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updated: 2/22/2013 6:29 PM

Robert Giurato: Candidate Profile

Des Plaines City Council Ward 1 (4-year Term) (Independent)

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  • Robert Giurato, running for Des Plaines City Council Ward 1 (4-year Term)

    Robert Giurato, running for Des Plaines City Council Ward 1 (4-year Term)




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: Des Plaines

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Des Plaines City Council Ward 1 (4-year Term)

Age: 64

Family: Married for 40 years, three children, five grandchildren

Occupation: Civil Engineer

Education: BS Civil Engineering U of Illinois at Urbana 1971

Civic involvement: None

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The flooding in the Ward. It is more than just the cost of periodic flooding. People who refinance are required to comply with the revised flooding elevations of several years ago even though they have never flooded. The costs are expensive for these homeowners. They wonder why they need the coverage. I will work with the various agencies to finish flood control projects that were never completed. It is time to revisit the possibility of removal of the dam just south of Miner Street on the Des Plaines River

Key Issue 2

The revitalization of Metropolitan Square shopping center. I will work with the new management to help bring new tenants to the level that City government involvement is allowed. I have been in the private sector for almost 40 years and the bringing in of new businesses and the sustaining of existing ones is critical to the City's future.

Key Issue 3

A relative of mine who use to live on Brown Street complained to me about gang involvement in Menominee Park. I will work with police to make sure police coverage is adequate throughout the ward.

Questions & Answers

There's been talk about using casino revenue to update the city's infrastructure. Where is that money most urgently needed?

Water and sewer upgrading. Most of the piping has a 50 year service life and may be at the end of their useful service. There have been several water main breaks in my neighborhood alone. I will work with the City Engineer and Public Works Department to fund the money where it is needed most.

What can be done to fill vacancies and draw new businesses to the downtown area? Be as specific as possible.

The return of the Des Plaines Theater as an attraction will bring people into the area. I have lived here since 1983 and have gone to the Pickwick numerous times when I would have preferred to spend my money in town. A vibrant theater area will help all restaurants in the area and should help ancilliary businesses such as Gas Stations, Drug Stores, cleaners, etc.

What is the biggest issue facing Des Plaines at present, and what are your thoughts on it?

For 30 years, I have heard that the downtowns of Park Ridge, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights, etc are better than ours. Before the economic downturn, there were a number of great restaurants and attractions in the City. I think the attitude asbout the City needs to change. Certainly, there are everyday issues which have the potential to cause big problems, but I think the perception that all our close neignbors are better than us is the biggest issue.

Given the delicate balance between the need for revenue and over-taxing local businesses, what is your opinion of Des Plaines' present level of local sales taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.

I never shop elsewhere to avoid the local sales tax. While it may or may not be too high, it appears to be somewhat of a non-issue. The financial issues of the State of Illinois and Cook County are a bigger problem.

What are the city's biggest public safety concerns? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.

The feeling that the streets are safe to go out at night are always the biggest safety concern. I will need to get a handle that the City resources have not been spread too thin with the addition of River's Casino.