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: Naperville City Council (2-year Terms)
Family: Married to wife, Kimberly. One child, Charlotte.
Occupation: Attorney. President of The Coyne Law Firm, P.C.
Education: Bachelor of Business Adminsitration, The University of Iowa Juris Doctor, The DePaul College of Law LL.M., Advanced Law Degree, The John Marshall Law School
Civic involvement: Naperville Chamber of Commerce 2000 to Present Naperville Jaycees 2000 to Present Naperville Last Fling 2000 to Present, Last Fling Executive Committee 2003 to 2006 Republican Precinct Committeeman, Lisle Township 86
Elected offices held: Ive never held elective office but I have held appointed municipal positions. Commissioner, City of Naperville Fair Housing Commission, 2006 to 2009 (Past Chairman) Commissioner, City of Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission (2011 to Present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Economic Development. I am concerned that the State of Illinois' grave fiscal problems will ultimately prevent Naperville from continuing on as the great city that is today. I believe we set Naperville on a path toward long term, sustained success by encouraging economic development and facilitating business growth. Through economic development, we broaden and diversity our tax base. We create jobs and opportunities for our kids. We increase our level of security from problems caused, or ignored, in Springfield. If elected, I will be an unreletting pro-business voice on our council.
Key Issue 2
Eliminate Debt. Naperville's pensions are not adequately funded. I want to see Naperville become an example for the rest of our State when it comes to debt reduction, controlled spending, and budgeting. I believe its shameful that so many of our elected officals continue to place impossible levels of debt on our children. If elected, I will fight against borrowing and demand that our City live within its means.
Key Issue 3
Resident Safety. Our downtown is the crown jewel of our City. In recent years, it has began to lose its reputation as being a safe place, at least at night. Persistant late night drinking related problems are ruining our reputation and making residents feel unsafe (both of which also hurt our downtown businesses). Bars, and their patrons, should be held to a high standard. If a bar cannot run its operations in a safe manner, they simply shouldnt be allowed to operate.
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?
I dont believe the City has done enough on this issue. I believe bars need to police themselves. Through means such as increased security and proper staffing to the type of music played to the drink specials offered, bars have numerous ways in which to reduce the number of overserved patrons coming in and out of their establishments. Residents shouldnt have to pay for a bar's poor security measures and/or planning by being forced to pay for more and more police protection downtown. The bars themselves should carry the financial burden of their own business activities, not the taxpayer.
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?
Our downtown should be a dynamic place that attracts new business. As a member of Naperville's Planning and Zoning Commission, I was proud to vote for the Water Street development as (1) I believe it will be tremendous for our downtown businesses and (2) the hotel will add an amenity to the downtown which I believe is greatly needed. I would like to see more and more retail because retail generates sales taxes and retailers build upon one another. As one retailer succeeds, often so does another due to increased visibility and customer traffic. I want our commercial areas to generate sales taxes and jobs. The more taxes they generate, the less taxes that will be needed from residents. The more jobs they generate, the more options our kids will have in the future.
Has Naperville's image gotten better or worse over the past four years? What are two things the city needs to do better?
Naperville still has a great reputation. However, I believe it could be improved upon in two ways. One, as discussed above, the downtown's reputation as being safe can never be jeoparidzed. We need to keep pressure on bars to control their patrons and improve their operations internally. Secondly, Naperville has to have a reputation as being a place in which businesses will be welcomed. If a business is considering making the expensive decision to invest in our City, we need to better communciate concerns about the development at the early stages of the approval process. When speaking from the dais, I also believe its important to be respectful to those hoping to bring business to our City. We should want development and the jobs and tax revenue it brings. If we are viewed as being a City that is too difficult to work with, most developers will find no shortage of other cities fighting for their business.
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 would prioritize two items on future budgets. One, I would focus on reducing unfunded pension liability and move away from defined benefit pensions to plans more in line with those found in the private sector (such 401k plans). Secondly we need to focus, not just on cutting costs, but also on raising revenue...namely sales tax revenue. Through economic development and business growth, we improve our balance sheet, have the ability to maintain high levels of City services, and better insulate ourselves from our State's larger problems. Doing what we can to build a business community that is floursihing and growing is the best way to improve upon our city's financial position.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I believe the City Council, planning staff, and Planning and Zoning Commission should sit in a room and discuss many of the questions raised in this questionaire...namely where do we see our downtown in future years. Having developments receive broad support from city staff and the Planning Commission, yet still fail at the City Council level, leads to an approval proces that is uncertain and unpredicatable. Ideally we are not sending inconsistant messages to our businesses and residents as to whether or not a development is desired by our City. Naperville should present an organized, unified front to those that hope to do business with our city. We should all be on the same page.