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: Elburn Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, two sons
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bethel University, 19981 Masters of Business Administration, Aurora University, 2002
Civic involvement: Elburn Planning Commission, positions held - Chairperson and Commissioner Elburn Baseball & Softball Elburn Boy Scouts Troop 7 Elburn Cub Scouts Pack 107
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
Elburn is at a critical crossroads. We are creating today the legacy we will leave our children and grandchildren. The issues being discussed and resolved now will set the future course for many years to come. We must be mindful of the foundation we are setting and be protective of the fiscal health of our community. When we do this we will be able to preserve the rich heritage we value. Changes will come--they have to. But, they must make Elburn stronger, not just bigger.
Key Issue 2
Elburn's Economy Residents are feeling the pinch of real estate taxes due to two areas?real estate taxes have been increasing and the large numbers of foreclosures are driving down our property values. There are also vacant storefronts in our retail areas, which reduces our potential sales tax revenue. We need to attract new businesses to Elburn! The proposed update to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan includes additional retail in several new areas, as well as light industry offices and manufacturing. A robust economy will create the momentum for a growing community that will not be based solely on residential rooftops.
Key Issue 3
Housing foreclosures in recent years, unfinished development of Blackberry Creek, as well as the proposed Shodeen development currently under review- all have a significant impact on the Village. Obviously, there is the tax revenue impact when there are more households contributing to the revenue side; however, there are additional expense side impacts as well. Elburn needs to wisely plan for these and make sure new development doesn't weigh down the Village budgets, but provides a balance between benefits vs. cost. These new developments bring additional expenses by providing necessary services?police and public works directly, but also in our school and fire districts. With the most recent U.S. census confirming our population now exceeds 5,000, Elburn has crossed into additional pension requirements, which is putting a strain on the Village budget.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
First, 15 years on Village of Elburn Planning Commission with six years as its chairperson. As a long standing planning commissioner and chairperson, I believe, I have more experience vetting development projects than the other gentlemen running. As a commissioner, it is important to weigh all the factors in consideration, including the immediate, as well as long range, impacts and precedents being established. In addition, it is critical to understand and assess the effect any proposed development may have on the whole of our community and not just on one person's preferences. As a recommending body, I believe the Planning Commission plays a principal role in determining the long-term look and feel of our community. Unlike the movie, Field of Dreams, which touts thatIf you build it they will come?; I found that in planning if they don't come, you cannot unbuild it. Second, holding an MBA will also lend additional business acumen to the Village Board. Professionally, I have over 20 years in sales, marketing and consulting experience. During 10 of these years I was also a business owner myself.
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.
Elburn's local sales tax percentage is structured by Illinois state statute. Our Village's current sales tax percentage (7.00%) is lower than our neighboring communities along the Fox River as well as DeKalb and Sugar Grove where their sales tax varies from 7.5 to 8.25%. All communities have a basic 7.00% sales tax rate. However communities may impose up to an additional 1% sales tax on general merchandise. Specially designated Home Rule communities may impose even more sales tax. Revenue received from sales tax is one of the major streams of revenue in Elburn. The other main contributor to revenue is property tax although the Village of Elburn's portion is less than 4.5% of one's total tax bill. Other contributing tax sources are utility and income tax as well as other miscellaneous fees. All these line items contribute to the overall revenues used to provide the high quality of life our residents have come to expect. Of course, it would be beneficial to have more sales tax dollars flowing into the Village's coffers, but not on the backs of our residents. I believe any increase in the sales tax rate would not only dampen the competitiveness of our Village's retail businesses, but would add to the financial burden already on the backs of our residents who "Shop Elburn First?. Just because the Village Board has the power and authority to impose as much as an additional 1.00% sales tax on the sale of general merchandise within the Village, I believe that we, instead, need to be more aggressive in attracting new business and offer stronger support to our present business community.
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 most Elburn residents feel very safe. As our statistics demonstrate, we are fortunate to have low levels of crime. Where there is crime, it is generally theft from unlocked cars, as well as other random acts of minor theft. Thankfully, our incident of major crimes, including violent crime, is very low. Another aspect of public safety, other than crime, is our Fire District and emergency response times. The proposed Anderson Road overpass is a solution to minimize Ambulance and Fire response times when a train is traveling through Elburn. There are up to 120 trains per day. Construction of the overpass will benefit public safety in Elburn by minimizing response times when an emergency occurs as our first responders will no longer have to sit and wait for a train to pass.
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 budget in Elburn is tight. As I stated earlier, the current census shows Elburn recently crossed the 5,000-population level. Under state law, this population level mandates additional requirements such as the formation of a Police Board and a Police Pension Board, along with changes in the police pension fund. This has further strained the Village's budget. In every budget -household, business or government -there are non-negotiable items and others more optional. To accurately assess the budget I would need to look closely at each item and carefully considers its value to impacting the community at large. There are two ways to impact the budget; increase revenue or decrease expenses. Both means must be carefully managed.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The time has come for action on Economic Development. An Economic Development ordinance has previously been passed, however a commission is not in place. The Village needs to coordinate with its business stakeholders to begin socializing Elburn to all kinds of potential business--manufacturing, offices, and retail. This can be accomplished by working along side the local business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Kaneland WINS group and even those Chambers outside of Elburn.