Jon Bisesi: 2023 candidate for Rolling Meadows City Council, Ward 5


Town: Rolling Meadows

Age on Election Day: 59

Occupation: Supply chain

Employer: Culligan

Previous offices held: Alderman Ward 5


Q: What is the most serious issue your community will face in the coming years and how should the city council or village board respond to it?

A: There is a very strong possibility of the Chicago Bears moving to the former Arlington Park property. There will be both positive and negative effects on the city of Rolling Meadows and its residents. While this project will provide more jobs for residents and increase redevelopment opportunities within the city; it could also strain our finances due to the increased expenditures on police, fire and public works. In order to make sure our city's concerns are addressed, we need to communicate well with our residents, work collaboratively with the village of Arlington Heights, and provide solid policy to staff as they work though the various issues and opportunities that arise.

Q: How would you describe the state of your community's finances?

A: In general the finances are very good. The refuse and utility funds are slightly below the levels we would like. This is due to the late fee amnesty we had during the COVID pandemic. Council and staff have been able to accomplish this without significantly raising taxes for the last four years.

Q: What should be the three top priorities for spending in your community during the next four years?

A: 1.) Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water, and sewer systems. 2.) Support for our very small social services team. 3.) Continue to stay on course to bring pension fund levels up.

Q: Are there areas of spending that need to be curtailed? If so, what are they?

A: During the pandemic the city staff has found many ways to curtail expenses through the use of technology and updating processes. Staff should continue to do this especially in the area of community development.

Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project the community must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what project(s) can be put on the back burner?

A: The most important project is updating the water and sewer system. Some parts of our infrastructure are past their life expectancy. I feel we should use the majority of the money from the American Rescue Plan to accelerate the replacement of old water and sewer infrastructure. Most projects that can be delayed are already are being delayed.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage local government? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.

A: I have spent almost four years as a member of city council. Prior to that I spent 16 years on the Planning and Zoning committee including the last two as chairman. I have 15 years of management experience working at local businesses such as 3Com and Grainger. I have also led several projects for my various employers. My style is a collaborative style. I like to hear from everyone then work with them to determine a solid course of action. If something needs to be said I am not afraid to say it. It has been a busy four years on council filled with change and challenges. Throughout it all I feel I have represented the views of the Fifth Ward residents while working well with my fellow alderman. I have not always agreeing with all decisions, however, I believe once a decision is reached collaboratively you support it and move on. This builds trust and respect within the council.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: I am a person with extreme integrity and a love for this city. I have been a resident and volunteer within this city for 32 years, including 24 in the Fifth Ward. I am not a political person. I have served as alderman the last four years. Prior to that I was a volunteer for 16 years on the Planning and Zoning committee, including two years as chairman. I am running for office to give the residents of the Fifth Ward representation that will solicit community feedback prior to voting for things that will significantly impact their way of living and/or pocketbook. Whether I agree with that feedback or not, I believe my vote should reflect the views of the majority of residents in the Fifth Ward. I believe the combination of my experience, education and heart have prepared me to be a solid advocate for the residents in the Fifth Ward and the city of Rolling Meadows. I would be honored to serve a second term.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

A: I would like to see us explore the feasibility of putting a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Golf Road to connect our paths to those in Busse Woods. This would require us to work with state and county organizations, as well as, find grant money to help pay for it.

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