Michael Anastasio: Candidate Profile
Wayne Trustee (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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Wayne Trustee (4-year Terms)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Married with one daughter.
Occupation: Business Owner, Investor and Attorney.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Purdue University Juris Doctor (J.D.), New York University Master of Law (LL.M.)
Civic involvement: Former President and Director, Chicago Chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel. Geneva Chamber of Commerce. Donor to several charities and public organizations, including Village of Wayne, Wayne Police Department, Wayne Historic Preservation Society, CASA, Geneva Community Trust, 4Paws4UForever (Dog Rescue) and numerous local schools and other charities. Dunham Woods Riding Club.
Elected offices held: Village of Wayne Trustee (2009 - Present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Maintaining a balanced budget without increasing real estate taxes or decreasing police protection.
Key Issue 2
Enhancing property values in Wayne.
Key Issue 3
Preserving Wayne's unique and wonderful community and way of life.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
If given the honor of being re-elected to another term as Trustee, no one will work harder or with more integrity to serve the residents of Wayne. Wayne is a very special place filled with wonderful tradition and people. My family has lived in Wayne for more than 12 years, and there is nowhere else we would rather call home. I bring a unique and broad base of business, technical, legal and government experience to the position, including my experience as a Wayne Trustee. I have worked very effectively with the other Trustees, Officers and Staff. We have a great chemistry, and tremendous momentum. While there is more to do, much has been accomplished. When I first became a Trustee, our Long Range Financial Plan was projecting insolvency by 2014 due to the economic crisis of 2007. Now, the Village is projecting a budget surplus for the current fiscal year, has substantial cash reserves, and no debt. We have accomplished this while maintaining top-notch police protection and safe, well-maintained roads. This is a major accomplishment for an Illinois municipality, especially considering that Wayne is essentially an entirely residential community with a low density population that only gets back 5% of real estate taxes paid by its residents.
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.
Wayne is a residential community with virtually no opportunity to realize significant additional revenues by increasing local sales taxes. I am a Fox Valley business owner, and can speak to the issue of local sales taxes. I believe that increases in local sales taxes are counterproductive because they increase the cost of doing business. More importantly, they increase costs to consumers and local residents, causing them to take their business elsewhere. Instead, I support more creative approaches to local revenue generation. For example, it would be wonderful if federal and state legislators would pass laws that give local businesses unrestricted tax credits (versus merely deductions) that incentivize them to contribute money to municipalities and hire local laborers and contractors. This would lead to a much more efficient and fair distribution of increasingly scarce local financial resources.
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.
I believe the biggest public safety concern is maintaining the terrific level of police protection Wayne residents deserve and have come to expect. The Wayne Police Department is first class. Our Chief and Officers work hard every day to serve and protect Wayne residents. They have done an outstanding job, particularly considering that Wayne is a populartarget community? for criminals. Maintaining a Police Department that provides full-time protection is not inexpensive. It can be very challenging in these times of economic uncertainty and increasingly scarce federal and state financial support. I believe Wayne should continue to invest wisely in its Police Department in order to continue to keep crime low, promote public safety and preserve and enhance property values. This includes investing in cost-saving technologies that can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local police protection.
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?
Wayne's budget is already very lean. By way of example, none of the Trustees or Village Officers receives a salary or any other form of compensation or benefits. In addition, our Administrative, Public Works and Police Department staffing levels and salaries are kept to bare minimums. Every year we carefully prioritize and plan spending both for the short term and for the long term. One area where we can realize significant savings is in Public Works facilities costs, and we are working on that now. Recently, Wayne received a state grant to support the construction of a new public works building that has the potential to eliminate tens of thousands of dollars from our operating expenses. We have further reduced our administrative costs by closing Village Hall on Fridays. We have also switched insurance carriers to realize substantial savings on annual premiums. On the other hand, we could do more to support the Police and the pension plan our residents overwhelmingly voted into place. We have virtually no control over the variables that the State requires for pension plan funding. However, it is important that we continuously invest in our Police Department so that we can attract the highest quality officers and continue to provide the level of protection our residents deserve.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I think one good idea is to encourage residents and businesses fortunate enough to be able to do so to voluntarily make tax deductible contributions to support the Village. I make such contributions, and believe there are not many better things to do with my money. Not only are such contributions gratifying, they also help support critical functions such as police protection that enhance our property values and improve and protect the quality of our lives and community. It would be wonderful if some creative federal and state legislators got together and passed tax laws that would give unrestricted tax credits (not just deductions) to local businesses and residents who contribute to their municipalities and hire local employees and contractors. Federal and state governments routinely implement tax measures to encourage investment. Why shouldn't they incentivize local businesses and residents to support their own towns and homes?
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