Naperville’s Patty Gustin recently took her seat on the DuPage County Board, District 5. Gustin was elected to the Board Member role after 18 years of service to the Village of Lisle & City of Naperville. As she reflected back on many years of volunteerism and work in the area community, she said “I’ve been blessed to be in Naperville and be with so many wonderful people and know so many wonderful organizations.”
Patty Gustin’s early activism days
Patty Gustin’s roots in local government actually began before she moved to Naperville – as a Lisle resident. She approached the village about all the cut through traffic in her neighborhood, which she says was posing a danger to her small children.
“So a group of residents, we got together and petitioned the village for help. And so that kind of drew me into, hey, you know, what is this all about? And how do we make sure that all things are good? And then the mayor at that time asked me if I wanted to sit on their planning commission,” said Gustin.
That experience was the springboard of her journey into local politics though she prefers the term public service.
Gustin explained, “Politics, to me is you just decide you want to run for something because you’ve got some political desire, right? It’s more self-serving. For me, I am about community and how I can use that vote to help the community.”
Years of service
Patty Gustin has volunteered her time on various boards and committees throughout the years including the following:
- Liaison Naperville Sister Cities Commission
- Commissioner of the DuPage Water Commission
- Liaison Naperville Community TV (NCTV17)
- Mainstreet Organization of Realtors – Government Affairs Board
- DuPage Mayor and Manager Commissioner
- Liaison of Naperville Public Library
- Planning Commission Chairwoman for the City of Naperville Planning Commission Board (2007-2016)
- Acting- Chair of the Naperville Zoning Board of Appeals (2001-2007)
- Professional Standards/Arbitration Board, Real Estate Association of Western and South Suburban Board Member (1994 – 2006) now Mainstreet Realtors
- Naperville Downtown Advisory Commission (Member & Liaison)
- Lisle Zoning Board of Appeal (1994-1998)
- Lisle Planning Commission (1998-2000)
- Member of Naperville Exchange Club- Healing Field- RibFest
- Board Member Healing Field of Honor – Operation Support Our Troops
- Naperville Woman’s Club member
- Naperville League of Women Voters
- Cress Creek Garden Club
- Atwater Subdivision President (2018-2021)
Gustin earns a seat on Naperville City Council
In an effort to continue her service to the local community, she ran and was elected to Naperville City Council In 2015. Gustin brought with her all that prior experience and her background as a realtor, which she says helped her to keep a healthy balance between what’s best for the community and what’s best for businesses.
“You have to have that balance because your taxpayer payers are going to be your business owners, your taxpayers are going to be your property, you know your residents, right? And they both want something of the same, but then they want something different,” Gustin remarked.
During her tenure, the councilwoman continued to work as a liaison to the Sister Cities Commission, an organization that fosters lasting relationships between the city of Naperville and cities in other countries. Gustin was also influential in bringing the Hispanic Heritage Festival to the city of Naperville.
What’s next for Gustin?
Gustin was sworn in as a DuPage County Board Member, District 5 in early December 2022. She will work on various projects and committees including the Community Development Commission, Development Committe, Finance Committee, Intergovernmental Committee, Judicial and Public Safety Committee and the Technology Committee.
She is excited for the next chapter of public service, saying, “It is a bigger footprint, so you have more of an effect on more things. And I think that my experience from the city transitions very easily to the county to be able to get things done. So there’s not that big learning curve, particularly with Naperville being one of the largest cities in DuPage County.”