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.
City: Vernon Hills
Office sought: Vernon Hills Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married 40 years, Two Children - Daughter and Son, One Granddaughter with a second Granddaughter on the way.
Occupation: Retired Distribution Engineering Manager with WW Grainger, Inc. Now an independent Supply Chain Consultant.
Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northeastern Illinois University Class of 1976
Civic involvement: St Tarcisus School Board Chicago, IL Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association, Chicago, IL Falcons Hockey Assn Secy and Registrar, Highland Park, IL Traffic Advisory Committee, Vernon Hills, IL
Elected offices held: Village Board Trustee, Vernon Hills, IL, twice
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
Continue / finish the work started with the redevelopment of key locations in town (Vernon Town Center and Westfield Hawthorn Shoppingtown).
Key Issue 2
Oversee the sucessful development of the North Lot of the Cueneo / Gregg's Landing commercial property.
Key Issue 3
Maintain the financial stability of the Vernon Hills Village government through judicial financial planning and expenditures to provide the neccesary services for a prosperous safe community.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I believe my ability based on years of experience as decision maker in the corporate world as well as my experience as Village Trustee has taught me to get to the root of an issue, ensuring that both the village staff and petitioner(s) coming before the Board having all the necessary homework completed and that any and all alternatives have been vetted thereby eliminating the needless waste of taxpayers dollars by needless repetition.
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.
Vernon Hills sales tax is the standard tax rate authorized by the state. We have not instituted any aditional special sales tax rates or districts. With the sales tax revenue that we do in fact receive, we have managed to abate a need for a property tax, which is something that only a few other communities can say. As a result I would say that our sales tax 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.
While gun violence is getting all the headlines, I would say there are two real underlying concerns. The first is the growth in the availability and use of heroin and other life destroying drugs. The second is bullying of children, both in person and electronically. I believe that the way to correct a life altering problem is not to keep it "behind closed doors" but to bring it out in the open, make the population aware of the problem and then institute programs to help alleviate the problem. To this end, the Village is working with both our schools through the Vernon Hills Police Department on new and exciting programs to increase awareness on both issues and initiate new programs to deal with these issues.
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?
Time were tighter over the course of my last term and as such we have continued to right size the staff to meet the needs of the community,as staff costs are the primary driver of the Village budget. At the present time we are planning for a balanced budget without needing to access our reserves or implement any new taxes. Our plan also is to continue to fill positions as they become open in order to maintain the current high level of service that our residents receive and continue to deserve to receive. In addition we are planning on fully funding our capital accrual accounts once again to get back on track for replacing equipment as it reaches the end of its useful life.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The village owns property adjacent to the rail line along US45. After the state completes the planned widening of US45, I would like to see a large scale plan using the Village land and other properties in that area to be re-developed as an integrated retail / residential community in conjunction with the Metra Train station.