Ray Mullen: 2021 candidate for Mundelein trustee
7 candidates running for 3, 4-year seats
Office sought: Mundelein village trustee
Occupation: Realtor, Century 21 Affiliated
Civic involvement: Past CEO/Executive Director of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce; board member and past president of Mundelein Community Connection; member of the Mundelein Days Commission; board member of the Mundelein Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT); member of the Mundelein Old Number One Preservation Committee; board member and past president of the Mundelein Vernon Hills Rotary Club; 20-year volunteer for the Mundelein Park on Park cruise in; volunteer for Carmel High Street Scenes; volunteer for the Mundelein Craft Beer Fests. I have volunteered and will continue to volunteer for the Lake County Health Department COVID 19 vaccine events.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree -- or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: I believe that the Village leadership needs to be compassionate yet realistic and balanced on all issues. It is also critical be accessible and transparent on all issues. I don't feel that we should simply defer to State and Federal authorities but they do have resources that the village does not have direct access to.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: I believe that the Village responded as well as possible to the needs of the residents but the village did not react to the needs of the local businesses well at all. Even at this point, there is little being done by the village to support struggling local businesses.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future guidelines public health crises?
A: This is the area that State and Federal government agencies are far better suited to address. The village does have the responsibility to review and implement guidelines as the develop,
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: The budget needs to be reviewed line by line and pro forma budgets prepared for possible pandemic scenarios. Unfortunately, Staff furloughs may be required and general expenditures may need to be eliminated. The Village must be able to operate through the pandemic without using reserves.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board/council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: I do agree with the Village's position on legalized marijuana sales in the community
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: The Village needs to add a staff position for business development within the Village. The individual filling this position needs to have a solid business background. The Village needs to aggressively and proactively attract new businesses to Mundelein and do what can practically be done to help existing businesses thrive. Frankly, there is no one currently on staff that can understands the needs of businesses. We owned Debbie's Floral in Mundelein for over 30 years. In that entire time, no one from the Village ever visited or contacted us to talk about what the Village could do to help. There is no one on staff who is responsible for enticing and supporting business. That individual can also provide a consistent and experienced guidance to the Economic Development Commission. I also feel that The Village should implement term limits for elected positions.
Q: What is the primary reason you're running for office? What is the most important issue?
A: I believe that the Village needs to be more prudent with expenditures. I do not believe that the amount spent on signs for entrances to the village was appropriate and I do not believe that the amount of money spent on the purchase of property at the West side of Route 45 at the intersection of Allison Rd was not a good use of taxpayer funds.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: The village has invested in several infrastructure projects over the years. There is a major flood abatement project under way and a new Public Works facility has just been completed. There is a possible need for a third Fire Station but staffing a third station has to be reviewed. The village streets are deteriorating and a long term plan for repair and resurfacing is needed.