Earl Wilson: Candidate profile
Name: Earl Wilson
City: Des Plaines
Office Sought: 2nd Ward Alderman
Age (on Election Day): 51
Family: Wife, 13-year-old-daughter and one lucky Guinea pig
Occupation: Left retirement to join City Council
Education: Bachelor of Science -- Northern Illinois University
Civic involvement: 4 Years as Des Plaines Library Board Trustee,
Chairman Library Building and Ground
Previous elected offices held: n/a
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
I have learned a lot going door-to-door and listening to what residents have to say. Exorbitant taxes, over spending and wasteful allocation of resources must stop. The state is billions in debt. Additional casino licenses are being considered, risking promised income streams. As your Alderman, I will prioritize the issues in the 2nd ward and within the city. We need to implement cost saving solutions that lessen tax payer burden.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
In addition to being a Des Plaines resident for over 20 years, my leadership roles within the community have allowed me a closer view of day-to-day operations of our city, needs of our ward, and have provided me a unique perspective on how to move forward. Seeing a need within the community, I left retirement in order to become more civically engaged. As Alderman, I will champion honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability. I will continue to meet with the people of the 2nd ward in addition to the City Manager, Mayors, and Alderman with open, candid discussions on goals, objectives, and areas for improvement.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your city council.
During my tenure on the Library Board, I have a clear consistent record of commitment and standing up for what is right and fighting to reduce costs. I believe in equality, resilience, collaboration and leading by example. I vigorously pursue getting all the facts and keeping an open mind, before reaching a conclusion. I am dedicated to service of the community for the common good.
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?
City debt has been reduced to $21 million (down from $102 million) while our bond rating has increased to AA2; continued reduction of our debt is essential to this trend. We must be aware of the difference between a need and a want. I will work with fellow council members to prioritize our needs. Together, we can plan for infrastructure improvements, such as water mitigation, downtown revitalization, and police and fire department facilities, while being budget conscious.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
Our modern lives allow for many conveniences. We can catch up on world events, order a meal, and text with friends, all from the comfort of our homes. As wonderful as our smart devices are, we are wanting for human connections. The constant lure of our devices means we might be missing out on local events, not trying out a new restaurant, or passing on a visit with a neighbor a few doors away. Get reacquainted with the people of our town and welcome our new neighbors and businesses with me. Dust off your bike or lace up your shoes: Let's walk the ward together.