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updated: 2/22/2013 6:29 PM

Irlanda Gardiakos: Candidate Profile

Aurora City Council Ward 2 (4-year Term)

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  • Irlanda Gardiakos, running for Aurora City Council Ward 2 (4-year Term)

      Irlanda Gardiakos, running for Aurora City Council Ward 2 (4-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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: Aurora

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Aurora City Council Ward 2 (4-year Term)

Age: 60

Family: Married with four children

Occupation: certified Nurse Assistant

Education: Bachelors of education, Ecuador Associate in Science, Waubonsee

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Reduce the amount of city government in our everyday life. Many of us came to this country because we believed in freedom, we wanted to chart our own course, and create our own destiny. But lately, there are too many rules and regulations in this community hampering our freedom. My Husband and I own a building in downtown Aurora. We rented one of our stores to a tattoo artist; when our tenant left, that store was left vacant for a year because of a new regulation that wouldn't allow any tattoo stores to open in our city. What right does the city have to choose what business or store opens on Broadway? The market place should determine what stores open, not someone on the city council who has never run a business. Aurora made national news and became a national joke a few years ago because the city of Aurora created a holiday decoration ordinance that compelled its citizens to take down seasonal decorations at an allotted time or get fined x amount or dollars. Do we really need the Government to tell us that? Where was the public safety issue? where was the danger? if that's not dangerously close to a police state, i don't know what is. As long as there is no public safety issue (for example the firing of guns in the air or build fires too close to your neighbors), as long as you are not interfering with other people's quality of life (like playing loud music at 3 a.m.) you should be able to do as you like on your property without the government telling you what to do. Because if you cannot do what you want on your own property, do you really own it? If you want to control your neighbors life and dictate what type of fence they have or the color of their house or how many trees they have and their hedges, the free market has solved this problem for you: move into an area of the city with a homeowner's association. Then you can get yourself appointed to the board and dictate everyone's life

Key Issue 2

Taxes! The taxes are out of control in Aurora. When looking at my tax bill I noticed that the amount of taxes I have to pay to the city have gone up at twice the rate of inflation and the pensions nearly four times the rate of inflation. The problem is the income of the people living in the community has not kept up with the rate of increase in taxes and yet the landlords are forced to raise the rent further reducing the amount of disposable income that families have available to spend in the community. Even worse, because taxes keep going up faster than incomes, many families are forced to take on second and even third jobs, leaving less time to spend with their children and furthering the social problems that are created when parents do not have enough time to be involved in their children's lives.

Key Issue 3

Transparency. As your Alderman I vow to bring transparency to the 2nd Ward. The residents of the 2nd Ward have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and should be able to see it at any time. I will post any expenditure of Ward funds on the Internet for all to see, clearly stating what the money was used for, who the recipient was and why I authorized the expenditure. The people have a right to know how their money is being spent and who it benefits.

Questions & Answers

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 of Aurora has a well earned reputation for making it difficult for entrepreneurs in new concepts to pursue their passions through private industry. It is one thing for an established franchise chain, regional or national concept to expand into a community, they have the in house expertise to deal with municipal compliance. But for the small, unique artistic business that Aurora needs desperately to attract we have too many layers of bureaucracy and too many compliance regulations for the average small entrepreneur to successfully navigate. The city needs to streamline its process and walk entrepreneurs through the process needed to establish a business in our community. SCOREService Corp Of Retired Executives? is not adequate for this purpose and does not address local business issues. Essentially because small businesses are so vital to thriving downtown community the city needs to be more proactive in disseminating information to budding entrepreneurs in order to make Aurora a more attractive place to establish a business.

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?

FIRST: We need to make a concentrated effort to get parents engaged in their children's lives and to create and sustain a societal atmosphere where it is unacceptable for a parent not to know the whereabouts of their children, who their friends are, and communicate with the parents of their children?s? friends. The Alderman is a community leader and I will be vocal abut the need for parental involvement so parents can take the lead in instilling a respect for human life, encourage academic achievement and excellence . SECOND: We need to increase the influence of the school district when it comes to zoning in order to prevent new pockets of high density and low income housing from developing and creating breeding places for at risk behavior and overburdening the schools.

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?

1)We must not spend more money than we take in 2)A new sustaiable pension plan with reduced benefits for all future new hires for the city 3) consolidate city departments to save on administrative costs

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

Above all, the 2nd ward deserves an outspoken Alderman who can articulate a vision and become a vocal advocate for our community, specifically for the residents of the 2nd ward. As a former small business owner, I understand what attracts small businesses to our community. I can communicate in three languages effectively: Spanish, English, and Greek which comprises the majority of the population of Aurora. It is important that the Alderman represents all residents of the Ward without regard to race, creed, color, national origin or political orientation/ideology.

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

The biggest challenge the new 2nd ward faces is becoming an isolated, insular community based on ethnicity. Let's actively promote diversity! The city as a whole needs to do more to create cross community activities that invite people out of their Wards so that newcomers feel welcome and have the needed chance to assimilate into the mainstream fabric of American culture while celebrating the rich cultural heritage they bring with them.

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