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updated: 3/4/2013 6:57 PM

Michelle Hughes: Candidate Profile

Bartlett Village Board (4-year Terms)

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  • Michelle Hughes, running for Bartlett Village Board (4-year Terms)

      Michelle Hughes, running for Bartlett Village Board (4-year Terms)

 

 

 

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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: Bartlett

Website:

Office sought: Bartlett Village Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 34

Family: I married my high school sweetheart, Jason. We have two young children, Gianna and Bradley.

Occupation: Financial Advisor

Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Northern Illinois University. Coursework included Accounting, Banking, Economics, Financial Markets, Investments & Corporate Finance, Law, Real Estate, Security Analysis & Portfolio Management and Strategic Management.

I later furthered my studies through the College for Financial Planning with five concentrated disciplines: Financial Planning Process & Insurance, Investment Planning, Income Tax Planning, Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits and Estate Planning. I also hold FINRA licenses 7, 63, and 66.

Civic involvement: Hanover Township Community Service Award Committee, St. John the Evangelist Church Finance Committee, Willow Creek Community Church Finance Committee

Elected offices held: Board member of homeowners association (2004-2010)

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

FISCAL EXPERIENCE - Fiscal responsibility is vital to the health and prosperity of this village for generations to come. The dynamics of finance requires a financial fiduciary with my experience to represent the residents of Bartlett.

Key Issue 2

PUBLIC SERVICES & SAFETY - As a mother of two young children, I am concerned with the overall safety provided to our families.

As residents, we should be confident that the water we pay for is safe for consumption. Addressing the contaminated wells and the long term consumption of a growing village is necessary from both a safety and budgetary viewpoint.

I also believe that after the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, a more pro-active response plan should be instituted. Close proximity of local police is not enough. Communication and coordination between U-46, State and County law enforcement agencies and emergency response teams is crucial to the safety of our students and staff.

Key Issue 3

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Growing up in Bartlett, it's sad to see businesses come and go in this Village. I feel an unequal amount of effort has been spent in the development of new ventures at the expense of others, specifically the downtown area. Supporting existing business is of equal importance otherwise residents will be forced to seek goods and services outside our community.

Questions & Answers

What can the village do to encourage more development into Bartlett, particularly in the Brewster Creek Business Park?

The Village currently supports Industrial Revenue bond issuance for new businesses in the Brewster Creek Business Park. This allows a low finance option only if these bonds retain favored tax treatment. Changing the taxation of municipal bonds is something currently being discussed by Congress as a means to reduce the federal deficit. This would ultimately translate into an increase in financing costs for this development as well as other financed projects. The Village would face struggles beyond business vacancies should this issue come to fruition.

With millions of dollars in budget cuts the last few years, how will you make sure the village continues providing good services to residents?

Financing short term objectives and creating solutions for long term needs is part of what I do as a Financial Advisor. I've learned over the course of my career that understanding the needs and prioritizing the goals are the first steps. Having the foresight to plan for challenging times can eliminate the need for extreme cost cutting measures. Accountability is also crucial to maintaining large public finances.

Weigh the value of late liquor licenses to local businesses (4 a.m. in the case of the Cadillac Ranch) against safety concerns. Should 4 a.m. licenses continuie to be permitted? If so, what can be done to curb the number of incidents?

An open evaluation should be conducted to understand the revenue earned (license fees and sales tax) versus the tangible and intangible costs incurred by the Village (law enforcement, code enforcement, fire protection) for the extended hours.

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

I think everyone feels as if they pay enough in taxes. It should be a question of how our tax dollars are appropriated. Having the experience in the daily management of over $400 million and being entrusted by my clients to act as their fiduciary, I feel confident in my abilities to represent the residents of Bartlett while working alongside the Board on maintaining the delicate balance of revenue and local business interests.

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

Again, in light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, I believe a response plan should be coordinated between the Village, the school district, the multiple counties and the State of Illinois.

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