Contact information ( * required )
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: West Chicago
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: West Chicago City Council Ward 2 (4-year Term)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Wife Marilyn and we raised 8 children We have 12 grandchildren
Occupation: Retired- Former Instructor in mathematics
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mathematic and Science from Elmhurst College Master of Science from Northern Illinois Univ. Aditional Work in Mathematic at DePaul Univ.
Civic involvement: West Chicago Lions Club 4 The People club Knights of Columbus -1555 Michael Kwasman Foundation West Chicgo Community Prayer Breakfast Committee
Elected offices held: Alderman - City of West Chicago 1985-1993 Civil Service Commissioner 1993-95 City Treasurer to Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
Service to the residents such as returning telephone calls, aiding in solving citizen - city problems. Being available to the residents, meeting them on a regular basis. Being sure that everyone is treated fairly.
Key Issue 2
Resurfacing the streets in Ward 2, especially the streets west of Joliet St. In some of the streets the holes are deep enough to break an ankle when walking on the street. Make a plan to resurface the streets every so many years depending on the usage.
Key Issue 3
Taxes and attracting new business. These two issues go hand in hand. When one examines the tax rate and the levy you will find while the real estate taxes have stayed steady the amount from sales taxes has increased. The more business that we can attract the less we have to depend on property taxes.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A wide experience in local government both as a Park Commissioner, Alderman and City Treasurer. I have met with developers and with the former Mayor Mike Kwasman, helped put together packages that brought new development and new merchants into town. In most cases they have been successful. We as West Chicago must progress and not stand still or it will impact our financial future.
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.
West Chicago's sales tax is the lowest in the area $ .0775 or 7.75 cents while St. Charles is 8.00 cents. We raised the sales tax 1/4 of a cent for a specific improvement to the city, replacing all the old water meters at no cost to the resident and businesses. This improvement will allow the city to collect meter reading electronically without physically having to read them. A long term cost saving.
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.
Several years ago we increased the West Chicago Police Dept. to have 50 sworn officers. With this improvement the crime rate has fallen for the last three years. The residents in town have had very few complaints about the service of the Department. Some of my neighbors have moved to West Chicago because they feel safe living here. This is not an isolated case.
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?
Prior to the economic downturn, the city with my input as treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee took several actions to put the city in a better position to weather the downturn. The first was to pay off the sewer bonds that were keeping the rate artificially high. The money in the escrow account was more than sufficient to call the bonds. Secondly, the city put a purchasing freeze on any non essential purchases for a two year period. Third: One of the actions was not filling a vacant position unless they were essential. And finally the city set up a fund to be used if the economy went down. Well it did but we were in a position to weather the bad economic times. As Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee I was in the position to oversee these actions. We had no lay-off; we had balanced budgets, no service cuts and tax the rate went down.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
To reestablish a city beautication program. This should include all the governmental organizations and especially the service clubs and other groups such as the home owners associations. This would have a profound effect on the community. It did in the 1990's and it should be successful again.