Frank Bart: Candidate Profile
Wauconda Mayor (4-year Term)
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: Wauconda Mayor (4-year Term)
Family: Married with two children.
Education: Executive Masters of Business Administration, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, graduation 2014 Certified Strategic Planner & Instructor Top Secret Security Clearance
Civic involvement: Former Trustee American Legion Post 911 Veterans of Foreign Wars member Masonic Lodge member Former Director, Illinois National Guard Association Athletic Board member, Transfiguration School
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Transparency: Following the passage of the Fire District referendum in 2010, the Fire District became an independent municipal taxing entity. In spite of the fact that the Fire District now levies the taxes for fire protection, the Village of Wauconda has continued to levy a $2MM tax originally levied for fire protection contracts. Whereby, the Village of Wauconda has collected $2MM in 2011 and $2MM in 2012 totaling a $4MM increase in taxes collected over the 2 year period. The Village administration claimed to reduce the Utility Tax in order to compensate the tax payers. There is no connection between Utility Taxes collected and property tax. Additionally, the net savings to the tax payer from the reduction in the Utility Tax is a little more the one-half million per year and the cost to the taxpayer in property tax is $4MM. What is the village doing with the increase already collected? What additional services has the village offered their residents? The county property tax levy has decreased yet the municipal levy has increased. Why haven't they offered some financial relief to their residents? Not a transparent trend. Given the lack of transparency, One Wauconda is especially concerned of what may happen if the current administration would be re-elected and left to manage the $50MM Lake Michigan Water Project. One Wauconda will develop a tax rebate program to return excess taxes to the taxpayer. One Wauconda will expressly communicate all implications of each decision in order to provide transparency and solid communication with our neighbors. When deciding to tax our neighbor's leaders are deciding for them how some of their earnings will be spent. One Wauconda will review each expense through the eyes of our neighbors by providing them with sample survey opportunities electronically, by form and through focus groups as needed.
Key Issue 2
Water service: The rates have increased automatically by 4% every year for the last 4 years which equates to a 16% rate increase during the current mayor's term. The late fees have doubled from 10% to 20%. The due date has been decreased to 14 days after the billing. People have been set-up for failure and almost usurious late fees. One Wauconda will immediately eliminate the percentage based late fee and replace it with a nominal flat fee which is tied to the cost to the Village. One Wauconda will develop aPay your Way? Water bill payment plan which allows our neighbors to pick quarterly or monthly billing cycles and a variety of payment options to include automatic funds transfers, debit and credit cards with no convenience fee.
Key Issue 3
Economic Development: One Wauconda will work to do a better job of administering to the needs of business owners. There are many businesses who have been hindered by village policies and through the elimination of the building and zoning department. There are no building and zoning clerks to walk business owners through necessary processes to get results effectively and efficiently. Step 1: One Wauconda wants to bring more restaurant, shopping and service options to town, but we first have to work to keep the businesses we have. In Wauconda many of our current businesses are struggling to survive, which makes it difficult to attract new businesses. One Wauconda will train building and zoning clerks to walk business owners through necessary processes to get results effectively and efficiently. Customer service will be our administrative focus. We will strive to get results for our business owners. Ordinances regarding signage are too restrictive. One Wauconda will offer variances to those ordinances. There are too few parking spaces for the businesses on Main Street. We will work to make more parking available to business patrons on Main Street. Step 2: One Wauconda will work to expand our business development opportunities to bring new business opportunities to town and create a favorable business environment. One Wauconda will create Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts in the most troubled areas. In the most commercially viable areas we will engage the land owners and business developers to create favorable conditions to effectively and efficiently improve the area. We will expand our customer service to business owners and provide value added services though information sharing and development initiatives.
Name one policy or issue where your stance differs from the rest of your slate? Please explain.
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?
The top three public safety issues are substance abuse, auto burglary and scams targeting seniors. One Wauconda believes in teaming our law enforcement officers with community groups and schools to educate people about the dangers of substance abuse and educating seniors and their neighbors about likely scams targeting them. Auto burglary will require focusing policing efforts on affected areas to apprehend the offenders.
In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed? Conversely, is there something that should be reinstated or have resources directed toward?
We will bring leaf pick-up services back to the village. Each budget item will be reviewed and the necessity assessed. Items in question will be brought to the board for discussion.
What changes do you think should be made in the Bang's Lake management to ensure its health and well-being and further enhance it as an important community and recreational resource?
Work to solve the weed problem on the lake.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
Develop Revitalization Program focusing initially on traffic accessibility, facade improvement and horticulture improvement. Create a property tax rebate program for businesses that renovate the facade of their business to meet the Revitalization Program goals for the village commercial areas. Develop signage plan which directs traffic to local businesses.
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