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updated: 2/23/2011 3:56 PM

Richard D. Tibbits: Candidate Profile

Prospect Heights Treasurer

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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: Prospect Heights

Website: http://www.tibbitstreasurer.com

Office sought: Prospect Heights Treasurer

Age: 64

Family: Married

Occupation: Business Owner

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Accounting, Augustana College, 1968

Civic involvement: The Prospect Heights Group, Advertising/Design/Layout/Editor Prospect Heights City Newsletter, Design/Operations Prospect Heights Audio/Video Recording and Broadcast Facility, Chairman Water Committee

Elected offices held: City Treasurer, City of Prospect Heights, 2003 to present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Open communication and transparency of our City Government operation and funding. I coordinated all aspects of our City Newsletter for the past 6 years. I do not believe that the Mayor and City Council should discontinue the printing and mailing of a newsletter to all residents to save a few dollars. I believe it is a duty of the City to communicate with its residents in a variety of ways including a mailed newsletter, Enews bulletins, website, cable TV channel, telephone, and city council meetings. I hope the next city council will agree and reinstitute a city newsletter that will be distributed to ALL residents.

Key Issue 2

Adoption of Home Rule! It will generate additional revenue to our City without placing additional tax burdens on our residents. This is way overdue and would have helped avoid our current financial crisis.

Key Issue 3

A unified city water system.

Questions & Answers

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I have served as the City Treasurer for the past nearly 8 years with integrity and dedication to our residents. I have attended nearly every council meeting, provided timely financial reports, and worked with city staff in setting policies and making common sense decisions. I promoted the use of E-pay so residents can pay for vehicle stickers online. I also have served as chairman of the water committee, which is outside of my capacity as Treasurer.

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.

Unfortunately there are various units of government that have the ability to levy sales taxes. When added all up, there is no way the sales tax rate should be raised to gain more revenue from this source. What is needed is the development of additional sales tax generating businesses in our community to build on the existing tax base.

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.

Plain and simple, we should not have to lay off police officers to balance our budget. Unfortunately Prospect Heights police became the target of misguided advice in the belief that the City could be forced to eliminate furloughs and not have to lay off police officers. If an agreement could be reached to reinstitute furloughs in the police department, the laid off officers would be brought back with the hope that as the economy improves, the furloughs would also be eliminated.

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?

There is no meaningful way to trim our budget that would have any significant positive effect on personnel and the only way to cut further is to eliminate even more personnel. With city staff being as bare bones as it is, additional cuts would mean the elimination of more core services. At this time, our budget does not provide funding for capital improvements and there are many maintenance items being deferred in all departments.

What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

For years I have suggested that the Mayor and Council set aside a Saturday morning every month or every other month to informally meet with our residents. ""Coffee with the Council"" would be an informal way to form new personal relationships, listen to what residents have to say, share ideas and provide information.

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