Scott Saxe: Candidate profile
Name: Scott Saxe
City: Elk Grove Village
Office sought: Village Trustee
Age (on election day): 50
Family: Wife -- Melissa Saxe
Civic involvement: Years of advocacy work, particularly with health non-profits. Currently Chair of the Illinois Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. Appointed to the EGV Youth Committee in 2018.
Previous elected offices held: N/A
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?
I will ensure that we continue to pursue long-term strategies that are fiscally responsible and sustainable, designed to benefit the entire community. Continued economic development, through growth in our Business and Technology Parks, has a direct impact on the residential areas of our community. The revenue growth from that development helps keep property taxes low, while allowing the Village to provide the increasing levels of services our community has come to expect. We must ensure that strategies are in place to allocate funding from that increased development into reserves, as well, so services are not diminished during times of economic downturn. Elk Grove Village is fortunate to have the country's largest contiguous business park, proximity to auto, rail, and air transport, and affordable access to energy and communications sources. Through continued promotions, incentives, and services, encouraging companies to move here, grow here, or do business here is a key factor in our strategies and a significant driver to our overall financial health. We must provide an environment where businesses can thrive, not just for the benefit of the residents, but for the success of the business, as well. We cannot, however, ignore the changing economic landscape around us. As statewide finances change, we need to be prepared for the impact on both businesses and residents and have contingencies in place to address the potential disruption of revenue resources.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I bring a fresh perspective to the role and can sustain the legacy the current Board has worked hard to achieve. I have decades of experience in leadership, as a business owner, C-Level executive, and non-profit board member. I have a strategic and collaborative approach to organizational leadership and pride myself on transparency and accountability. I've spent the last 20 years in volunteer and leadership roles for non-profits. Public Service is the natural evolution in my service to others and a meaningful way to be impactful in our community. While my volunteer roles started with fundraising, as a board member I quickly found advocacy was where I was most passionate. From access to lifesaving chemotherapies to ensuring children know CPR before they graduate High School, I have been fortunate enough to work on issues that have had a direct impact on people's lives. As an advocate, I've worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to make communities better across Illinois and around the country. I'd like to bring that level of leadership and collaboration to the Elk Grove Village Board. As leaders, we have a responsibility to better the communities we serve.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board.
My style is collaborative and inclusive, which is effective in building teams and executing strategy. I am approachable, accessible, and will take time to listen and to advocate for improvements to the community. From the start of my campaign, I have made myself available by publishing my email address and phone number on handouts, websites, and social media. If elected, I intend to continue being just as accessible to the entire community. I have a history of collaborating with strategic and synergistic partners to achieve common goals. The first step in solving a problem is listening, not jumping towards a solution. I believe we should never sacrifice better for best, and work well at building consensus around difficult conversations. There is no place for ego in service to others, we should operate with the best intentions towards the entire community.
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?
Our budget is solid and has been for several years. We have not raised property taxes in 12 years and have continuously provided services to the community while increasing the general fund. We should continue to build reserves to ensure continuity of services during times of economic downturns by identifying additional areas of revenue diversification. Beyond property taxes, sales and use taxes contribute to the financial health of the community. As we increase development in the Business Park through a combination of new additions and organic growth, we should allocate funds towards both residential and business projects that improve our services, stimulate further growth, and protect our investments. There is a current infrastructure plan that takes the community through 2025. I strongly believe that we cannot wait until that is complete to assess the needs of the community beyond the scope of that plan. As technologies and demographic continue to evolve, we should engage stakeholders throughout the Village to participate in the process, identify any gaps, and evaluate our programs. In partnership with residents, businesses, and other community entities, we can create strategies that serve us well beyond the existing plans
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I believe any community will improve through better communications and civic engagement. As our demographics and technologies change, we need to engage the community in new and meaningful ways. From social media to streaming services to podcasts and community forums, we need to connect with residents and businesses on their terms. Those communications need to be interactive and bi-directional. We must listen to feedback, as well, and take appropriate actions based on those ideas. As a member of the Elk Grove Village Youth Committee, I believe there are many opportunities to impact and engage the youth within the Village. The committee should focus on promoting healthy and safe programs that encourage youth participation within the Village. Through collaboration with the Park District, School Districts, Library, business community, and other entities, we can build strategies and relationships to better achieve those goals. Through education and involvement, we would give Elk Grove youth the knowledge to make better decisions around their health, including smoking, drinking, and drugs (particularly with our focus on opioid addictions), bullying, social media, and more. We can provide resources for participation such as park and after-school activities, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to get kids to actively engage in the solutions to the issues facing them and their peers within our community, with their families and friends, and in ways that are beneficial to us all.