Dan Yost: Candidate profile
Name: Dan Yost
Office sought: Antioch Village Trustee
Family: Married father of three
Occupation: Employee Benefit Consulting
Education: B.A. Ripon College
Civic involvement: Current Board Member, Antioch Police Pension Board; Current President of the Neuhaven Homeowners Association; Current President of the Neuhaven Master Association; Member of Sons of the American Revolution; Member, Ripon College Alumni Board; past Board member at Lakeside Curative Services of Racine.
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent? No. If yes, when were you first elected? N/A
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
The number one issue facing the community is the growing tax burden on homeowners. The village has been a good steward of our money and identified ways to reduce cost and increase efficiency on behalf of residents. This needs to continue, but it isn't enough. The best solution is to continue to grow ourselves out of the problem. By expanding the tax base, particularly through business development and expansion, we can begin to shift the burden away from homeowners. We should work closely with our neighboring towns and villages to review and re-establish boundaries to make sure we have the room to grow in tandem with neighboring towns. We should partner with the Forest Preserve District to encourage strategic alignment when it comes to the expansion of our natural spaces and our need for economic growth and development. And we should continue to look for opportunities to increase our sales tax revenue as a means of upgrading our infrastructure and beautifying our town.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Antioch is where my wife and I chose to make our home and raise our children. We have lived in the Neuhaven community for nearly 14 years. I have a vested interest in making Antioch even better and I believe my background makes me uniquely qualified to help accomplish that for all of Antioch's families. While I don't have experience with the inner-workings of Antioch government, I see that as an advantage. I have the benefit of approaching the role of trustee with fresh eyes, unbiased by previous votes or campaign positions. Instead of political experience I offer honesty and fairness, common sense, a passion for learning and an ability to understand, analyze and solve for complex challenges. I have an established track record of hard work and collaboration. During my 16 years with MetLife I've had responsibility for large budgets, leading teams, innovation, client relationships and implementing nationwide initiatives. As a small-business owner, I have a deep appreciation for and understanding of what it takes to run and grow a business. As the President of a local HOA I understand the needs of the community. I am ready to put this experience to work on behalf of Antioch.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
Over the course of my career I have had the good fortune to be mentored by an amazing leader. He has taught me that the goal of leadership is to recognize and encourage the strength that lies in others, not to be recognized myself. That leadership requires that I acknowledge and accept the fact that I don't have all the answers. That I need to listen more and talk less and by doing so will find that the solutions already reside in those around me. That Leadership isn't about giving orders or taking credit, it's about sharing knowledge and experience, encouraging thoughtful deliberation and being accountable for your decisions. And most importantly, leadership is having the courage to listen and learn from differing perspectives and viewpoints and ensuring that those viewpoints are heard and respected. This doesn't mean sacrificing principles or changing deeply held beliefs but understanding that there is value in the diversity of ideas. These are the leadership characteristics that define my personal style and that have allowed me to bring parties together to accomplish our mutual goals and that I think will be effective in producing action and decision on behalf of the Village of Antioch.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
When it comes to the budget there are two key components that need be considered, expenses and revenues. On the expense side I think the current leadership has exercised sound fiscal discipline and have stretched our tax dollars as far as possible. Our challenge today is on the revenue side. While the current administration has worked to make sure Antioch is well positioned for growth, we need to make sure that the work they have begun is continued. We need to make sure we have a well thought out strategy to grow revenue that doesn't strain our existing infrastructure. By investing in ways that will attract more retail and industrial development we can ensure employment opportunities, provide support for home values and generate the revenue needed to enhance services and beautify Antioch. I am committed to continuing the progress that's already been made and helping to make sure that Antioch is an attractive option for new retail and industrial investment.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I would like to help foster more partnership and communication between our local homeowner associations and the village. This could be accomplished by establishing a voluntary "conference" of associations that will allow communities to share best practices, discuss challenges they face, identify universal needs, establish a purchasing coalition and foster better and more timely communication between our neighborhoods and the Village. By working more closely with our community associations I believe we can identify new and creative ways to be more efficient in the delivery of village services. Also, I haven't heard a lot of discussion about the CN railroad and the traffic disruptions that result from their frequent stops on the tracks running through the village. These obstructions are more than an inconvenience, they are a safety concern. I would like to make sure we don't lose sight of this issue and that we continue to work to bring together those parties who can resolve this problem on behalf of Antioch's residents.