She speaks true facts on the issues without any spin
Who is Sheila Rutledge
Sheila Rutledge is a 30+ year DuPage County resident and local business owner, with a long history of public service and volunteerism. She has been active in her children’s schools, community issues, chamber of commerce boards, and professional photography associations. She has been a DuPage County Forest Preserve volunteer at Danada Equestrian Center for the last 12 years and in 2014 was named Volunteer of the Year. (She’s gained valuable experience shoveling manure.)
Sheila was widowed by William, her husband of 33 years in 2018, a good man gone too soon. This stunning life change occurred very early in her first election campaign, but she made the difficult decision to continue. Ultimately, it gave her a reason to move past the grief that was felt by the whole family and help her become the new person that widowhood demands. She has one adult son here in DuPage and her daughter lives in Florida. Sheila’s two dogs, Otis and Willy are rescues from DuPage Animal Services and help keep her moving and on her toes.
Sheila has been the owner and operator of two local, small businesses. For the last 33 years, Sheila has been the owner and photographer for Captured by Sheila, an award-winning photography studio where she was able to give families photographic memories to last a lifetime and often gave back to her community with auction gift certificates to help those who help others.
While photography was always her primary business, she was also a sales professional and real estate investor and she and her husband formed Advanced Property Solutions, a real estate rehab business focused on the first-time homebuyer market. This has given her valuable insight into the local real estate market and home values.
She first ran for elected office in 2016 when our former president was making his intentions for running for president known. Sheila was encouraged by community leaders and colleagues to run for DuPage County Board in 2018. Her first campaign was successful and she is now seeking re-election for a 2nd term as 6th District Board Member.
Sheila’s First Term Accomplishments
As a County Board member Sheila has earned the reputation of getting the work done with members of both parties. She has worked to end the practice of awarding County political appointments to those who make large campaign contributions. Her vision is to make the DuPage county government more inclusive and one that helps ALL of its citizens.
Currently, Sheila is the Chair of the Environmental Committee for the DuPage county Board, a good fit for her experiences and passions. She has worked diligently to raise awareness of how our County can have a positive effect on the environment. She has made it a goal that all County policy & action decisions consider environmental impact, weighing long-term benefit against short-term cost savings. During her time as Environmental Chair, she passed the dark skies ordinance which helps to protect the night from light pollution and promotes responsible outdoor lighting.
She also sits on the Technology, Development, Economic Development, Animal Services, Finance, Ad Hoc Fine Arts committee where she is Vice-Chair, Ad Hoc Diversity and Inclusion and the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committees.
Sheila’s vision is to make the DuPage County government more inclusive and one that helps ALL of its citizens.
Sheila’s work with the County Board
Sheila worked with the full board voting to give $5 million to DuPage Pads to purchase the Red Roof Inn in Downer’s Grove to who will transform the hotel into a 130-unit interim housing center for people experiencing homelessness.
DuPage Co. purchases new voting equipment that is 100% paper, never connected to the internet, and prints only ballots for voters as they vote. Not the stacks of ballots that were printed to anticipate 110% of the voters in the precinct.
Sheila worked with the Finance Committee and the full board to allocate the ARPA grants from the federal government and to determine the best use of those funds for our county complex, business owners and residents.
Sheila advocates for a pay study.
In Late 2019 Sheila, and fellow County Board members Ashley Selman and Greg Hart met with the Board Chair to express concerns that County employees were underpaid and the negative impact this could have on County operations, efficiency, and progress. While the issue was sidelined by the pandemic, recently the concerns were brought up again. Sheila advocated for a pay study. The study confirmed that DuPage county’s salaries were not competitive and we were losing competent professionals to our surrounding counties. Additionally, it was found that our hiring process was too lengthy, which also reduces our competitiveness in the current job market. We are currently assessing where pay increases are warranted as high turnover is not good for our county’s bottom line or the services we provide for our constituents.
Other achievements during Sheila’s first term on the Board include successfully spearheading the unanimous passage of a hen-keeping ordinance in unincorporated areas. This allowed people to have fresh eggs and protein right in their own backyards, particularly helpful to help ease suffering in the pandemic. She also directed $300,000 and CARES Act money to the struggling arts community at the worst of the pandemic and directed $5,000 per township to each of our nine townships to seed diaper banks, again during the worst of the covid crisis. She routinely collects new books from SCARCE of DuPage, her partner in all things environmental, and distributes them to the food pantries in her community.
The county board voted to give $5 million to our local food pantry network for fresh produce and greater food assistance.
Approved a major renovation of our Care Center, the first renovation in over 30 years!
Commitees Sheila works on
Environmental Committee Chair-Sheila is working hard to urge the county consider environmental impact more in the day to day operations. We can no longer consider purchases solely based on price.
Ad Hoc Fine Arts Committee-Working with Chair Lynn LaPlante the committee is recognizing that the arts are a large economic driver in our county.
Animal Services-Sheila’s current 2 dogs were both adopted from our Animal Services so it is a perfect fit.
Development-this committee deals with zoning variances and permit requests.
Economic Development-working and directing economic activity to the county
Technology-working on updating our current website and systems
Finance-all county spending is approved by this committee of the whole.
Redistricting-(finished)new census date required we redrawn the maps for our district.
Ad Hoc-Diversity and Inclusion