Len Prejna: Candidate profile
Name: Len Prejna
City: Rolling Meadows
Office sought: Mayor of Rolling Meadows
Age (on election day): 68
Family: Married 38 years to Pat Waldron Prejna. Three daughters: Jillian, Jenna & Melissa. Four grandchildren.
Occupation: Educational Support at Rolling Meadows High School, High School District 214
Education: Western Michigan University, Bachelor of Science in Business
Wm. Rainey Harper College, Associate Degree
Forest View High School
• Mayor of Rolling Meadows since April 2017 (which includes being a Board Member of the Joint Action Water Agency (JAWA) for Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and Streamwood)
• Four years as Alderman of Ward 2 in Rolling Meadows
• President of Rolling Meadows Crimes Stoppers and Charter Member
• Served as a Fire & Police Commissioner for 12 years, and was Chairman for 4 of those years
• Previous Chairman of Rolling Meadows Community Events Foundation
• Co-Chairman of Rolling Meadow's 60th-Anniversary Committee
• Completed all of the Academies that the City of Rolling Meadows has offered to residents: Police Academy, Fire Academy, and Public Works Academy
• Member of Rolling Meadows Historical Society
• Member of Golden Years Council
• Past Member of Rolling Meadows Vehicle Replacement Committee
• Coached AYSO Soccer for 10 years, coached Girl's Softball & Basketball for 5 years
Previous elected offices held: Mayor of the City of Rolling Meadows and Alderman of 2nd Ward.
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes, I am the incumbent. I was elected Mayor on April 4, 2017.
• What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue is keeping taxes low and affordable for our residents. This year the City was able to decrease the tax levy from 4.7% to 2.7%. We must continue to watch how the taxpayers' dollars are spent and raise the city's revenue through increased business activity in Rolling Meadows. That can be done by doing the following:
1. Increase economic growth by attracting new businesses and assisting current businesses to grow and expand in our city and continuing to improve our Economic Development Dept. to make it easier for businesses to come to RM. These improvements can be accomplished by:
a) Improving customer service
b) Streamlining the process by which permits and applications are handled by the city,
c) Follow up with businesses after the completion of a project to see how we can continue to improve the way we treat the business customer and residents of our city.
d) Every 12-18 months the city needs to do an independent business survey to give us a report card as to how well the city is supporting the business community.
2. Improve roads, sewer and water. Recently the city council sold bonds that will allow the city to improve water and sewer infrastructure and help with rate stabilization.
• What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My experience and over 30 years of continued involvement in the community are what make me the best candidate for Mayor. I served for 4 years as an alderman and am presently serving as Mayor. I have been a strong supporter of businesses in our city and Community Events throughout the city. I strongly believe that additional improvement is needed in the Community Development Dept. I continue to work and meet with businesses every week to see how we can make the City of Rolling Meadows their home. I believe that my involvement and strong passion for making Rolling Meadows a great place to work and live is why I am the best candidate for the job. That combined with the fact that the city was able to decrease the tax levy from 4.7 % to 2.7% in the past year.
• Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your city council.
I have an open and inclusive management style and I encourage council members to speak out and express their ideas. I seek input from council members on the many different issues that come before the council. The goal at the end of the day is to move the City of Rolling Meadows forward in a positive direction. A direction that makes our city a great place for our citizens to live, work, and play.
• 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 rated highly by Moody's and Standard & Poor's. This is accomplished because of the award winning financial standards that Rolling Meadows uses. We continue to keep positive reserves so that we can always provide the services that Rolling Meadows needs. The City of Rolling Meadows completed the sale of bonds recently for two new fire stations and infrastructure improvements. The City was able to secure an excellent interest rate on the bond sales that will save the taxpayers of RM during the life of the bonds.
• What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
There is always a need for a new generation of volunteers. We need to be looking to the younger generation starting with high school students and college students to get involved. We can provide opportunities for them to experience service to the community. This next generation should have an opportunity to give input in areas like Economic Development, Capital Development, Environmental, etc. The goal would be that when they join the work force or return from college they would consider becoming involved in our city.