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: Bensenville Village President (4-year Term)
Family: Married 42 years , wife Concetta , 1 surviving son Joseph
Occupation: Small business owner Bean Express Coffee
Education: Avviamento Commerciale Capurso, Italy 2 years College in Italy Took night classes at Lakeview High School, Chicago
Civic involvement: Bensenville Wooddale Franklin Park Kiwanis President Friends of Handicapped Children Chicago, Board of Directors Bensenville Chamber of Commerce Director and Past President St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Bensenville, Member
Elected offices held: Bensenville Trustee 2009 Present Bensenville Fire Protection Dist #2 - 2007-2009
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No the only time I have ever been fingerprinted was the day I took my Oath of Citizenship to become an American Citizen
Key Issue 1
Curb unnecessary spending
Key Issue 2
Reduce the number of outside consultants and contractors
Key Issue 3
Bring upper management salaries in line with Villages similar to ours
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
As someone who has had the opportunity to live the American dream, I understand that hard work, commitment to excellence, and a strong work ethic makes most anything possible. I will serve as a fulltime Mayor of Bensenville, and will be able to bring my business experience to attract economic development and the good paying jobs that come with this development. Bensenville is at a cross roads both literally and figuratively. With the western access now a reality, we need to have leadership that is committed to putting Bensenville First, I will use all resources available to me to ensure this project ushers in a new era of prosperity for Bensenville.
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.
Currently the taxes and fees are excessive. I believe that one reason is the out of control salaries paid to upper management there is no compelling argument anyone can make to me that justifies a $300,000+ per year Village Manger. Under the current Mayor, our Village has hired an obscene amount of outside contractors and consultants this has cost our families millions of dollars. Finally, I believe that the lack of new businesses moving to Bensenville has resulted in our families shouldering a higher burden to keep the same level of services. As a full time Mayor, we will be able to cut these excessive salaries, dump outside consultants, and proactively attract new businesses - allowing us to reduce the heavy tax burden our residents are currently forced to bear.
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.
Response Times residents feel as though our police response times have risen, which endangers our families Gangs and Drugs Currently, Mayor Soto has not proactively worked to build a successful regional police presence to combat the gangs and drugs that are coming to our area from Chicago. Openness Many residents feel as though our officers are not part of the community, I intend to engage our officers so that they are more present, visible and approachable in our community
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?
Reduce the Village Manager Salary Currently the compensation is over $290,000 per year Renegotiate the contract with the Rory Group (lobbyist) currently costing Bensenville families over $120,000 per year Perform a technology audit Currently implementation of our Munis System has cost over $1,000,000 to date (currently this system is not working, and is still being implemented) Eliminate Village credit cards for all employees, which will eliminate abuses, such as meals and drinks for Village staff Cooperate with the Bensenville Fire Protection district to eliminate outside contractors performing inspections on property that the FPD is more than capable of performing. Successfully develop the Legends Property Perform a utility audit for all utilities phone, internet etc. We need to invest more money in economic development, which will have long term benefits
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I have a plan that will allow Bensenville to become one of the first communities in the country to provide Village wide wifi /wimax . We can provide such a benefit without using tax dollars as well.