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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: Mundelein Mayor (4-year Term)
Family: I have been married to my wife, Wendy, for almost 40 years. We have three daughters, Beth (33), Cathy (32), and Vicky (29). Beth and Cathy are married and Vicky is to be married in October, 2013. Beth and her husband Chris have one son, Noah (3).
Occupation: I retired from the Mundelein Police Department after 29 years in 2001. I continued my police career for 8 years as Chief of Police in Lakemoor and 1 year as Chief of Police in Hainesville. I left the police field and am now retired.
Education: Associate of Arts, Business, Eastern Oklahoma State College; Associate of Science, Law Enforcement, College of Lake Co; Bachelor of Arts, Applied Behavioral Science, National Lewis University;Police School and Staff and Command, Northwestern University
Civic involvement: Mundelein Police Pension Fund, Mundelein American Legion Post 867; Mundelein Community Days Commission; 4th Degree Knights of Columbus; Mundelein Community Connection; Mundelein Park & Rec District; Ill Assoc of Park Districts; Nat'l Park & Rec Assoc; Ill, Lake Co, McHenry Co & Int'l Assoc of Chiefs of Police; F.O.P.; Ill Police Assoc; Mundelein Rotary; Avon Township Lions Club; Eucharistic Minister Santa Maria del Popolo; Little League & ASA Softball; Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country; Moraine Girl Scout Council Board of Directors
Elected offices held: Mundelein Park and Recreation District Board of Commissioners (1982-1986) and (1996 to present) Illinois Association of Park Districts Board of Directors (2005-2013), Chairman (2011)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My #1 campaign issue is to attract new businesses to fill empty buildings and store fronts all over Mundelein, not just in the downtown area. These new businesses will provide jobs and increase the local tax base. Too often we see our businesses close and move to neighboring communities. We need to find out why and see how we can turn this trend around. I would suggest having a questionnaire given to businesses moving from town asking why they were leaving and what could have been done differently by Mundelein that would have kept them in Mundelein. A similar questionnaire could be given to new businesses coming to town getting feedback on the process they just completed and asking for suggestions on how to improve the procedure.
Key Issue 2
My #2 campaign issue is public safety. I believe a satellite Fire Department facility to provide emergency services to residents needs to be established east of the Canadian National railroad tracks. With the increased number and length of trains, emergency fire and rescue equipment often is trapped in traffic waiting for the railroad crossing gates to clear. In order to appropriately serve the entire community this satellite facility needs to be staffed 24 hours a day with at least one rescue squad and fire engine.
Key Issue 3
My #3 campaign issue is that Mundelein needs to get back to basics. We live in Mundelein because we want to. We all need to let others know how great our community is. This begins with all the village employees. Whether helping residents or businesses the focus must be on friendly service and getting things done efficiently, which might be helping residents through the permit process or helping businesses through an application process. We want everyone to know that Mundelein is the place to be. The mayor is the face of the Village and being retired I can be that face. I do not have commitments that will remove me from Mundelein for several hours a week. I will make myself available as needed, regardless of the time of day or day of the week, for residents business and developers to meet, answer questions and find solutions. I do not intend to micromanage department heads nor do I intend on being an absentee mayor. The mayor and Village Board need to cultivate working relationships with all other taxing bodies in Mundelein which could result in reduced costs for everyone.
The village is moving ahead with plans for a municipal hub near the train station that would include a village hall, retail space and office space. What is your vision for that area and how would you fund the project?
I feel that the Village Board has done a tremendous job in getting this project started. I would have preferred that the voters of Mundelein been asked and given a chance to vote on the project and money being spent. I believe we should continue to develop the area as proposed, as not continuing at this point would be fiscally irresponsible. The village is committed to the new village hall and being responsible for any funding needed to complete that portion of the proposed area. The village should pursue alternative ways to fund the rest of the proposed development. Funding could be secured from grants, private donations, etc. We should strive to help the area develop but not at the expense of the rest of the businesses in town. We need to work on developing all business areas.
Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, an discuss how you think it should be addressed?
Public safety must always be a concern of local government. This includes increased police patrols, maintenance of infrastructure which would include street and sidewalk maintenance, water mains and sewer lines. The establishment of a satellite fire station on the east side of the Canadian National railroad tracks has been brought to my attention as a major concern. With the increased rail traffic residents are concerned about the response time in an emergency. It may be in our best interest to investigate the possibility of creating a regional fire protection district. This could result in increased safety and reduced expenses for the Village.
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?
During the recent years the Village Board has done a great job of maintaining the real estate tax levies and utilizing reserves to keep taxes down. Mundelein needs too continue to investigate ways to provide services to residents and businesses and utilize staff and resources as efficiently as possible. Department heads of all village departments need to be help responsible for controlling overtime in their respective departments. We need to be diligent in serving residents and businesses to ensure that tax dollars are appropriately used.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I actually have two ideas. The first is that Mundelein is a very ethnically diverse community. We need to capitalize on this and be proud of what each different ethnic background has to offer. Mundelein needs to work to get more minorities appointed to commissions and boards. We need to strive to be sure everyone is represented and feels welcome. The second is that the Village currently has an Economic Development Commission which needs to be supported by the Village Board. I would encourage interaction and frequent communication between the Economic Development Commission and the Village Board.
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.
I am a firm believer of maintaining, not increasing real estate tax levies and sales taxes as well as decreasing if appropriate. Increasing sales taxes drives residents to shop in other communities. Mundelein needs to attract shoppers to local businesses, not tax them to the point they shop elsewhere. We need to use the real estate tax dollars we levy and sales taxes received as efficiently as possible.