Chad Feldotto: Candidate Profile
Aurora City Council Ward 3 (2-year Term)
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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.
Website: http://Facebook: Chad Feldotto for 3rd Ward Alderman
Office sought: Aurora City Council Ward 3 (2-year Term)
Occupation: Senior Park Planner, Oswegoland Park District
Education: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University, 1998
Civic involvement: Phillips Park Skate Park design charette contributor Co-Chair, Oswego Prairiefest Parade Committee Co-Chair and Co-founder, Holiday Food Drive supporting the Kendall County Food Pantry Volunteer, League of United Latin American Citizens Council #5218 Volunteer, Illinois Suburban Latino Caucus Member, Oswego Historic Preservation Commission Elected Precinct Committeeman since 2005
Elected offices held: Elected Precinct Committeeman
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My main focus as an Alderman, as it should be for every elected official, will be fiscal responsibility of the City, including transparency and working to limit property tax increases. Our City needs to continue looking at finding ways to provide quality services with less.
Key Issue 2
I will be a strong partner with our schools. We must ensure the safety of our kids, before, during and after school. The City needs to make sure that sidewalks are in good shape, crosswalks are painted, and signs are posted. Police presence should be readily available, especially before and after school to keep kids safe among the increased vehicular traffic during those times. In addition, I believe that the Mayor's new initiatives with SPARK and Pathways to Prosperity are two great ways in which the City is partnering with our schools to ensure our kids are on the right path to good paying jobs. Providing that type of environment for our kids benefits the City and its efforts to develop a strong business climate.
Key Issue 3
I want to improve the quality of life in the Third Ward. The property values of all residents have declined since the recession began. I believe that our property values will rise if we work together as a community to make the Third Ward a place people want to live and raise their children. For example, I want a more active and engaged third ward committee so that negative issues are dealt with promptly and our successes are celebrated. We must take advantage of the amenities of the Third Ward has which can attract business and future residents to our area such as Rush Copley Hospital, Waubonsee Community College, the crown jewel of the City, Phillips Park, and its numerous attractions including the zoo, golf course, skate park, splash pad, and aquatic center, and of course, East Aurora High School?Go Tomcats!
Downtown Aurora is undergoing a revival, but there are still a number of vacant storefronts. What should be done to spur more business development?
The City must be known as a friendly partner to business development. The existing TIF Districts and funding assistance programs available for renovation of existing storefronts are potential avenues for new development. Also the City is partnering with our schools to create a strong future workforce which will lure businesses as well. These programs need to be promoted on a regional and national level. We also cannot forget that there are existing businesses who have already invested in the downtown area. We need to work with them and the Chamber of Commerce to give them the support and resources to expand, grow, and hire more employees.
The city recently celebrated an entire calendar year without a murder for the first time since the 1940s. What are your top two ideas for making Aurora a safer place?
Our police men and women are on the front lines of crime risking their lives everyday. Our safety starts with them. We need to provide the police department with the necessary resources and equipment to assist them in keeping that statistic at zero homicides. Second, we must have a community where the police, faith-based and other non-profit organizations, school districts, township, and other groups work together and meet on a regular basis to create safe and secure environments for our residents ,especially our children, and that those resources are used efficiently and effectively.
Residents will be paying more property taxes for the next 30 years to pay for the new library and library technology improvements. What can be done to keep property taxes in check? What are your ideas for streamlining city services or reducing its budget?
Keeping property taxes in check, streamlining City services, and reducing the budget should be discussed in the same breath, and not as individual issues. They are all tied together. I have experience in acquiring outside funding sources to make improvements in neighborhoods. Money is available to offset those costs. The City needs to be proactive about searching and applying for those dollars. I look forward to working with the City in pursuing other funding sources for more revenue, instead of raising taxes on City residents. I have never been a supporter of hiring outside lobbyists with huge salaries to look for state dollars and promote our City. Eliminating high paid lobbyists is a good way to reduce the City's budget. Besides, I cannot think of anyone who would be better to lobby for a City than its own residents and elected officials. The relationships I have developed with elected officials on the federal, state, county and local levels ensure that they will listen when I call. I love Aurora. I have a passion for this City, and I am invested in helping to make it succeed.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
When I moved to Illinois eleven years ago to start a new job in Naperville, I chose to move to Aurora because of its diverse neighborhoods, character, and people. Aurora has the potential to do many more great things. During the last eight years that I have lived in the third ward, I have walked and met the residents on every street in the ward working to increase voter turnout, promote the ideas that move Aurora forward, and find out what issues mean the most to them. I have been a member of the third ward committee and look forward to strengthening it as Alderman. I will make sure there is a voice from each of the seven precincts represented on the committee so that we deal with issues together as a ward. I may be the next voice of the third ward as Alderman, but the message will be from the residents.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I work for the public sector. My job involves maximizing the use of available tax dollars while keeping costs low. The idea of going back to the taxpayers for more money is not an option. One way to improve infrastructure without raising property taxes is to search for alternate funding sources and partnerships with other governmental agencies. We need to actively pursue all grant money available to lessen the burden on our residents. I am a grant writer and continuously look for additional funding sources so that the community has the best services without raising taxes. That should be the focus of every public servant.
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