Scott Allen Pierce: 2021 candidate for Antioch trustee
Five candidates are running for three Antioch trustee seats in the April 6, 2021, election.
Occupation: Field Service Engineer Natus Medical Inc.
Civic involvement: Former president Lions Club, Member of VFW, member of Lakes Historical Society
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: As an experienced leader in town, I have to support the directives of the CDC, State government in a positive manner. I need to set the example, which I do naturally because of my work in health care. I also need to have a compassionate ear for those who are losing their businesses and jobs due to pandemic. We do not need to be dictators, we need to be partners. We need to be cheerleaders such as during the toughest lock down period, I thought of a banner program that was about "Together We Will Make It" which became a highly appreciated Village and Township Wide Banner program
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 am very proud of Antioch's employees. They have found new ways and garnered new skills to continue their service to our residents. Zoom Meetings, remote work, alternating hours, are examples of how we have continued service. Public works has instituted work rules that helps keep the workers safe but doing vital village work. There have been a lot of chances to fail but they have always found a way.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: Future Pandemics can be lessened or addressed by continuing to practice meaning of the good health practices we have learned. Sanitizing, washing hands regularly, relearning what personal space is versus being socially polite/distancing, barriers at service counters maintained. I also believe things like changing laws to make Zoom Meetings the norm instead of the rare event will prevent spreader events.
Q: What cuts can local governments make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: Taxpayers demand services such as police, fire, parks, public works continue to be provided. The demand for increased services has increased which means more costs. As the local governing body the Village must find ways to provide those services. Antioch has been lucky in the face of the pandemic that we have been able to maintain services because we had foresight to Balance our budget, streamline our expenses and put alternate revenues in place. The fiscal responsibility of board and staff has meant we could do things like suspend water bill rate increases and provide business pandemic grants.
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 decrepit and eyesore property on Main Street called the Pittman Property has the highest infrastructural need. Many years of neglect and an absent owner led to demands for something to be done. The Village bought the property after several years of negotiation for below the market price. Now using the Central Business Zone Revenue stream we can obtain a bond issuance, which combined with grants and money, we have saved to revitalize the property.
I would like to see the property turned into a family destination area with an open creek walk, water features, winter and summer activity areas and pathways for special events or just a casual stroll.
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 voted "no" for the final ordinance adopted by the Village because it allowed wholesale cultivation, large sales, craft sales and multiple dispensaries. My opinion was this would fundamentally change the character of the Village. I would have voted yes for a single dispensary. I have family members who suffer Epilepsy, PTSD and Anxiety Disorders. Many people can only find relief with the use of marijuana and do not want the stigma attached to medical marijuana user. I am not a "pot" smoker but for those individuals such as returning service members in need of relief we provide a dispensary. It is part of Putting People First.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: The Village Leadership needs to hold a Transportation Conference. We need to request nicely, but expect our State Representatives, Regional Transportation Planners, and Lake County Reps to attend. Issues such as traffic flow/safety, road widening, bike lanes on the state highways, underpasses and planning to resolve the "Antioch Strangler" need discussing. Four State Highways lead into or through the village and we can't resolve the transportation issues without an all hands on deck attitude. An additional issue is the Condition of Antioch's beloved Sawmill. Built in 1976 for the Centennial by Volunteers through a village wide project. I propose we bring the Village together to rehab both the Structure and it's surroundings.