with those funds. I will make sure such information is easily accessible and keep it current.
- As the “local election official”, I intend to reestablish the convenience of early voting at Village Hall.
- Information posted on the Village website is not easy to locate. I plan to make it searchable to make sure residents can find what they are looking for with less effort.
- By making sure residents are kept informed on Village business I am confident that we can increase the transparency within the Village.