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‘Make the office ... the best it can be’

Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

Hello, Whiteside County. My name is Joan Padilla. I am the Democratic candidate for Whiteside County recorder.

As a citizen of these United States, I take the responsibility of our election process seriously. For the process to work, we need people willing to serve.

Time and again as I went to the polls, frustration took over. Why was there not a choice between candidates? How could this lack of choice be a real representation of the people? 

In 2004, the new senator of Illinois hosted a town hall meeting in Rock Falls. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama remarked, “Your community, your state, your country is only as good as the time you put into it. Public service is a responsibility of each and every one.”

The challenge put before that audience is a powerful truth that resonated in my heart. As a way to accept that challenge, I ran for and was elected to the Sauk Valley Community College Board, and served as trustee from 2005 to 2011.

Advocacy of fiscal responsibility and the highest standards of education for students became my basic policy. Upon completing my term, I decided to take my experience to a county level and seek the position of recorder. 

Historically, the positions at the county level have been held by the Republican Party, with the Democratic Party rarely offering candidates from which to choose. This election cycle, the voters of Whiteside County have a choice: to maintain the status quo or enter an era in which change and potential move the county in an innovative, revitalized direction.

I am the daughter of Jan and Leo Hammes and a lifelong resident of Sterling. I graduated from Southern Illinois University with an A.A.S. in dental hygiene. I have worked as a dental hygienist for 27 years, providing gentle dental care to many local communities. Education and learning is still an important and integral part of my life and attitude. I recently graduated from Western Illinois University in the Quad Cities, earning a B.L.A.S. degree with a minor in sociology.

I married Tom Padilla. We have been blessed with four beautiful children: Christian, Leo, Rachel and Vincent. Life keeps us busy with the extracurricular activities, but it is a very enjoyable time.

My desire to serve my community comes from the family values instilled by a middle-class family. I have been an active volunteer within the Sterling community and Sacred Heart Church. I find volunteer work challenging, inspiring and fulfilling. 

I will fulfill my responsibilities, utilizing exceptional organization and communication skills as well as critical thinking skills to maintain the affairs of Whiteside County recorder. Being a nontraditional student has given me the fortitude and determination I will need for the position. Being a newcomer will allow a freshness and new perspective when I focus on the following: fiscal responsibility, efficient service that utilizes technology, integrity, dependability and friendliness

To the residents of Whiteside County: I pledge my time to you to make the office of county recorder the best it can be.

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