Candidates vying for three seats on the Rolling Meadows City Council made their case at a forum Thursday night for why they should get the vote in Tuesday's election.
Ward 3 hopeful Rodney Blane, a former Rolling Meadows city department head, is hoping to unseat Alderman Larry Buske. Blane promised residents that he would be informed, be accessible, work to restore pride in the city and promote fiscal responsibility. Buske, citing his eight years of service to the 3rd Ward and 25 years of volunteer work in the community, promised to support the needs of the community, not the "wants" or "wish lists."
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Both cited the poor economy as the major issue affecting the city. Buske hopes to build up revenue streams to improve the city's budget, noting that the council has already cut back on "frills" and ordered layoffs without cutting services. Blane said he would look to create efficiencies and evaluate all proposals with cost-benefit analysis.
In Ward 5, candidates Robert Banger and Jon Bisesi agreed that to balance the city budget, they would turn to residents to find out what they thought was fair.
"I want to put things up for (resident) consideration," Banger said. "We're going to want to hear from you folks."
Bisesi said he'd want to look at each line in the budget and to poll residents to see what's important to them.
Ward 7 incumbent Jim Larsen is running against Jim Suchecki and Rudy Balek. Larsen focused on prioritizing between the "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves" as a city, pointing to the fact that no one wants services cut but the money must come from somewhere. Larsen said that he thinks the economy is turning the corner, adding that his hope is to increase tax flow from sources other than residents.
Suchecki said the development of the downtown is not an issue now because people aren't moving, suggesting the council find a way to lower the tax burden without changing services to "bring the pride back" to the city.
Balek did not attend the forum.
Ward 1 candidate Mike Cannon is running unopposed in Tuesday's election. Cannon was present but did not participate in the forum, which was co-hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area and the Rolling Meadows Library
The forum will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Monday on the city's public access channel, and a copy will be available at the library Saturday.