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updated: 2/24/2011 2:39 PM

Michael Charewicz: Candidate Profile

Des Plaines Alderman, Ward 8

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  • Michael Charewicz, running for Des Plaines Alderman, Ward 8

    Michael Charewicz, running for Des Plaines Alderman, Ward 8




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



City: Des Plaines


Office sought: Des Plaines Alderman, Ward 8

Age: 55

Family: Married, three children

Occupation: Auto mechanic and 30 year Des Plaines business owner of Accurate Auto Clinic, 20 year buisiness owner in Palatine IL

Education: Associate Degree Automotive Technology, Southern Illinois University,

Accredited Automotive Manager from Automotive Management Institute (AAM)

ASE -- Master Technician Certification

Civic involvement: Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce Past President

Automotive Service Association of Illinois Past President, Current Board Member

Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Service Dealer Advisory Council Current Member

Friendship Jr. High PTO, Past Member

Boy Scout Troop 160, Past Leader

Cub Scout Pack 264 Past Leader, Pinewood Derby Chairman

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

Flooding- Working with other aldermen and DP city officials to reduce 8th ward flooding and encourage Des Plaines to have a strong City presence on the Northwest Municipal League.

Key Issue 2

How to spend casino revenues- Develop long term investment strategies (with the help of grants) that will show returns that lower our burden on the general fund -- one example is to invest in electronic water meter reading devices that will lower the cost of reading water meters.

Key Issue 3

Bring new business into Des Plaines- by improving communication between the City, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission, and bordering communities we can increase sales tax revenues to reduce the burden on residential property tax.

Questions & Answers

How should Des Plaines use its casino revenues? Name your top three priorities.

Part to pay down debt, part to match grants for infrastructure improvements as part for long term economic growth of the city, as mentioned before.

How should the city approach developing the land surrounding the casino?

The City purchased 5 acres of land and borrowed 10 Million plus interest in bonds to pay for it -- the developer who was supposed to build two hotels has lost his financing and walked away from the project. The City has a huge debt and no revenue from that property to pay back the loan. The City should actively look for a solution, to either sell the land or rent out the land --

I Recommend the City reach out to other business thru the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Committee for help.

I do not know what the opportunities might be in this bad economic time, but we do need revenue to pay back the loan or the money will have to be taken out of the general fund.

Should the city address the question of ethics surrounding the casino, as regards public officials?

Absolutely, yes- full disclosure of any financial connection is the only way.

What should the city do to improve the performance of its failing tax increment financing districts? Do you see the need for any other TIF districts in the city?

TIF's are not needed now- working to fill existing empty store fronts and office building is important now

Again, I hope to bring the Chamber and City together to welcome new business and help grow existing business.

What is the most pressing issue for residents in your ward and how would you like to address it?

Flooding is always #1 as discussed before. The work on Marshall Drive (which was part of the Storm water Master Program at a cost of over $600,000) was completed this year. The water from the sewers on Marshall is now directed across Oakton and flows into Weller Creek rather than heading towards River Road. Hopefully, this will relieve flooding not only on Marshall Drive, but also on Pennsylvania, Dover and other streets nearby. The City has also earmarked $125,000 to be used in the 4th and 8th wards that may correct some flooding due to sanitary sewer infiltration problems.

Also important is bridging the "disconnect" from the City we feel in the 8th ward. Our children go to Elk Grove High School (District 214) and learn to swim in the Mt Prospect Park District at RecPlex. I want to see more involvement from residents, and 8th ward businesses along Elmhurst Road in City events, like Taste of Des Plaines, Fall Feast, 4th of July parade, the DP Library, and more.

Funding for a railroad overpass on Algonquin thru grants and casino revenue will not only help safety from police and fire departments; it will help residents with reliable access to the entire city.

I would hold regular ward meetings in order to receive input from my residents regarding issues in our ward, and in our City. Also, I would invite City department heads, the Police Chief, Jim Prandini and Fire Chief, Alan wax to attend the meeting so that residents can know who they can contact in the case of a question and/or problem. I will be available to my residents and will try to answer all questions----if I don't have the answer, I will get it for them.

I would like to build on the Neighborhood Watch Program and add more "block captains" -- these residents could be my eyes and ears in the ward -- I would appreciate their opinions and value the communication between us.