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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.
Office sought: Bartlett Village President (4-year Term)
Family: Two married daughters and one granddaughter, with a second grandchild scheduled to arrive in April.
Occupation: Licensed Illinois Attorney; VA Accredited Attorney
Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree from DePaul University; Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Northern Illinois University College of Law
Civic involvement: Helped organize the Bartlett Veterans Memorial Foundation and serves on its Board of Directors; provides pro bono legal services to local non-profit organizations, seniors, and veterans.
Elected offices held: Appointed Bartlett Village Trustee in 2012 to fill a vacancy.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
It is imperative that we focus on economic development, and I am committed to maintaining a business friendly environment in Bartlett. We must make certain that Bartlett is known as a community that supports its existing businesses and is attractive to new businesses. We need to promote the success of Brewster Creek Business Park and continue its development. We must reach out to all businesses and our residents to help identify the needs of our community and work together to make successful enterprises of those opportunities. More businesses mean more revenue for our village and jobs for our residents.
Key Issue 2
Public safety is crucial. The depressed economy is resulting in new concerns that must be addressed. We must make certain that our administration and police department continue to have the training, manpower, and other resources necessary to remain proactive in this regard. NeighborhoodScout recently named Bartlett as the 4th safest city in America, and the only municipality in Illinois ranked in the top 10. I intend to continue our commitment to safety and remain vigilant in our focus.
Key Issue 3
Transparency is a priority, and I will work to improve public understanding. Our residents should know how their dollars are being spent and be able to contact elected and administrative officials. We must review our village website to make certain that there is easy access to this information and also increase our scores in theLocal Transparency Project? conducted by the Illinois Policy Institute.
What can the village do to encourage more development into Bartlett, particularly in the Brewster Creek Business Park?
Brewster Creek Business Park is an exciting, vital jewel in our business community. As such, we need to actively market the Brewster Creek Business Park, promote the 70 existing Brewster Creek businesses with 1200+ employees, and continue to recognize each new exciting addition to the business park. We need to continue to communicate with all businesses in our village to see what type of complementary businesses or services would assist in the continued growth and success of our quality business population. We must seek input from residents, the Chamber of Commerce, and local brokers. We want Bartlett to be known as a business friendly community so that new businesses are anxious to locate in our village.
With millions of dollars in budget cuts the last few years, how will you make sure the village continues providing good services to residents?
Reductions in revenues due to the depressed economy were anticipated by the Village Board and administration. Cuts in our budget expenditures were made by deferral of filling staff positions and postponement of capital improvements and equipment purchases. The focus is always on maintaining the high level of services provided by the Village that residents have come to expect. The staff has stepped up to this challenge and has simply provided more with less, which is a testament to the high quality of our village employees. As a result of these difficult decisions, we have balanced our budgets, continued to provide a high level of services to our residents, and maintained our excellent Moody's credit rating. The Board will be looking to provide for some of these deferred expenditures in upcoming budget review discussions.
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?
I personally would prefer that the Village did not have any 4:00 a.m. liquor licenses, but there are presently three such license holders, and those licenses cannot simply be taken away because we do not like them. Last year, the Village Board amended the ordinance to make liquor license holders more accountable for the actions of their patrons. Violations of the liquor ordinance or state law can also result in fines and suspension to the license holder. In the case of Cadillac Ranch, after an altercation between two patrons, the Cadillac Ranch entered into a written agreement with the Liquor Commissioner and spent in excess of $30,000 to implement several procedural measures and significant capital improvements to make its operations safer. If elected, I would try to negotiate with Cadillac Ranch for it to go even further and voluntarily cut back its hours. I also recognize that Cadillac Ranch would have the option to pursue disconnection from the Village, which remains a serious consideration. I would hold all 4:00 a.m. liquor license holders accountable for the actions of their patrons and monitor the late night police activity of those establishments. If safety concerns continue, the Village would need to consider eliminating all 4:00 a.m. licenses. Reviewing the Village's ability to roll back hours on those licenses will be one of my first priorities.
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.
As a member of the current Village Board, we are always looking to increase Village revenues. However, we have not passed a Bartlett local sales tax, nor have prior boards. That is a financial stress on our local business population that we are not willing to impose, and I would never support such a tax.
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.
Our biggest public safety concern is maintaining a high level of community safety in a depressed economy. We are very fortunate to have a highly accredited police department, and we need to remain proactive in preventing and fighting crime. We must allocate resources to provide the training and manpower to address the new issues that we are encountering and to strengthen our efforts on crime prevention in Bartlett.