Gabriel Kaven: Candidate profile
Name: Gabriel Kaven
Office sought: 4th Ward Alderman
Family: Married with two children
Occupation: Operations Manager for an education company
Education: B.S. Economics from Minnesota State University, Masters Degree Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School of Management
Civic involvement: Support many charities and organizations in Geneva and the surrounding area.
Previous elected offices held: Pepper Valley HOA Board of Governors, position of treasurer the past 6 years.
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
I think that increasing property taxes are a concern for the families in my ward. I would explore reasonable opportunities to generate revenue for the city other than through property taxes. Geneva attracts many people from outside our community and supporting local businesses is a win win from a revenue standpoint.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My education, experience, community involvement, and a willingness to listen makes me the best candidate. I have worked in a management/leadership position professionally for a number of years and have extensive experience managing budgets. I am on the Board of Governors for Pepper Valley HOA. As treasurer for the last 6 years I am proud of many infrastructure improvements made in my community while maintaining our fiscal responsibility. Our family has also owned and operated a small business in Geneva for the past 10 years. My family is totally invested both personally and professionally in Geneva.
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.
While leadership is certainly an important quality among my peers, first and foremost I would be an elected representative of the residents of the fourth ward. Being elected does make you a leader. With the members of the City Council, collaboration, common sense and open mindedness will best earn their respect as a leader.
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?
The community's budget is on solid footing. The current council has done a good job of prioritizing and managing money in the past. This does not mean that that there will not be challenges in the future that will need to be addressed. In order to provide the level of service that people want, we need to continue to examine other revenue streams for the city that are separate from property taxes. In addition, if you objectively look at expenses and revenues, there is opportunity in the efficient delivery of the public utility. The city of Geneva accounts for about 7% of our property tax bill, however we pay more as rate payers for electric, water, sewer (city owned) and refuse. As your elected representative, I will act in your best interest as a tax payer and utility rate payer.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
The future development needs of our Randall Road corridor needs to be planned now. I am not sure there will be another generation of "big box" stores given the Amazon direction we appear to be going. Perhaps expanded dining, entertainment or housing might be future considerations for the next best generation. It is estimated that 25,000 cars pass through this area each day. We need to consider what that potential presents 1,5,10 years from now.