Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Batavia Alderman
Family: Married, two children
Occupation: Candidate did not respond.
Education: BA, Economics, Lawrence University
MBA, Washington University, St. Louis
Civic involvement: Batavia City Council, PEO, and other recent involvements including school and church activities
Elected offices held: Fifth Ward Alderman, City of Batavia, 2010 - present (appointed)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
My number one campaign issue is continued conscientious and thoughtful planning and policy making for Batavia.
Key Issue 2
The second issue is to work to expand pedestrian and bike routes in future development and projects through support and implementation of Batavia's bike/pedestrian vision and goals.
Key Issue 3
The third issue is to protect and enhance Batavia, so residents and visitors continue to experience community connectedness and a special sense of place in our town.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Last April I was appointed by the Batavia City Council and Mayor to fill the vacant Fifth Ward Alderman position. Since then I have worked hard, learned much, and enjoyed my duties and the council greatly. I believe this experience and my desire to continue to serve make me very qualified for the position. In addition, I am essentially a life-long resident of Batavia. I moved to Batavia in 1966 at the age of five and have lived here for close to 39 of the 46 years since then. I have a sense of where Batavia has been, where it is going, and a good feel for the culture. All this and my real estate and marketing work experiences and educational background ready me for the position of Fifth Ward Alderman, City of Batavia.
Given the delicate balance between the need for revenue and over-taxing local businesses, what is your opinion of your community's present level of local sales taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.
There are positive economic signs in Batavia. The last set of data I've seen suggests 2010 sales tax revenue is trending upward and will be about 1.8% higher than 2009 (though still significantly below 2007/8 levels). There have been retail renovations, a new large industrial tenant, and inquiries about retail and restaurant space, for example. Given this, I believe sales tax rates are right at this time. As Batavia hopes to maintain a balanced budget in the years to come and given sales tax revenues account for a little over a quarter of general revenues, some revenue source increase could be needed depending on the strength of the recovery.
Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.
The biggest public safety concern is traffic. Our dependence on cars is leading to increasing amounts of accidents, congestion, air pollution, asthma and now … obesity and diabetes. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for ages 3-33 and a major cause of death for all ages.¹ Obesity and diabetes are becoming national epidemics. ¹ Riding in a vehicle rather than walking, biking, or using mass transit fosters inactivity, a contributing factor to these epidemics. Also, with increasing traffic more carbon monoxide enters our environment. Albeit we should not and will not eliminate cars, but cities can plan and implement policies to increase community walkways, bike paths, and mass transit that can reduce traffic congestion and lessen its other negative consequences.
If one wishes to walk and/or bike or even take mass transit, it can be challenging at times. Getting across some of our major north/south roadways by foot or bike safely can be difficult. In an ideal situation, there should be walkways and bike paths throughout the city inviting all ages of walkers and/or bikers to move from one side of our town to the other side to shop, socialize, go to the library, go to work, go to school, eat, exercise and connect. This can't happen all at once, yet we can work toward more walkways and bike paths one step at time. Each time the City approves a new subdivision or building or does a project like the Streetscape endeavor, the City should be mindful of the traffic and bike/pedestrian impact and work to lesson the former and increase the latter.
1. KCB workshop by Dr. Richard Jackson from UCLA School of Public Health 1/26/11
In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?
Several years into an economic downturn, the budget is as trim as it can be without compromising services. Staff has worked and is working diligently and responsibility to keep the budget as lean as possible during this time while still maintaining full services and healthy reserves. Currently, wages are below 2009 levels and many city positions have not been filled. Until there is a better indication of how/ when the economy will fully recover, staff continues to be conservative in its hiring practices. This can take a toll on employees that are working for less yet still ensuring all services are provided. At some not too distant point, wages will need to be fully restored and most likely hiring will need to start again.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I believe more walkways and bike paths in Batavia are THE really good idea. People are talking about it, but there is not enough talk yet. Bikers and walkers need a beckoning invitation - a clear, safe path - to get from the far and near west side and the east side of town to the Fox River bike path, downtown and then all around town. It should be easier and safer for students to bike and walk to all schools, the library, the Quarry, and our parks. It would be fantastic if there were a way other than by vehicle to cross Randall Road (and Route 31). I believe citywide walkways and bike paths will help improve our downtown, our overall health, community health, and connectedness.