Jeff Walter: Candidate Profile
Elburn Village Board (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.
Office sought: Elburn Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married to Carrie Walter, 2 Children
Occupation: Senior Manager for IT Portfolio Solutions Delivery for Health Care Service Corporation (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL, TX, NM & OK)
Education: Bachelor of Science, Finance, University of South Florida, 1991 Masters of Science, Manufacturing Management, University of Toledo, 1997 Masters of Business Administration (MBA), New York Institute of Technology, 2004
Civic involvement: Current: Elburn Lions Club, American Legion Elburn Post 630, Chair of St. Gall Catholic Church, Annual Turkey Dinner & Annual Golf Tournament,Chairman of the Supporters of Military Veterans at HCSC Business Resource Group Past: Cub Scout Den Leaders, KYSO Soccer Coach, Elburn Baseball Coach
Elected offices held: Village Trustee, Elburn, 2009 - 2013
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Appropriate Growth for Elburn, namely, Elburn Station. Elburn Station will double the size of the Village and without smart controls it will become a financial burden to the tax payers. I believe smart growth is doable with a well thought out annexation agreement.
Key Issue 2
Financial planning - 4 years ago we had no budget process, no discussions around budgeting and very little, if any, future spending planning. In the 4 years that I have chaired the finance committee we have implemented a year long planned budget process, not dipped into our reserves and have made numeroud spending cuts to bring the Village budget in line with income. We still have some work to do on planinning and investing appropriately for future needs.
Key Issue 3
Sensible Village ordinances - I believe we have some ordinances that are onerous to Villagers and potential Villagers and Village businesses. For example, the current board had approved numerous requests for exceptions to the sign ordinance. This tells me that the ordinance does not reflect current business practices for signage and the ordinance needs a review. There are several other ordinances I think need reviewing also.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My experience, not only as a board member but my life experience in small and large business environments. I have been a Plant Manager & General Manager in a small business, a Business Manager at an auto assembly plant and now an IT manager in the data and business intelligence area.
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.
Our sales tax is right for our current needs.
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.
Recently it is people using the retention ponds as ice rinks. New subdivions now have required retention ponds that freeze over and are very attractive to skaters. Several residents have expressed concerns over someone falling in. I have no problem with people using ponds to skate on, there is a personal responsibility issue in making sure they are frozen over enough to skate on. I don't think it is government's responsibility to approve or deny access.
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?
We have spent the last three years slashing the Village budget. Whole departments have been cut, other postiions not replaced and no raises given over several budgets. Right now we have a good balanced budget and I don't see the need for any more trimming. We must however, hold the line on expenses since income is not increasing.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
Currently we are not talking about parks and recreation in the Village. I believe the Village needs a parks department that can begin to work with current Village land to provide more recreation opportunities for the community.
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