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.
City: Hoffman Estates
Office sought: Hoffman Estates Village President (4-year Term)
Family: Married to Sally, this April 7th will be celebrating our 40th anniversary, we have two children and four grandchildren.
Occupation: Self Employed Small business owner S.A.L. Travel, a Hoffman Estates based business, as well as owner of K.F.L.P. property management company.
Education: Maine West Harper
Civic involvement: Founding member of Holy Family Parish and co-chair of the social events ministry at its conception. Founding member of the Neighborhood Watch for Northern Hoffman Estates Commissioner on the Hoffman Estates local Fire and Police Board, for over 16 years Volunteer coach for the Hoffman Estates Community Baseball Association, Pop Warner Football league, the Hoffman Estates Athletic Association and the Palatine Baseball Association for almost 20 years. Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce Charter member Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce Government Relations committee member
Elected offices held: Hoffman Estates Trustee 2005 Current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Over 40 years ago and charges were dropped.
Key Issue 1
Refocus our Village budget to rebuild our crumbling streets and infrastructure
Key Issue 2
Bringing accountable management to the Sears Centre Arena
Key Issue 3
Creating a business friendly environment to attract new business, development and good paying local jobs
Which areas of the village are you making it a priority to develop in the next four years and with what type of businesses specifically?
As a small business owner and an active member of the community, I am running for Village President because I see our community literally crumbling before our eyes. The chemistry at Village Hall has to change, and Leadership comes from the top. We need to bring a business centric approach to the Sears Centre Arena We need to develop a long-term comprehensive plan to rebuild our pothole ridden roads we need to create a business friendly environment to help attract new businesses to our community we need to focus on cutting excessive spending so we can provide better services at a lower cost to our residents. In terms of business development, I intend to focus the first two years of my term fixing the issues listed above, as I believe it will take that long to be able to rebuild the reputation of our community. I intend to work to attract business both large and small to our community, as we saw with the Sears EDA, having one large business threaten to leave a community can have a devastating impact we need to work on landing large businesses, while working to ensure we are attracting small businesses that drive the American economy.
Are there changes you would propose regarding the multi-village Fourth of July celebration at the Sears Centre?
First of all it is the Sears Centre Arena, I have been pushing for years it be referred that way so someone does not go looking for a shopping center. A few immediate changes I would address are: The fireworks need to be bigger and better. All participating Police and traffic personal must be better informed as to directions, traffic flow and exiting procedures. Prairie Stone is a circular complex and can be confusing. The Illinois State Police need to be on the Tollway making sure no one stops along the road to view the fireworks.
Is the Sears Centre performing up to residents' expectations? If yes, do you support any changes going forward. If no, what specifically should the village be doing (or stop doing) to improve it?
We need accountable management at the Arena, I believe we need to have a separate audit firm that will give the residents a real picture of exactly what type of revenue and expenses are being generated at the Arena. We must stop looking to land only the biggest name attractions we will not have an Elton John in every weekend. There must be a balance between quantity and quality. We should attract semi-pro sports teams, we should approach mid-level bands we should work to entice flea markets and fairs, youth sports, plays, tournaments, and entertainment. We need volume. I do not think there is any onesilver bullet? solution to making the Arena work, however I do know that what is happening now, is not sustainable. We must realize that we can not compete with the United Center, and we should focus on the niches where we can generate good ticket sales, good food sales, good beer sales, and parking revenue. Not every event can sell out, however if we increase the number of events, we will increase the amount of revenue, making the Arena profitable. Additionally, every time there is a show or event at the Arena, our local businesses see increased foot traffic we should be working to make sure that we can give them even more traffic, generating revenue for both them, their workers and the Village.
Given the delicate balance between the need for revenue and over-taxing local businesses, what is your opinion of the village's present level of local sales taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.
Currently sales taxes are in line with other neighboring communities, however counties that are close to Hoffman Estates adversely impact us we simply cannot compete with our neighbors due to the oppressive Cook County taxes. As Village President, I intend to work to bring new businesses to our community, so we have a wider tax base from which to generate sales tax revenue. While we cannot control the County portion of the sales tax, we can make it less expensive for businesses to operate in Hoffman Estates by rolling back excessive business fees, out of control inspection costs, and ordinances that simply hinder business growth. I believe volume is the answer, more residents, more business, more people in the seats at Sears Centre Arena. I feel the Red Light Cameras are simply another tax on residents and business owners, and our recent Adjudication Court is a deterrent to attracting people, and businesses to our Village.
What are the village's biggest public safety concerns? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.
Our community is generally a pretty safe community; public safety does not seem to be at the forefront of voter's minds. I believe we can work to reconfigure our Fire Department so that the center of our Village has better response times as some residents feel that response times have increased dramatically in recent years. I will work at reinstating Ambulance 22. The other major public safety issue that is confronting residents is the crumbling state of our roads. People pay more attention to missing potholes, and less time paying attention to their driving. Our police cars and other village vehicles receive more wear and tear due to the poor road conditions. I do not believe that our police department can respond to all calls in a safe and timely manner due to the conditions of our roads the lack of road repairs in our community have far reaching implications public safety is simply one more.