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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.
Office sought: Roselle Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Angela with two sons, Matt and Nathan
Occupation: Senior Specialist for AT&T
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Elmhurst College, 1998 Currently enrolled in MBA program, Strayer University
Civic involvement: AIMS mentoring program St Walter first grade religious education teacher St Walter instructor 7th grade confirmation program President of the local chapter of Toastmasters. Lector and Eucharistic minister at St Walter Church Member of the Knights of Columbus Member of Pioneers organization Co Chairman for Run for the Roses Co Chair for St Walter St Joseph table event
Elected offices held: Roselle Public Library Trustee, 2008-2013 Roselle School District 12, 2009-2013
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Budget. Finance and budgeting is the single most important issue for the village at this time. The 2013 budget is unbalanced in the amount of 56K in overages with the chance that it may increase to 300k. This is unacceptable. Similar to any business or home finances, more money should not be spent than what is being brought in. I strongly believe that this needs to be addressed and corrected.
Key Issue 2
Downtown. The downtown area has been a concern for many years. While there have been changes, there are still many vacancies. I believe the village should work with current landlords in order to attract new businesses. Roselle can be attractive for existing businesses that are currently in Schaumburg or Bloomingdale and may be paying higher tax and rent. Right down the street on Irving, Hanover Park is working on projects to bring in more businesses. The village needs to be more proactive, ensuring that businesses who are considering neighboring communities think about Roselle.
Key Issue 3
Way of life. The lifestyle that makes Roselle unique is being jeopardized. Recently we have seen the elimination of the firework displays. The village's answer to that is to pass what I consider a volunteer tax for residents to contribute in order for the fireworks to continue. I like the effort, but I don't agree on the approach. Last year the summer car show on Main Street was almost cancelled. The show is one of the biggest in the area which brings in crowds to enjoy the cars and downtown. This year's Rose Parade is going to be smaller due to the number of entries being less than past years. There is also talk of the possibility that the Taste of Roselle might be eliminated. National Night Out is suffering from funding and there is a chance it may be dropped or scaled back. These events are ways for the people of Roselle to socialize with others and enjoy what Roselle has to offer. My family and I enjoy attending these events and I believe most families in Roselle do as well. I want to make sure these programs are continued.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have had great success the last 4 years on the District 12 school board and also with the library board. Through these experiences, I have had the opportunity to work as a team and to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers? money. One of the responsibilities I have in my employment is handling the budget for a large department. I am involved in the community in many diverse outlets which has given me a chance to learn about the concerns of the citizens and business's in the area. Therefore, I truly believe I can be a good representative for the village.
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.
I believe Roselle is currently in a building phase. There are many vacant buildings in downtown, along Lake Street, and on the corner of Nerge & Roselle roads. There are also many opportunities for businesses within the industrial complex off Central Avenue. At this time it is important to draw new businesses into the area. While high sales tax can defer growth, I believe Roselle needs every advantage to attract new businesses, so I would recommend leaving the tax rate where it currently is.
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.
Thankfully, I have not heard about any safety concerns in Roselle. The website, Neighborhood Scout, grades Roselle safer then 73% of cities in the US, compared to Bloomingdale that is only 23%. In order to maintain this, I believe it is critical that the Police Department be provided with the necessary manpower, equipment and funding that will enable Roselle to continue being a safe, family orientated village.
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?
It is hard to cut funding on any project or department. In these hard economic times, everyone is struggling. I believe the whole budget needs to be trimmed down so that it balances. Each department has a wish list, but funding everything right now is not possible. I believe in taking steps, year by year addressing funding and sticking to a plan. The expiration of the TIF will help add revenue. However, if Roselle can draw in new businesses, there is opportunity for more. Cutting spending now to balance the budget would enable us to have funds for the future.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
Teamwork is a great way to better the community. As leaders in the community, we need to reach out to get others involved. I would like to see more transparency in what the village is doing which would help the public understand our goals. I would like the village meetings to be recorded and posted online. I would like the opportunity for residents to be able to share their ideas in an available forum. In order to represent the community, we need to be able to hear the citizens.