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updated: 2/22/2013 6:24 PM

JR Westberg: Candidate Profile

Huntley Village Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • JR Westberg, running for Huntley Village Board (4-year Terms)

      JR Westberg, running for Huntley 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: Huntley

Website: www.jrwestberg.com

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

Age: 40

Family: Married, 2 Children

Occupation: Business Development/Sr. Staffing Specialist

Education: Northern Illinois University, Business Administration

Civic involvement: Village of Huntley Planning Commission - Present Trinity Lutheran Church - Huntley IL Vice Chairman of the Board - Present Board of Evangelism - Present Huntley American Legion - Post 673 Senior Vice Commander - Present Jr. Vice Commander - 2012 Huntley Area Jaycees Active Member since 2008 President - 2009 and 2010 Huntley Fall Fest Planning Committee Since 2009 Co-Founder Huntley's Christmas in the Square Leggee PTA Volunteer

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The Village is going to be overwhelmed with new growth from the I90/Route 47 interchange area and north to Kreutzer Rd. I need to make sure that new growth is paid for by the developers and not the taxpayers. We need quality projects that help our tax base such as new restaurants, more commercial growth that creates jobs for our residents and perhaps a hotel.

Key Issue 2

The downtown revitalization and the new TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district will bring a lot of positive changes. However we need keep a watchful eye on history while we make those changes.

Key Issue 3

Lately our residents are experiencing increased petty theft and vandalism. We need to make sure our police department has all the tools that it needs to perform their jobs to their fullest potential. As a Candidate for Village Trustee I believe we should make sure that the Neighborhood Watch, Citizens Police Academy and National Night Out programs are fully funded and that the programs are available to help in educating about theft protection. Keeping CALEA certification current is a top priority ensuring our police department meets the highest quality standards in the nation.

Questions & Answers

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

Family is what drives me to stay involved. I am married with two beautiful daughters and I want to make sure they grow up in a safe and quality environment. I am a very active volunteer within the community such as the Huntley Area Jaycees, Huntley American Legion, Trinity Lutheran Church of Huntley, Huntley Fall Fest, Christmas in the Square as well as serving on the Village's Planning Commission. Through the leadership roles that I have held within these organizations, I have gained the experience and knowledge of what it takes to get the job done. Huntley is a great place to live and I would like to continue to support our high quality standards. Given the opportunity to serve as Village Trustee, I can make a difference to keep that quality. I will work hand in hand with all residents to make positive, forward thinking decisions for the future of Huntley.

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

Our sales tax is one of the lowest in the area. The Village encourages our residents to support local businesses keeping revenue in Huntley. As we pull out of this down economy we have new businesses coming to Huntley. We have new businesses wanting to construct here along Route 47 which is great news for the future of our town. Our marketing department in the Village is very aggressive at going after new business. As a Trustee it will be my job to help them in every way possible and show support to the new businesses as they open. Our Village staff has really trimmed expenses and is a lean-operating entity. We are living within our means and without raising any taxes to homeowners or businesses.

Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.

Huntley is a very safe town, but we have more petty crime now than we did when the population was 1,500 residents. However, Huntley is still a great place to raise a family and our schools do everything they can to insure our children's safety. Our police and fire departments are top notch, however they cannot be in all places at all times. We need residents to work together. Getting to know your neighbors and looking out for one another can go a long way. Education and getting involved with a crime prevention program can also contribute to mitigating overall risk.

In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?

The Village is very well run, but the budget is very tight. Village employees are some of the finest and most dedicated. It is true that every department of the Village could use more budget dollars, but it is just not feasible at this time. With potential future growth, new monies should be made available to expand our current services and bring them up to normal levels. Specifically our current population study requires a staff of 108 employees and the Village is presently at 88. The Village delivers quality water and does a great job keeping up with public areas as well as plowing and maintaining our streets. More tax money in the future would allow for a quicker and better downtown revitalization, more tree replacement in Emerald Ash Borer affected areas.

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

While I am not sure that "no one" is talking about this, retaining the historical look in the downtown area will be one of my focus areas. The downtown area needs to be re-vamped and re-vitalized to bring in new businesses. The challenge will be how to make the downtown area attractive to new business opportunities, while maintaining the historical integrity of our existing structures. We need new shops, small businesses that bring visitors and residents to our downtown. Huntley is one of the oldest (pre-Civil War) historical communities in the area and we need to embrace that history while making modern adjustments. Our Square needs to be more family friendly, with better public spaces and facilities. Slight changes can make that space more resident friendly. I am not a knock-it-down-and-start-over guy, I say let's make what we have better.

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