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updated: 2/23/2011 4:01 PM

Susan M. Stark: Candidate Profile

Batavia Alderman

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  • Susan M. Stark, running for Batavia Alderman

      Susan M. Stark, running for Batavia Alderman

 

 

 

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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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Batavia

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Batavia Alderman

Age: 53

Family: Married - Vincent, retired firefighter, one son Jonathan - Senior at Batavia HS

Occupation: Account Manager for Educational Products, Inc.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Columbia College, Chicago 1990

Civic involvement: Historic Preservation Committee

Batavia Fireworks Committee

ACCESS

PTO Past President Louise White School 2003-04

Magazine Fundraising Chair Rotolo Middle School 2005 - 07

Batavia Bulldog Booster Volunteer

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The revitalization of downtown Batavia is my first campaign issue. Batavia has many initiatives in place that will help move the downtown area forward. With low cost TIF loans, the Facade Grant program, the historic building inspection process, Batavia Mainstreet and the Chamber of Commerce, Batavia will continue to see growth and preservation within the community.

Key Issue 2

The annexation of Mooseheart property into Batavia is my second campaign issue. If Mooseheart is not annexed into Batavia, North Aurora could be as close as Main Street, if they chose to annex that land first. By annexing Mooseheart, Batavia will be able to exercise a certain amount of control over proposed development. I would hate to see the open space on Randall Road become completely developed with housing and retail.

Key Issue 3

My third campaign issue is promoting the spirit of volunteerism within Batavia. Batavia has had a long history of community service and I would like to see that continue long into the future. Being a part of the Historic Preservation Committee, The Fireworks Committee and ACCESS, I have seen how much can be done by volunteers. Many hands help lighten the load in any community.

Questions & Answers

The ward includes several rental units. People complain about drug dealing and other crime in this ward, and blame it on rental housing. Is that an accurate depiction? Why/why not?

The 4th ward includes the very large Batavia Apartments(290 units)with absentee landlords. Based on available statistics, there is a disproportionate demand on city services by all large, multi-unit dwellings. If that is the part of the 4th ward that has come under fire, then the citizens are probably justified in their complaints. However, I live on a street in the 4th ward with several rental properties and feel that the landlords have done a good job screening prospective tenants and keeping up their properties which helps to discourage crime.

Aldermen recently discussed a rental housing inspection program, including licensing, background checks of tenants and interior inspections of units. Do you support that? Why/why not?

I am in favor of rental units being licensed by the city with stiff fines for housing violations. However, under the current city budget constraints, I am concerned that the administration of a crime-free housing program would put undue stress on the current inspection department. I would like to see more statistics on how this program has worked in other communities to deter crime and regulate housing so as to weigh the cost-benefit.

What do you think of letting people raise a limited amount of hen chickens in their yards?

I have spoken to people who are both pro and against raising chickens in Batavia and both sides make valid arguments. I can see the health benefits of the eggs from home-raised chickens however I have also heard that the chickens draw flies and rodents. I would like to hear more input from my ward prior to making a final decision.

What is your opinion of the downtown area and what are your specific ideas for improvement?

I believe that the appointment of the Streetscape Committee for downtown Batavia is a terrific continuation to the long-term development of our community. We have an incredible asset in our community built Riverwalk and streetscaping will further enhance the adjoining areas. I believe that streetscaping may also encourage additional businesses to open downtown if pedestrian traffic is encouraged. The Facade Grant program has allowed building owners to rehab buildings that may have otherwise fallen into disrepair and the grant program has been continued for 2011. I am looking forward to the renovation or reconstruction of the shopping center on Island and Wilson Street as well as the old movie theater to further enhance our downtown area.

Are you satisfied with the growth in the Randall Road corridor? If not, what enhancements do you suggest?

I believe that Randall Road growth has kept pace with the rest of the tri-city area. We have several new restaurants and stores with more businesses exploring opportunities in Batavia all the time. The opening of Smashburger was a feather in Batavia's cap as they could have chosen any city for their inaugural restaurant in Illinois. The reuse of existing space, like the reopening of Aldi on Randall Road, keeps our city fresh and exciting.

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