DuPage County Board Members from Naperville Take Oath of Office

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Naperville’s representatives on the DuPage County Board were sworn in Monday night at an inauguration ceremony in Wheaton.

Those elected to serve as the three District Five representatives included incumbents Dawn DeSart and Sadia Covert, who ran for re-election this November after serving their first term over the last four years.

“I love service.  I love helping people,” said DeSart, who has also served on the Indian Prairie School District 204 School Board from 2009 to 2013.  “One of my biggest contributions to DuPage County is when we got the Federal Cares Act money, it was my idea to give up the grants to the small businesses to stay open.  We gave hundreds of small businesses thousands of dollars to be able to stay open so that kind of service is important to my community.

“Local level government is what directly impacts people and our constituents,” said Covert.  “I’ve been in Naperville for a while so whatever decision we do make it has more of a direct impact.  It’s been a rewarding a very experience and I’m proud to represent my district.”

From City Council to County Government

Joining them and taking the oath of office of DuPage County board member for the first time was former Naperville city councilwoman Patty Gustin.

“Serving on the Naperville city council for eight years gives me those tools to be able to transition to the county board to serve city of Naperville and DuPage County as a whole,” said Gustin.  “I’m extremely excited about it and can’t wait to get started on day one.”

With much of their focus on mental health and affordable housing, these three are excited to work together.

“It’s wonderful because a lot of people don’t want to give of their time towards this type of thing,” said Gustin.  “We’re just blessed that we have such great people who want to step up and do it.”

They’re also excited to have more female representation on the board as a whole, with a record 12 out of 18 board members being women, plus the board chair, a first in DuPage County’s history.  Also making history is the board’s first black member.

“It’s a fresh new beginning,” said Covert.  “We’re going to do well and we’re going to make changes.  It’s going to be different and I’m just excited to see.”

Naperville’s representatives on the DuPage County board were just three of the more than 20 total elected officials sworn in, including the other county board members and chair, sheriff, treasurer, and regional superintendent of schools.

As for the now-vacant spot on the Naperville City Council left behind by Patty Gustin, the City Council will begin an appointment process to temporarily fill that seat until May 2023.

DuPage County Board Responsibilities

The DuPage County Board is responsible for the management of County funds, business and fiscal and regulatory powers. Policies and programs of the County Board are implemented through the levying of taxes and the appropriating of funds.

The County Board meets at 10:00 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in County Board chambers on the third floor of the DuPage Center Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. Special meetings may be called by the DuPage County Board Chairman or one-third of the members. Minutes of all Board proceedings are available for public inspection at the office of the County Clerk, DuPage Center Administration Building, Wheaton.  All meetings of the Board are open to the public, and public comment is accepted for a maximum of 30 minutes at each meeting. Meetings may, by State Statute, be closed to the public in the event of discussion of certain items as defined in the Open Meetings Act.

About DuPage County

Formed on February 9, 1839, DuPage County is one of the collar counties of the metropolitan Chicago area.  With a population of roughly 933,000 people (as of the 2020 census), it’s the second most populous county next to Cook County.  It takes its name from the DuPage River, which in turn comes from a French fur trapper and trader who settled on the river.

Kevin Machak reports for Naperville News 17.