Candidate Forum: Todd Connor

Thu. January 28, 2010 12:00 AM by Jay Shaff

todd connor

photo credit // jay shaff

Connor: People want reform minded people

Todd Conner took the time to sit down with a few weeks ago and discuss his candidacy for the Metropolitan Water reclamation District (MWRD). My first question to him was what is the Metropolitan Water reclamation District? "The Water Reclamation District is a $1.7 billion utility, larger than the CTA and Cook County healthcare, .and is charged with taking responsibility for all waste water in the District."
Connor, 31, was very friendly, outgoing and generous with his time. His interest in running for the position on the MWRD, which is a nine board member panel, is to bring business and financial responsibility to the board. He comes to the candidacy for this position was apparently good credentials having a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Conner has also served in the US Navy, worked for the Illinois Inspector General's office and works as a business consultant.

While a gay man, that issue is not his platform as it is not applicable to the position. It is also of interest to note that he left the military of its own volition and was not a victim of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

"The MWRD is not meeting the one job, to insure adherence to clean water standards. We're not meeting that. This is an agency that needs someone on it that looks at things from a business perspective," Connor said. There are nine candidates for three six year term positions. Essentially this primary vote is the election as Democrats who win at primary will win election due to 70% majority. There is no districting. Each position is elected at large.

Many controversies face the MWRD in the future. Much attention has been paid to the Asian carp threat and lawsuits filed by other states which this will affect. This is of major concern to the MWRD. "Right now, all sewage flows down a man made canal into the Mississippi water basin. It isn't treated. If the courts require closure of this canal, the challenges facing the MWRD seem insurmountable," and he went on to say the MWRD is more appropriately the "water rejection district" as no waste water is reclaimed.

"People want reform minded people," Connor said. "Voter turnout and interest is critical."

Connor hopes a large turnout from the LGBT community can help him get nominated.

More information on Todd Connor can be viewed at