Jim Tinaglia: 2021 candidate for Arlington Heights Trustee
Six candidates for four 4-year terms
Hometown: Arlington Heights
Employer: Tinaglia Architects, Inc.
Civic involvement: Elected Trustee, 2013-present; Arlington Heights Design Commission (appointment by Mayor Mulder), 2002-2013; Arlington Heights Park District Soccer Advisory Committee Chairman and member, 7 years; ACES Travel Soccer Coach, 13 years
Q. What is the primary reason you're running for office? What is the most important issue?
A. The primary reason is to continue my focus on holding the line on taxes, while maintaining the best possible services for all residents and businesses in Arlington Heights. Being careful and conscientious regarding tax generation, and creative and wise with public spending is critical, and in the best interest for all Arlington Heights residents. I believe this should be the most important issue for any local elected official.
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. Local leadership in our community must always follow State and Federal guidelines. It is, without question, important to instill unity and confidence in all of us, so that together we can follow the guidelines and battle this pandemic as one.
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. Arlington Heights was very proactive throughout the entire pandemic in every manner. Our Village Manager kept the Mayor and all Trustees updated regularly with information and procedures that were necessary to keep operations moving forward. There was never a time when Arlington Heights services were abandoned or shut down.
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. There will always be another challenge around the corner. Having a Village that is properly funded and well-managed are the necessary building blocks that will help us get through a crisis like COVID-19. Creativity and perseverance will be necessary for leadership to prevail.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Cuts will not be necessary in Arlington Heights. The current Village Trustees, Mayor, Village Manager and Finance Department have worked tirelessly throughout the entire pandemic to properly navigate through the balance of funds vs. services. Proof of that fact is in the recent Village budget, where Trustees negotiated and approved a 0% tax increase this year.
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. Arlington Heights is a very old community with underground services that have outlived their projected life span. Water mains and sewage lines need to be replaced and upgraded over the coming years. This is an enormous and very expensive undertaking that must be done before too long. We as Trustees recently approved a program for Public Works and Engineering to perform these upgrades at a minimum of 1% per year.
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the stance your municipality has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A. As discussed earlier, I believe that it is important to follow the guidelines driven by the State. Once Illinois determined that marijuana could be sold legally, towns that choose not to participate, will be devoid of any financial benefit from these sales tax dollars. It would be naive to think that Arlington Heights residents will not cross the street to Rolling Meadows or Prospect Heights to spend their money. Because we voted to approve recreational sales, it is projected that more than a half a million dollars will be generated in sales tax for Arlington Heights.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. As the community becomes focused on a greener environment, it would be my hope that Arlington Heights would sponsor more electric car charging stations in public parking garages and lots. I strongly believe that it is our job to do all that we can to keep our environment clean, safe, and leave it cleaner, safer and better than we found it.