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: South Elgin
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: South Elgin Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Sandy 2 children - Ariana and Alex
Education: BA - Accounting from Michigan State University - 1990 Juris Doctorate - Chicago Kent College of Law - 1995
Civic involvement: Vice-Chairman - Food for Greater Elgin Board of Managers - Kane County Bar Association Vice-President - Brett Armin Sarcoma Foundation Paul Harris Fellow - Rotary International Secretary-Sherman Hospital Citizen Advisory Board
Elected offices held: Village Trustee-South Elgin 2005-Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Continuing to grow South Elgin - South Elgin needs more residents and non-retail businesses to support the retail businesses throughout town. For example, the restaurants in town struggle at lunchtime because most residents work out of town and there are not concentrated office businesses to provide lunch crowds. As a result, the restaurants have to rely on dinner and weekend crowds to survive. The more we can support our local businesses, the higher the tax revenues will be for the Village, allowing for additional governmental services to be provided by the Village. This, in turn, reduces the Village's need to rely on real estate taxes to support the same programs.
Key Issue 2
Making sure the Village continues its responsible growth in the Route 31 corridor "downtown" area. The Route 31 corridor in South Elgin has seen some growth and will be poised for futher growth with the addition of a new roadway connecting Bowes and Route 31. This will lead to opportunities for the community to grow within this area of town.
Key Issue 3
Continue with replacing old infrastructure and roadways throughout town. The Village has implemented a systematic plan of mapping and then replacing aging infrastructure on the near west side and east side of the Village where systems are at risk of failure. By continuing to upgrade these critical facilities the residents will benefit and there will be less risk of future failures such as water main breaks or problems caused by overloading the storm sewer systems resulting in flooding. In addition, by replacing the oldest roadways, the Village can provide safer, smoother roadways for its residents.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have served as a Trustee for two terms and I have developed an excellent working relationship with the Village Department heads. Additionally, I have extensive experience both in economic development as a past Chairman of SEED (South Elgin Economic Development Council) and as an attorney who regularly works with commercial and residential developers. My experience allows me to properly analyze projects, seek new opportunities and work toward managed growth for the betterment of the Village 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.
The Village of South Elgin has limited taxing power. As a non-home rule community, there is a very limited ability to raise funds through taxes in the Village. The tax rate that the Village currently has in place is appropriate because it helps raise sales tax revenue to offset the burden on residents' property taxes, but does not place too much stress on our businesses by having so high of a tax rate that the businesses cannot compete with neighboring towns.
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.
There is no glaring concern over public safety that I have heard from the community. However, there is always a desire to have more police officers on the streets to protect our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, this desire often conflicts with the need to maintain tight budgets and limit spending. Therefore, in the coming years, a balance must be struck between the ongoing need to expand the police force and responsibly budgeting to afford additional officers.
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?
The current budget in South Elgin is already very tightly managed. Department heads have been diligent and very proactive in limiting expenditures and maximizing revenues allocated to their departments and programs. In these difficult economic times with limited revenue raising abilities and decreasing property values, the Village staff and Board will continue to try and cut overall expenses where appropriate without diluting essential services for the residents.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The Village should reach out to "entertainment" businesses to locate in South Elgin to provide residents with local opportunities to socialize and recreate in South Elgin. For example, businesses such as Brunswick Zone,Dave & Busters or Indoor Golf facilities would provide local entertainment venues for residents and draw additional sales tax revenue for the Village.