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updated: 2/22/2013 6:32 PM

John Heidelmeier: Candidate Profile

Villa Park Village President (4-year Term) (Independent)

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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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Villa Park


Office sought: Villa Park Village President (4-year Term)

Age: 50

Family: Married, adult children

Occupation: Retired Police Chief

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Lions Club

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Innovative economic development: As Village President, I will be the main spokesperson of Villa Park to the business community. I will champion innovative methods that will attract business developers and retain current business owners.

Key Issue 2

Public Safety: Safe neighborhoods and streets are what make a community whole and ensure future growth. If the Village is not safe, then residential and economic development will be slow at best. My career in law enforcement, from Patrolman to Police Chief, gives me a unique skill set that is needed to ensure that our community not only effectively reacts to crime but is proactive in preventing it. I am an ardent supporter of the Crime-Free Housing Program which holds landlords responsible for their tenants and tenants responsible to their neighbors. I have been trained as an instructor in the Crime-Free Housing Program and will spearhead this revenue neutral program to full fruition within the Village. Thankfully, State Senator Tom Cullerton recently sponsored Senate Bill # 1155 that would allow non-home rule municipalities like Villa Park to implement a full blown crime free program. I will gladly help him in whatever way possible to ensure this bill becomes law.

Key Issue 3

Responsive & Efficient Government: The key to responsive government is open communication between elected officials, staff and the community. I will lead by example and insist that Village Hall clearly and fully communicates with the public and business community. This will be achieved by utilizing the latest technology and resources so residents can easily access information about Villa Park's government. But primarily it will be done one resident and one business owner/operator at time. I am retired and have plenty of time to talk with the people of Villa Park and seek out their ideas. Government's primary role is to serve the residents and do so as efficiently as possible. There is no reason why Villa Park's local government should not be the best in the State. It simply takes hard work and proven leadership. With almost three decades in public service and particularly in my role as Police Chief, I have an insight that few others possess. He will make sure that services are streamlined and any redundancies are removed from government operations. This will be done without disruption to all vital services. Under my leadership, common sense should and will prevail in all areas of our local government.

Questions & Answers

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

Villa Park needs a Village President who will put people before politics. We need someone who has demonstrated the ability to make positive, common sense changes. We need someone who will listen to all opinions in order to make the best possible decisions. Together, we can develop a shared pool of ideas that will help us tackle even our most difficult challenges. We need someone who will put Villa Park first. I humbly submit that I am that person.

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.

It's just fine. By employing innovative economic development practices we will attract new local businesses and encourage expansion of existing business which of course will result in higher revenues and thus an improved quality of life for the citizens of Villa Park.

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.

Although they are concerned with the safety of the entire Village, the majority of my friends and neighbors are primarily concerned on public safety in and around the Villa Park Train Depot and in some of our multifamily rental communities. With over 28 years of law enforcement experience, I am especially posed to address these concerns.

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?

Reduce legal fees. We spend a great deal on a wide array of lawyers. Part-Time police budget. Bolstering the part-time police portion of the budget would allow us to have a cost effective way to to increase both public and officer safety.

What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

Place a police substation/resource center in the Train Depot neighborhood.