Philip Suess: Candidate Profile
Wheaton City Council North District (4-year Term)
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: Wheaton City Council North District (4-year Term)
Family: Married to Mary Frances Suess, 3 children, Kathryn 19, Philip, 16, Laura 15
Occupation: Partner with a Global Investment Consulting Firm
Education: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics Northwestern University Masters Degree in Business Administration Loyola University of Chicago Chartered Financial Analyst
Civic involvement: Wheaton City Councilman North District Elected to a 4 year term in 2005 and re-elected to a 4 year term in 2009 Commissioner DuPage Water Commission July 2010 to present Chairman DuPage Water Commission Finance Committee January 2011 to present Former Wheaton History Center Board Member Served as General Operating Chair St. Michael Parish Capital Campaign Member of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Member of the Wheaton League of Women Voters
Elected offices held: Wheaton City Councilman North District 2005-2009 Wheaton City Councilman North District 2009-Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My number 1 campaign issue is to make sure the City can provide the services and programs that make our Wheaton community a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
Key Issue 2
My number 2 campaign issue is to appropriately manage the financial resources of the city in order to provide the services and investments that make Wheaton a great place.
Key Issue 3
My third campaign issue is to invest in capital improvements in our residential neighborhoods.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My record. I have a record of accomplishment over the past eight years where I brought discussion, experience and financial expertise to the city council. These accomplishments include , no increases to real estate taxes over the last 3 years, attainment of a AAA bond rating from Moody's Investor Services and private development projects including Marianos Fresh Market, Wheaton 121 apartment complex, Movie Studio Grill and the proposed redevelopment of the Willow St Jewel site. In addition, in the last 4 years the City has made investments in Northside Park to facilitate flood control, completed the Wesley St bridge over the railroad tracks, increased the annual road building program, and established new programs for the repair and building of sidewalks and the replenishment of parkway trees.
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 local sales tax should not be raised. Revenue growth needs to come from the expansion of our revenue base through private development such as the Mariano's Fresh Market and Movie Studio Grill and not from increased tax rates. To maintain property values and our competitiveness in the local markets we should not increase taxes.
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.
The biggest public safety concern resulting from conversations with friends and neighbors is making sure that public safety services are available when they are needed. In addition, with respect to police services, they expect our police department to be proactive and to maintain a visible presence to deter events, to the extent possible before they occur.
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?
Wheaton through its stategic planning process has made a commitment to limit the increase in operational expenses to no more than 2% a year. This goal has been attained in the past two budgets and is in place with respect to our upcoming budget. In addition Wheaton has made the decision to allocate additional revenues to the extent they become available to improving our infrastucture. The City continues to reduce costs by making investments in technologies that improve efficency, downsizing the size and number of our vehicles and eliminating staffing positions and layers of managment as turnover occurs. The City has taken steps to reduce the size of and growth in its liabilities with respect to sick days and vacation days.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
My idea is to simply make decisions based on the best interests of the residents of the city of Wheaton.