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updated: 3/15/2013 9:45 AM

John Krummen: Candidate Profile

Naperville City Council (2-year Terms) (Democrat)

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  • John Krummen, running for Naperville City Council (2-year Terms)

    John Krummen, running for Naperville City Council (2-year Terms)




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: Naperville


Office sought: Naperville City Council (2-year Terms)

Age: 48


Occupation: I am an independent engineering consultant, working with a variety of companies, including multiple Fortune 500 companies. My first job out of college was driving corvettes around the GM Proving Grounds (which I would have done for free!). I have published multiple technical papers on advanced engineering topics, and am a patent-holding engineer. I am also a technical project manager, having installed capital equipment at nuclear facilities.

In addition, I am an adjunct professor of graduate business school at multiple area universities, including Benedictine University and North Central College. I have taught over 40 courses, including international economics, finance, accounting, and leadership to both traditional and adult students.

Education: I earned a BSME and an MSME from the University of Cincinnati in 1987 and 1989.

I earned an MBA from Indiana University in 2004

I earned the PMP (Professional Project Management) certification from the Project Management Institute in 2006

Civic involvement: Chairman of the Public Utility Advisory Board (Mayoral appointment)

Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Forum

Associate Director of the Naperville Area Home Owners Confederation

City of Naperville Smart Grid Ambassador

Knight of Columbus-Youth Minister

Member of the Samaritan Network (similar, but not affiliated with, Habitat for Humanity)

Naperville Exchange Club, rookie of the year, 2012

Election Judge Supervisor

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: None

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Economic Growth

Naperville has grown dramatically over the past couple of decades, and the city and residents have done well to manage this growth. Some will say that Naperville is a "big small town," while others a "small big town." Both are correct and it is this balance, along with its great people, that make Naperville the wonderful place it is. Economic growth in the past has mostly been generated by the growth in housing. However, the housing markets are no longer the economic engine they have been in the past. Future economic growth will now be based on area business growth. Most business growth will come from technological innovative companies. I am patent-holding engineer, as well as a professor of economics. This powerful combination will add to the city's deep understanding of financial feasibility and the mechanics of a viable business community.

Key Issue 2

Reducing City Costs-Taxes

Even before the economic downturn, taxes were high everywhere. The current council and city manager have done well to reduce costs. They have significantly reduced the city work force while maintaining superior city services. Although there are some signals of economic growth, we must strive to keep costs contained. As a cost-conscious engineer, I have decades of professional experience in finding and removing hidden costs. Furthermore, as a project management professional, my experience will enhance the efficiency of the city's budgeting and tax review process.

Key Issue 3

Preserving Naperville's small town, friendly spirit.

I moved to Naperville over eight years ago as a widowed father of two middle school boys. I was instantly welcomed by the community through the great neighbors, great schools, youth sports, and the religious communities. All of these organizations have had an integral role in helping me raise my boys. My boys would not have become the men they are, if Naperville wasn't the community it is. As a result I will be forever indebted to the city. I want to ensure that this community endures not only for us but for generations to come. I believe economic growth is essential for a sustainable Naperville, but only as it can be balanced with maintaining our essential community spirit.

Questions & Answers

There are increasing concerns about safety in downtown Naperville, especially on weekend nights. Is the city doing enough to promote downtown safety and, if not, what other steps should it take?

There is a famous saying in the automotive industry -- you can never have enough horsepower, brakes, or safety. As a community we must never become complacent when it comes to ensuring the safety of our residents. On multiple occasions, I've ridden along with police officers in downtown and other parts of the city. I was able to witness first-hand the difficult job that the police carry out in the most professional manner. The new liquor license protocols, is a good first step in increasing safety in Naperville. The police have also been proactive in working with bar and restaurant owners in improving the education of wait staff, as well as increasing communication between bars. One of the troubling trends is many in the late night crowd have been drinking before entering a bar. This limits the ability of serving staff to gauge how many drinks a person may have consumed. It's difficult to judge when someone needs to be "cut off." The police, and other civic leaders are working on many solutions, and I believe I will be a highly-valued team member in getting to core issues of the problem, identifying possible solutions, and then ensuring effective implementation.

What is your vision for the continued development of downtown? Are there types of businesses you would like to see in the central business district or other parts of the city?

The current economic downturn has changed the fabric of business downtown. Small retail shops and restaurants have been replaced with bars. The current downtown has 38 bars. Professional money managers tell us to diversify our investments. This is also true regarding the makeup and professional backgrounds of our city council. It is every bit as true for the commercial makeup of downtown. I would like to see greater commercial diversity, including more professional offices, more locally-owned retail shopping, and more restaurants in downtown. As a newly-elected city councilman, I will work with the Naperville Development Partnership, the Downtown Alliance, business owners, public officials, and residents to ensure commercial diversity in the downtown area.

Has Naperville's image gotten better or worse over the past four years? What are two things the city needs to do better?

Over the years Naperville has continued to be a great place to live. Naperville has great schools, great community spirit, outstanding citizens, and a vibrant commercial sector. I am continuously amazed at the number and quality of citizens who volunteer and give of their time to lend a hand and make Naperville a great place to live.

But most importantly, we must also understand the tremendous pressure of children face every day. As I stated earlier, safety is and should always be our top priority. Our community has no higher priority than to ensure the safety of our children

Additionally, we cannot rest on our laurels; there is still much work to be done. A great community, in order to stay a great community, must adjust to the changing times. Naperville's economy is highly focused on the housing market. This was the proper course 10 to 15 years ago. Now Naperville must pivot toward attracting forward-thinking technologically-based companies in order to provide sustainable employment for our residents. Economic growth is based on technological innovation. As a patent-holding engineer, as an economics professor, I bring an understanding of both in order to keep Naperville a great place to live.

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 discussed this in a previous question, but would like to re-iterate it here. The city of Naperville, like any other municipality, has both a capital budget and an operating budget. The city does not manufacture anything; the city provides services such as police, fire, and street services. Focusing on the capital budget, a piece of fire equipment may cost as much as $1,000,000. The city of Naperville has created a unique specification for this piece of equipment and will generally purchase it as a one-off. The city sends the specification out for quotes and receives bids from the manufactures.

The cities of Warrenville, Lisle, Bolingbrook, and Aurora do the same. If we could collaborate on our equipment specifications, then when the city looks for quotes, instead of one piece of equipment, the bid is for 2, 3 or even 4 pieces of equipment. Everyone knows when you buy more, the price goes down. This could save 10% on a piece of fire equipment, representing a $100,000 in savings. Savings realized by just exploring processes, asking questions, and thinking creatively. This money could then be moved from the capital budget into the operations budget, and be used to hire more firefighters, or more police.

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

I believe all levels of government have lost touch with the people. A new kind of leadership is needed. Not leadership that simply fights for the sake of fighting and winning political points. I have walked over half of the neighborhoods of Naperville, and have heard a common theme. The people are searching for leadership that listens, leadership that solves multi-faceted problems with multi-faceted solutions.

I have a proven track record as Chairman of the Public Utility Advisory Board and other civic organizations of gathering people together. I have a proven track record of creating collaborative solutions. It all starts with listening, respectfully. A recent evaluation by an MBA student stated, "Professor Krummen's teaching style and his approach to listening made me think beyond the surface of the subject being discussed."