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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.
City: Oakbrook Terrace
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Oakbrook Terrace City Council Ward 1 (4-year Term)
Family: Married for 26 years to Lori; three daughters: Kelly, 25 (Audiologist); Samantha, 24 (high school special education teacher); Carly, 21 (Public Relations major at Southern Illinois University), and three boxers
Occupation: Aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for a financial and real estate investment company
Education: Associates Degree in Aviation Maintenance and Management, Lewis University, 1983 FAA licensed aircraft mechanic and commercial pilot
Civic involvement: I have been a volunteer for the City of Oakbrook Terrace for 18 years. When the city had a youth center, I helped with outings. I helped renovate Kreml Park and I have volunteered my time at all city special events. I also volunteer as photographer for the city. I was on the Butterfield Pard District Swim Team Parent Board for 15 years and spent 5 years as Board President. My wife and I volunteer at Southern Illinois University.
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
I want to make sure the residents are as informed as possible on key city issues. In all my years in the City, I have never been approached by a city official about my thoughts or concerns on issues. There have been many City projects that the residents should have been more informed. I understand that the council meetings are open to the public and residents can and should inform themselves, but as Alderman, you are a voice of the residents. I would make a honest effort to reach out into the community and get as much input as possible from the residents on as many issues.
Key Issue 2
I think we need to always move forward in improving our neighborhood. It should always be better tomorrow than yesterday. We are going in the right direction by installing curbs and lighting. We have a unique city, with a small resident base and large business base, and there are many people that walk our streets and path during the day to take a break from their offices. I want them to be impressed with what they see. Those who like what they see may be future homeowners and neighbors. Making Oakbrook Terrace a beautiful and desirable area will have a positive impact on home values and City revenue.
Key Issue 3
Our city must remain fiscally responsible. City debt must be as low as possible. There are many municipalities in the suburbs that have made grave errors in borrowing for projects that have never had the possibility of getting that money back. These projects were doomed from day one. The city must remain a governing body and not a real estate speculator. A municipality should never gamble with the taxpayers' money. That should be left for experts with money from investors that know the risks involved.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have a passion for our City, I have lived here since 1974. I have a good understanding on where our City is and where it needs to go. If elected, I would obviously have plenty to learn. We have an experienced City Council and I hope to have the opportunity to learn from them. My goal is learn every day. Always getting better from day to day and year to year. We all come in inexperienced into city government, but with my involvement in the City in the past 18 years, I believe I can make a positive impact by working with the existing council members and citizens in our community. I have known most of our councilmen for many years and feel I can work with them effectively.
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 the sales tax should not go up, our economy is at a fragile point. Taxpayers just lost 2 percent of their paycheck , we were hit with a state tax increase last year that did nothing to improve out states fiscal health, our water rates have increased again. We must look long and hard at spending . I don't believe that a higher tax is the answer. When taxes ( sales, user, income)are too high, you will actually see a decline in revenue because the comsumer will just stop spending. I personally make an effort to avoid shopping in surrounding towns that I feel charge excessive sales tax. Everyone has a budget you make tough choices to stretch the dollar.
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.
We have a very safe neighborhood. Talking with neighbors, the one thing we would like to see reduced is through traffic and speeding reduced on MacArthur Dr and Monterey Av. During the morning hours and evening rush hours, we have a large amount of both in our city. The heavy traffic on both 22nd street and Rt 83 is major reason. The Oakbrook Terrace Police does a great job overall. A greater police presence on those streets during peak traffic times would reduce the temptation for speeding and through traffic. the residents I spoke with would also like to see police patroling our streets with greater frequency. The other concern is the lack of street lights in the neighborhood. Street lights are in the works and we all are looking forward to seeing them installed.
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?
I believe city beautification should receive more resources. We have many visitors in come through the seven hotels in Oakbrook Terrace. Our guests should be treated to a first class city. Perhaps some money can be saved by limiting the use of outside consultants. Fees can add up pretty quickly. We can do much of the work in house by using public works.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I would like to see the walking path from Terrace View Park to Drennon Park receive more attention from Public works. The creek becomes overgrown quickly with weeds, becomes a haven for Mosquitos and other undesirable wildlife and just looks unkept. I spoke with residents that live along the path and all agree they would like to see the path receive regular maintenance and beautification. The path is used by many people during the year. If the creek received landscaping improvements and clearing of weeds and brush, water flow would improve during wet periods and would not wash into Terrace View Lake. If the improvements were made over time, it would have less impact on the overall budget.