Carpentersville hopefuls mixed on how to improve village's image
Before Jeffrey Sabbe and his wife moved to Carpentersville, they were told the area was rampant with gang activity and crime.
But that was far from the case, and Sabbe says he experienced just the opposite.
"We love the community," said Sabbe, one of six people seeking three trustee seats on the village board in April.
Incumbents Don Burroway and Paul Humpfer are seeking re-election, while Humberto Garcia, Sara Miller, Sabbe and Christopher Scholl are seeking their first, 4-year terms.
For some people, perception trumps reality and candidates want to change Carpentersville's image for residents and visitors alike.
Sabbe said one way is through word-of-mouth, getting more people to come to town and visit businesses and see recent park improvements.
"It's already a wonderful community and it's letting other people know that," he said. "I just want to help in any way I can to keep things trending up."
Humpfer said another step is for the village government to be as transparent as possible. Humpfer said the days of huge fights on the board are gone and trustees work out their differences behind closed doors.
"It's day by day, it's incremental, it's always keeping your eye on the ball, and it's acting in unison as a board," Humpfer said.
Burroway said another way to enhance the image is by improving the way the village does business.
Better customer service, such as the village issuing routine building permits faster, can help generate positive word-of-mouth.
"It takes time, a lot of time to change that," Burroway said. "That was one of the things I wanted to focus on when I came on the board."
Garcia also believes bringing more visitors to the area to experience the town can help improve the village's image. Garcia gave an example of a car show that drew more that 120 entries and had visitors complimenting new buildings and parks.
"If we have a map to follow, that's going to create a community," Garcia said.
Scholl said he believes the village needs to do a better job marketing the improvements it's made as well as unique shops and restaurants.
"We really need to market businesses," he said.
Miller also shared a similar view, saying fewer vacant storefronts would make a better impact on visitors.
"They get off Interstate 90 and go to the Grand Victoria Casino (in Elgin). We need them to go the other way and come to our community," Miller said. "We need to bring more traffic to the community so the community can see us."
The election is April 7 and early voting begins March 23. For more information on polling places, visit kanecountyelections.org.