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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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Office sought: Huntley Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married Wife: Cathy Two children: Michael and Tommy
Occupation: Lead Quality Assurance Consultant for Coventry Healthcare
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, DeVry University
Civic involvement: President Huntley Meadows Homeowners Association VP/Player Agent - Huntley Little League Men's Liaison/Communication Coordinator St. Mary's Men's CRHP ministry President Village of Huntley Citizen's Emergency Response Team (CERT) Council
Elected offices held: Trustee Village of Huntley 2007-current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
First and foremost I want to continue working on our transportation issues in the Village. This year the I90/Rt. 47 interchange will be completed. Rt.47 has been widened. Our next step is to complete the Kreutzer Road extension from Rt. 47 to Main St. This is an important roadway as it would allow for a bypass around the Village and ease congestion during peak travel times for both the residents and for the school busses. Another step we need to take is the extension of Reed Road to connect to Coyne Station Road. This would allow for another east-west route to move traffic. Another possibility we need to look at is extending Algonquin Road past Rt. 47 and connect it somewhere on the west side of town. Originally this was on the McHenry County's list of projects but has gone on their unfunded wish list. I feel that we as a Village need to take the lead on this and see it to completion.
Key Issue 2
Second on my list is to bring public transportation to Huntley. We experienced a disappointment with the Amtrak route going through a different town. However, we still are working with Metra to get the train to come to Huntley and beyond. While that process is still in the planning stages, we need to work on some type of connector route via bus from Huntley to the train station in Elgin. At least this would allow for less traffic to be on the road.
Key Issue 3
Thirdly I want to see the Village continue with creating bike paths and sidewalks to all parts of the Village. The walkability of the town would be inviting to people to visit our town. Creating more walkability would save on gas since people can ride or walk to the stores. With the recent projects like Rt. 47 widening and Algonquin Road adding bike paths or sidewalks was an important issue for me.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have been a Trustee for the past 6 years. I have learned a lot from the Village staff which I feel has made me a better trustee. In addition to this experience my involvement with the various groups allows me to talk to other people and get their point of view on the issues at hand. Being with them allows me to get a feeling of what the rest of the Village residents want done. Also I have been involved with various levels of government over the years. I have worked for a Chicago alderman and a state Senator. Prior to being a trustee I served on the planning commission for 2 years. I feel that all of this experience makes me the best candidate for the job.
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.
Being non-home rule we are limited in what we can get for local sales taxes. The best way to increase sales taxes over all and not over-tax anyone is to add more businesses in our town. We have started a new marketing campaign and a new website to attract businesses. It has started to pay off as we have several new businesses coming to town. (Starbucks, Jimmy John?s, Rookies, Little Caesar's pizza). So at this point in time I feel that our sales tax rate is just right.
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.
Recently we?ve had several break-ins in the Sun City subdivision. The police department has been diligently working to solve these crimes. Additional patrols have been added and neighborhoods have added Neighborhood Watch programs. While they haven't been solved yet, I feel confident that they will be. Other subdivisions in town have also been experiencing similar issues. While the police have been adding more frequent patrols, community involvement is key in preventing these problems in the first place.
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?
We have had a lean budget for the last couple of years. For the last three years we?ve held the tax levy the same. By doing so, we?ve made some creative decisions. At this time there is no excess money that could be trimmed from the budget. The only area that I can see that could use more money is to add money to the street resurfacing budget. We have many miles of streets that are or will be in need of repair. As we finish some of our capital projects, more money can be added to this area.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
One idea would be is for the Village to work with developers, the Park District and perhaps the Library District to establish a teen center. The Park District has various programs at a cost but mostly for younger kids. The Library also has programs for the younger children. Besides the outdoor sports, there is nothing or no place in town for teens. We need to provide a safe place for teens after school and weekends. By providing a place for kids that is safe and fun with adult supervision and good peer support, maybe we affect lives and influence the future choices and good decisions for our teens.