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.
Office sought: Wheaton City council
Family: Married, three children
Occupation: Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law
Education: Bachelors of Music, Florida International University, 1993
Juris Doctor, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, 1998
Civic involvement: Jefferson Preschool PTA
Lowell Elementary PTA
DuPage County Bar Association
Wheaton Chamber of Commerce
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Key Issue 2
Key Issue 3
Should the city take an active role in the restoration of the Wheaton Grand Theater? Please explain why or why not.
It depends what is meant by an active role. If an active role means public financing from the general fund, then absolutely not.
If an active role is providing incentives and a business friendly atmosphere for a private enterprise to take over and renovate the theater, then my answer is yes. I do not believe that the tax payers of Wheaton should finance or act as a guarantor of a private investment.
The business of local government is to provide safety and a sound infrastructure. Right now, Wheaton is barely making ends meet, and it would be irresponsible at this juncture to enter into a venture that is speculative at best. The theater is presently owned by a bank, and there is no plan that I have seen for its restoration. Moreover, studies have shown that the theater would operate on a break-even basis and not generate enough money to pay back the debt service. If there is something that can be done which makes sense, I will keep an open mind. At this juncture, I have to say no.
Should the city restore annual funding Wheaton's Center for History? Please explain why or why not.
At this time, no. I believe that fair minded people within the Center for History should attempt to make other arrangements for the housing and displaying of the Center for History's many artifacts.
There is a beautiful museum in downtown Wheaton called the DuPage County Historical Museum, which is operated by the Wheaton Park District at the site of the old Wheaton Library. It is my belief that a deal could be reached between the Center for History and the Park District where Wheaton's historical artifacts can be housed and displayed at the DuPage County Historical Museum. If housed and displayed there, more residents of Wheaton and surrounding communities would be able to view the artifacts free of charge. They may even spend some of the money they saved at a local business.
How would you like to see the former Hubble Middle School property in downtown Wheaton redeveloped?
I would like to see the property subdivided into two parcels. One parcel for a small to midsize commercial venture(s) such as a grocery store etc...; and the second for open spaces and recreational facilities to be operated by the Park District.
I believe this to be a sound way to proceed because some of this property is buildable. Since Jewell left our downtown, residents in the center of Wheaton have been without a convenient grocery store. This would generate much needed tax revenue and finally get some real estate back on the tax rolls. Plus, there would be much needed construction jobs created in the demolition of the current site and the building of a new structure.
As for the remainder of the land, I would love to see it taken over by our Park District. The Park District has done a wonderful job with its facilities throughout Wheaton, and working with residents and the City Council, I am sure it will do something extraordinary here as well.
How should the city deal with issues related to flooding?
There are two types of flooding. There is flooding caused by sewage back up and flooding caused by storm water.
The city cannot immediately solve these problems without taxing its residents right out of the city. Instead, Wheaton must continue to maintain and expand its sewer system. It will require an investment over time, but it will be well worth it.
As far as dealing with flooding caused by storm water, Wheaton needs to work with its residents and businesses to help mitigate this problem. This can be done by encouraging home owners and businesses to resurface driveways and parking lots with more permeable materials. Also, Wheaton needs to continue to offer incentives as well as the guidance of engineers to our home owners to find cost effective ways to divert storm water away from structures to prevent basements from flooding.
Flooding is not unique to Wheaton, and rain water which falls in Wheaton does not always stay within our boundaries. Because flooding is a county-wide problem, Wheaton needs to reach intergovernmental agreements with other units of local government to address this common issue. We also need to reach out to DuPage County so we can be a part of its efforts to control flooding.
It is going to take time, and that is why I cannot wait to get started.
What effort should the city make to encourage the sale and redevelopment of the former Jewel site in downtown Wheaton?
Jewel-Osco still owns this site. Jewel-Osco's asking price for this property is $4 million for the 19,500-square-foot building, making it unfeasible for developers to meet the asking price. If Jewel-Osco is holding on to the property in the hopes of fending off competing grocers, the city should remind Jewel-Osco's owners that two grocers have recently shown an interest in the Hubble Middle school site.
Therefore, it is time for Jewel-Osco to do the right thing and present a reasonable asking price for the property. In the interim, the city could encourage the sale and redevelopment of this property by in the following ways: making sure that the property does not present a nuisance in violation of the city's ordinances; patrolling the property on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of its residents; and making sure that the owners keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.