Robert Greer: Candidate profile
Name: Robert Greer
Office sought: Trustee
Family: Linda Greer, wife; Robert F Greer, son; Nathaniel S. Greer, son
Occupation: College professor
Education: Marquette University, doctorate; Wheaton College. master's degree
Civic involvement: Newspaper editor and owner; plan commission member; Winfield trustee
Previous elected offices held: Winfield trustee
Incumbent: Yes, first elected in 2015
Q. What are the most important issues facing Winfield and how do you intend to address them?
The number one issue is the need for increased revenue. The second issue is the development of Town Center. Both are intertwined since to develop the one requires the development of the other.
The means whereby we can meet these two needs involves Central DuPage Hospital. It wishes to expand its footprint into Town Center. I will only allow such an expansion provided that it pays its fair share in property and business taxes so that this burden does not continue to fall upon Winfield taxpayers.
Increasing the revenue base for Winfield also involves commercial development of the Roosevelt Road corridor (properties west of the Winfield/Roosevelt roads intersection. I am working with President Erik Spande, Curt Barrett and board members in the planning for this commercial development.
Q. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have experience since I previously served on the Plan Commission and have served as a village trustee for the last four years. My specialty on the village board is teamwork and an ability to agree to disagree when needed. A Christian theologian, I also provide an ethical base to all our village deliberations. I also have the confidence of President Erik Spande and Village Manager Curt Barrett with my work on the board in the previous four years as trustee.
Q. Describe your leadership style and explain how that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with the Winfield village board.
My leadership style is teamwork and respect for others. As a trustee, I keep my focus upon the strategizing of the development of Town Center, negotiations with Central DuPage Hospital and the commercial development of the Roosevelt Road Corridor. I refuse to micromanage the village staff, since I have confidence that Village Manager Curt Barrett is competent to manage his own staff without my interference. My refusal to micromanage the staff sets me apart from certain other members of the village board.
Q. How would you describe the condition of Winfield's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
Winfield is in its best financial position in years, but there is a lot of work to be done. Due to the $900,000 annual contribution Central DuPage Hospital makes to the village, that was negotiated on 2015, the financial profile of Winfield has stabilized.
Yet since this contribution from CDH is limited to only five years (to end in 2020), the village will once again face a financial crisis unless more money is acquired to offset the loss.
I believe the solution to this upcoming shortfall is to renegotiate with CDH to continue providing $900,000 for a minimum of the next five years. Justification for this continued contribution is due to the large footprint that CDH has in Winfield, which has taken approximately 50 percent of all potential taxable businesses off the tax rolls. Since CDH has taken a sizable amount of land off the tax rolls, some form of contribution in lieu of taxes makes good sense. This has been done in other municipalities. It stands to reason that it could and should be done in Winfield also.
Q, What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I would like to see the Winfield History Museum improved so that it can show, through exhibits, the village's interesting history -- reaching back to the indigenous period of Native America evidenced in the Winfield Mounds (A.D. 500), the early settlements following the Black Hawk Wars of the 1830s, its involvement in the Underground Railroad, and its relationship to Robert McCormick and Cantigny Park in the early 20th century. Such improvements can be realized via grants available for such projects. We can also draw upon the expertise of the archaeological departments at Wheaton College and Aurora University.
We have much to be proud of, and our schoolchildren should have an opportunity to correctly understand the unique role Winfield has had in the development of the western suburbs of Chicago.