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updated: 3/31/2011 11:53 PM

Mayoral candidates pitch their strategies for Rolling Meadows

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  • Tom Rooney

      Tom Rooney

  • Jonathan Trapani

      Jonathan Trapani

 
 

Sometimes good is good enough.

In a standing-room-only forum, mayoral candidates took a pragmatic approach to solutions in today's troubled economy: Keep the levels of service as they are without an increase in costs to Rolling Meadows' residents.

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Mayoral candidates Tom Rooney and Jonathan Trapani pitched their strategies to residents Thursday at a forum co-hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area and the Rolling Meadows Library.

The candidates answered written questions through a moderator on topics like how the candidates would help fill the former Dominick's grocery store, how they would handle union negotiations, if they would support privatization of city services and how they would help get the city's budget back in line.

Rooney said he would strive to end the process of transferring money from one fund to another to create the appearance of a balanced budget; Trapani agreed that while the budget is balanced, he would prefer a "better balance" by bringing in new businesses.

Trapani said the city must be more proactive with tax incentives to attract businesses in places such as the former Dominick's on Kirchoff Road. Rooney said there's little the city can do until the economy turns around, but he noted alternatives like making sure the city was not an obstacle for businesses.

Resident Richard Rehner said he was pleased that the candidates were discussing economic development downtown, noting it as his main concern for the city. He hoped the candidates would prioritize the filling of the former Dominick's.

"I think it's on their minds. I'm not sure if either have a solid direction or solution but they agree they have a problem," Rehner said.

Both mayoral candidates agreed that the city's police, fire and public works services should stay as is, noting that the level of service is a point of pride in the city. Trapani and Rooney noted that the major issue facing the city today is how to keep the levels of service expected by residents without decreasing resources or increasing taxes.

The forum will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Monday on the city's public access channel.

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