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.
Office sought: Warrenville City Council Ward 2 (4-year Term)
Family: Married, three children, two grandchildren
Occupation: Partner, StraightForward Communications Inc. Former Public Affairs Director, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Education: BA, Mass Communications, Denver University, 1974 MS, Outdoor recreation Resource Management, George Williams College/Aurora University, 1978
Civic involvement: Friends of Warrenville Parks Board Member Warrenville Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (City Council liaison) FORWARD (Fighting Obesity Reaching healthy Weight Density Among Residents of DuPage) Advisory Board Member
Elected offices held: City of Warrenville, Alderman Ward 2, Two terms
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
I take great pride in having helped to establish the financial stability and long term-plans for the City of Warrenville. The budget process is transparent and is produced and approved on-time with a balance between revenues and operational expenditures. This "pay as you go" strategy ensures that no debt burden accumulates or is passed along into the future. The visionary strategic plan adds growth and services that are desirable and expected by residents.
Key Issue 2
I place a strong emphasis on communication efforts that will keep Warrenville's residents, employees, volunteers, regional and local elected officials and media representatives informed about all the important City actions, services, policies, processes and events. Transparent and timely information must be available through the City's website, publications, emails and news releases. Public participation meetings, person to person interactions and citizen surveys establish feedback and clear communications on issues.
Key Issue 3
During my terms as alderman I have been dedicated to making the City of Warrenville safe and enjoyable for all residents. The city needs to be safeguarded from the impacts of stormwater and flooding. At the same time it is important to recognize that the West Branch of the DuPage River is a natural resource treasure and needs preservation and restoration action to protect the beautiful habitats in order that people can enjoy the river's recreational, educational and relaxation opportunities.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My dedication and belief to provide public service motivates me to provide leadership and make decisions that benefits Warrenville. As an experienced elected official of eight years and a former professional who worked as Public Affairs Director for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County I have a thorough understanding of government operations, fiscal management, communications and planning processes. As alderman the combination of a heartfelt desire to serve, leadership experience and professional skills provide me with the knowledge and keen vision to make good decisions for the community and on behalf of the people I serve.
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.
Residents give high satisfaction ratings for the services and programs the City provides. With that, the sales tax is slightly higher than what most people like or expect to pay. In this day of raised expectations these revenues generate support for the community's growth in the right places and provide the high quality public services that residents expect and demand.
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.
Pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers share concerns about safety. Education is always a key component in order to build awareness and to teach people how to react and respond to each other's presence. Planning and infrastructure improvements assist in providing safe transport and access for each user group. Well marked pathway crosswalks and road intersections, count down traffic signals for pedestrians, clear sight lines and best management practices improve situations where there is a high risk of accidents. Finally, enforcement and compliance with the regulations is necessary when people intentionally violate the rules and put themselves or others at risk by their behavior.
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?
The City's officials and staff must be committed to moving to energy efficiency and cost saving strategies. Through the investigation of alternative energy sources and by examining the consumption of environmental and energy resources the City may reduce costs. Reducing liability exposures and legal costs that are due to extensive and expensive litigation must also be a high priority. Finally when the City's comprehensive budget is developed it must be combined with long-term strategic objectives and a resourceful staff in order to ensure the necessary financial support without cost overruns or budgetary shortfalls. Pro-active planning can result in the allocation of grant funds for equipment and capital projects that defray the direct costs to the City and its residents.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The City of Warrenville has a great network of trails and pedestrian paths. It has the second most miles of trails per capita in DuPage County. Each year more people utilize the paths and trails as non-motorized transportation and recreation routes. The continued development and planning of safe trails systems for bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians is a priority that should be supported and energized with adequate funding for planning and development, maintenance and strategic land acquisition. Creating a Strategic Plan that promotes the trails and paths would benefit local businesses and further enhance Warrenville as a great place to live and play.