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: East Dundee
Office sought: East Dundee Village Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married 28 years, with six children
Occupation: Business Development Director
Education: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Michigan, 1982.
Civic involvement: East Dundee Planning and Zoning Commission (2003-2005), Economic Development Member/Chair (2002-2003), Tri-Cities Little League Board Member/Challenger League (2005-present), Willow Creek Community Church - K/1 Children's Leader (2000-present)
Elected offices held: East Dundee Trustee, 2005-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Effective Economic Development is one of the most important items for our community. Since 2005, we have brought in businesses that now provide a budget surplus of >$500,000 per year. Economic development also makes our home a better place to live. For example, we all miss having a local grocer. I will continue to work to bring one back to our community. Economic development is not simply about good ideas. It is about hard work and sales capabilities to bring the opportunities to the table, and determination to clear all roadblocks to make the idea into a reality. Board approval of both Thorntons and Gat Guns may never have happened without my getting involved with persistent negotiation (with IDOT) and lobbying (to the Governor to sign annexation legislation). These two projects will provide over $1 million of annual revenue to East Dundee in 2013 and create a financially stable East Dundee, with or without Wal-Mart.
Key Issue 2
Financial Diligence When I joined the board 8 years ago, we were running annual deficits. Today, we have rebuilt the town into, per our bond counsel,one of the most financially stable towns in our area.? I have led the Finance Committee for most of these years, and my leadership in creating financial policies and building surpluses with clear objectives will benefit our community for decades. Financial diligence is also about details. My business experience in negotiating complex contracts has been helpful by correcting loopholes or costly mistakes prior to legislation or contract approval. This diligence is critical in protecting our future from large payouts due to a poorly written contract or an overlooked term.
Key Issue 3
Teamwork Getting to the best solution always involves listening to those around you. While there is not always agreement on the board, I have found that better legislation is crafted, when taking into account the perspective of those that that disagree with you. Teamwork is not aboutwinning?, but rather about passing the most effective piece of legislation. A great example of this is with the tax levy. After listening to another dissenting trustee's perspective, I was able to persuade other board members to hold our property tax levy flat.
What is your governing philosophy or leadership style? How do you think it differs from your opponent's?
I manage our community as a business, with the goal of long term prosperity and, as important, continuing its character and charm. I leverage my business experience managing Fortune 100 clients. My philosophy is to look at the long term benefits, and view short term benefits as secondary.. Decisions within East Dundee go through a similar filter. Video gambling is a great example of how I differ with my incumbent opponent. I voted against video gambling in East Dundee because it does not align with our community and it is too early to understand the long term effects. The only benefit was a nominal financial benefit. Sadly, my opponent voted for it, and his vote enabled it to pass. For me, the long term benefits simply are not proven. Furthermore, given the earlier advisory vote by the people of East Dundee, which rejected video gambling for East Dundee, the vote by the board to approve video gambling was even more troubling to me.
The relationship between East Dundee and Barrington Hills has been strained as a result of the Insurance Auto Auctions proposal to store and auction off cars at a former gravel pit. What should be done to mend fences?
I was the only person to vote against approval of the plat for IAA until we could have further dialogue with Barrington Hills and its residents. I have sponsored the only in-depth discussion with Barrington Hills and Village officials. As a result of this meeting, I have asked that some reasonable changes be made to the redevelopment agreement and the engineering. The engineering changes have been put in place, and with these changes, approval from IEPA is expected. Final engineering plans should be reviewed with Barrington Hills for comment.
Should there have been a town hall meeting to further explain the IAA project to residents from East Dundee and Barrington Hills? Why or why not?
There have been multiple public discussions. In addition, residents of Barrington Hills have been permitted to express their concerns multiple times in open session during board meetings, planning and zoning, and public meetings. That being said, I support an informational meeting to present the revised plans in a meaningful discussion of facts to all concerned. The stated objections from Barrington Hills are about ground water protection. I am confident that prior to any vote on the redevelopment agreement, that the IEPA, independent engineering firms, and the village engineering firm will confirm that there is no realistic possibility of groundwater contamination based on the proposed engineering and management of the site. Without these assurances, I will not agree to a redevelopment agreement.
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.
We are fortunate to live a community with a low residential crime rate, great charm, and a quaint small town feel. Friends and neighbors want to see that environment continued, so the goal is making certain that a particular investment or action continues our security, both financially and as an attractive, secure community. Effective economic development and forward thinking strategic investments enable our long term public safety.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I am very passionate about our community so I am not keeping ideas to myself. Key issues to pursue include improving the sign ordinance (including better management of electronic signs), fa?ade and streetscape improvements, plus redevelopment of our downtown. One good idea that I am working on is a different approach to return a grocery store to our community. The potentially controversial approach, which has worked in other communities, is an active public investment to enable this. For marketing reasons, we may have to wait until the fate of Wal-Mart is determined, however getting a local independent grocer back in our community can happen, and will have great support of our community.