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Office sought: Roselle Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Son, Nicholas, Freshman at Miami of Ohio
Occupation: Independent Financial Advisor, LPL Financial
Education: BA - Business, Michigan State University, 1988 MBA - Finance, Loyola University Chicago, 1995
Civic involvement: Knights of Columbus, St. Walter Parish, Roselle - Chairman, Annual Christmas Tree Sale, 10 years Roselle Chamber of Commerce, Past President 2010 & 2011 Planning & Zoning Commission, 2001-2005 Village Trustee, Roselle, 2005 - Present
Elected offices held: Village Trustee, Roselle, 2005 - Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Fiscal Sustainability. As part of the Finance Planning Sub-Committee for the past two years, along with Trustee Maglio, we have been working systematically to lower costs and create greater financial efficiencies, both by cost cutting and changes in operations. We are currently in the process of analyzing each department to pin point even more ways to be efficient. We were instrumental in introducing a two-tier pay scale into our operations, and have those agreements with 2 out of 3 bargaining units. I hope to continue on this committee as we next tackle revenue needs and sources.
Key Issue 2
Economic Development within the community. Roselle is "Land-locked" and so we are working on our comprehensive plan to position Roselle for success not only in the next couple of years, but more importantly for the next 10, 20 and 50 years! We have to do all of this within the confines of the properties we have and optimize the opportunities they present. I am excited about those opportunities, but also believe we need to be cautious not to try and do too many things at once. We have and will continue to work with businesses in town so that we all can continue to prosper.
Key Issue 3
Municipal consolidation opportunities. While this may not be a Roselle specific issue, I believe we have been a leader on discussing this issue and trying to get other taxing bodies involved. We all need to work at the overwhelming overlap in Government today. Illinois has over 6000 taxing bodies, by far the most of any state. It may explain part of the reason our state is in the worst financial shape. It is going to take a large number of municipal, township, county, various other taxing districts(Parks, Libraries, Schools, etc) to come to the table and become more tax efficient. We can no longer afford to have all these different entities, and all of the administration that goes along with it. It is simply inefficient and financially unsustainable!
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
The beauty of being one of three at-large trustees up for re-election is that I believe I bring a certain skill set that compliments the other members of our board. While I have many strengths, I also know there are areas where my colleagues are stronger. On those I listen and make an educated decision. That's one of the things that make me one of the best candidates for re-election. I have been very involved in the community for a number of years and I care for it dearly, as I'm sure we all do. I would just like to continue the positive things we have done so far over the next four years. I have been instrumental in many projects we have in the Village, and one of the most important to continue is the Emerald Ash Borer treatment. According to a study on what various governments are doing in combating the destructive bug, Roselle is not only doing the right thing, but is a leader that other communities are now following. Saving the trees helps with storm water issues, lowers energy costs by providing shade and helps property values for all of our residents.
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.
Well, we are a Non-Home-Rule community, so our ability to impose many types of sales tax is not permitted. That is why all the work we have done so far on the Finance Planning Sub-Committee is so important. All taxing bodies need to be cognizant of the fact that, unlike Washington and Springfield, we can't continue to tax people to death. This State is in big trouble and if we tax our businesses to death, they will not only continue to move out of the state, the pace will increase. So, are our taxes too high or too low? That's the next area for the Finance Planning committee to analyze, and for the board to determine.
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.
This is an interesting question, because most people discuss with me issues, like pensions and salaries, not public safety issues. I think our residents are comfortable with the level of service we provide. What we need to address, and have been addressing as discussed above, is the fact that each and every department needs to be run at 100% efficiency. One of the recommendations that came out of our Finance committee was to convert a surplus pickup truck in Pubic Works into an EMT Follow vehicle for our ambulance calls. This not only makes sense, not sending out a Million Dollar fire truck to follow an ambulance, but it saves money in many ways! Wear and tear on a very expensive piece of equipment allowing for a longer use, less wear on our village streets, frees up the fire trucks for bigger emergencies, and we use less fuel. So again, I think we are providing great service, we just need to fine tune it!
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?
We have taken budget with a projected $1.2 Million deficit two years ago to a projected $55,000 deficit this year. While everyone on the board is not happy that we have any deficit, we are also mandated by State statute to provide a number of services and fund our pensions. While our work isn't done, we are in a far better position today than we were a few years ago, and for that I stand proud. Since we are already in the midst of this multi-year Finance project, I think we need to continue our work to make solid, long-term decisions so our budgets continue to be sustainable.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
While the community isn't talking about it yet, we have been discussing the opportunity that the expanded Elgin-O'Hare Expressway will bring to the community. Not only along the EOE itself, but the opportunity I believe will be brought to the Irving Park corridor as people choose to skip the tolls and go back to driving through town. I think it will be a double positive for Roselle.