Rocco Terranova: Candidate profile
Name: Rocco Terranova
Office sought: Schaumburg Village Trustee
Age (on election day): 64
Family: Married to my wife, Sue. We have 3 married children, Tony (Janet), Michael (Heather) and Deana (Kirk). We also have 10 grandchildren.
Occupation: Retired President/Business Manager for Sheet Metal Workers' Local 73
Education: Prosser Vocational High School, Graduate of Washburne Trade School, Labor Studies at George Meany Center
Civic involvement: Patrol Officer, Elementary School Track Coach, Hoffman Estates Park District Committees (Financial & Parks & Grounds Committee), Harwood Heights Youth Commissioner
Previous elected offices held: Trustee, Business Agent and President/Business Manager for Sheet Metal Workers' Local 73. Vice President General Executive Council for International Sheet Metal Workers, Executive Board for Cook County Building Trades, Executive Board for Chicago Federation of Labor, Schaumburg Township Democratic Committeeman.
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? No
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue to me facing Schaumburg is our debt. I didn't know we were that much in debt and I'm sure many of our residents don't know either. I think our debt level is too high for a town our size and I have not heard a plan on how the incumbents plan to address it. Another issue is our tax burden which will only go up with pension obligations and the possibility of more debt the village is considering taking on. The third issue for me is our lack of diversity. I think we need more voices from the community involved in how our village spends taxpayer money and we need to be sure everyone's voices are heard. I plan to bring my knowledge and experience with the union and other boards I have served on, to get our fiscal house in order. I will use common sense approaches and work with all the trustees to be sure we keep our financial responsibility to the residents. I am proud to run with Nafees and Dhitu and to work with them on addressing our platform issues.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have been a Schaumburg resident since 1985 and I have been very active in our community. As President and Business Manager of my union, I negotiated several fair contracts with all trustees. I increased our revenues, our funds and put our finances in good solid order. I think our town needs a breath of fresh air on the village board and will take a new look at how we manage our government. I believe I can work with all trustees and I have a reputation for not just going along with the status quo. I think it's time to really take our community in a new direction or we will end up like other communities straddled with debt and no plan to pay it off. I have the knowledge and prudence to do what is right and what is necessary to improve our financial condition for the Village. I will work with the board on addressing union matters and pension issues which I dealt with as a union president and business manager.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your city council.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a straight forward leader and I have a no-nonsense approach to making difficult decisions. I have worked cohesively with many boards in my 30 plus years of professional work. I have worked with people of all kinds with various backgrounds and have had very successful results. I know our current council and it will be a smooth transition if I get elected to work with our incumbents. I am not afraid to speak my mind and to hear views from all sides. That is what good leadership is and that is how I have worked with others in the past. Producing results works best when we respect one another's views and then make a decision and move on.
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?
To my knowledge, the current Village board has overspent and has not shown fiscal responsibility. Spending millions more on new proposed projects at this time, with the excessive current debt, is not being fiscally responsible. Our team wants to cut 5% across the board in unnecessary spending. Every budget I have ever worked with has had wasted spending. As trustees, we need to work with our employees to help find the waste, eliminate and cut it from our spending, and tighten our belts. We must live within our means. We need to find ways to improve the budget without affecting the level of services the people of the Village want and need.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I want the population of Schaumburg including all residents and businesses of the Village to be treated fairly and equally. Everyone should have their opportunity and be heard, not just some.