Arnulfo Rufo A. Noble Jr.: 2021 candidate for Oakbrook Terrace mayor
Two candidates are running for a 4-year term as Oakbrook Terrace mayor.
City: Oakbrook Terrace
Employer: Kraft Foods (Retired 2004)
Civic involvement: Since 1987, I have 20 years of leadership experience in various government functions for our city, plus I was the president of an Asian social group, the Batangas Club of the Midwest.
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 will be a leader for all city residents, to help them overcome their COVID-19 issues. To get the most from state and federal programs, I will set up an advisory board in town with volunteer specialists from the medical field. This advisory board will keep track of COVID-19 issues and will advise the mayor and the rest of the city council on a biweekly basis. I will also continue to participate in pandemic and health related conference call discussions with our congressman.
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: The City of Oakbrook Terrace did do some good things to help out both residents and local businesses, for example, the $100 food voucher. This was a good start, but I can increase the benefits by looking at the entire budget and reprioritizing spend. While subsidizing commercial business is important for our local economy, it is even more important to find tax breaks and other benefits to residents. For example, a high percentage of our budget goes to funding police pensions.
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: Keeping people informed with science based information, early and often is critical to minimizing impact to residents. The next health crisis may be a virus, but it could also be heart disease or some other disease. I will coordinate with the great medical facilities that we have in town, for example Loyola, Elmhurst Hospital, and the DuPage Emergency facility to gather the facts and advice for the people of Oakbrook Terrace.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: We are overspending on excess salaried city employees, for such a small population is excessive. Also as Mayor I will work with the Park District organization to ensure that their expenses are essential to residents during these difficult times.
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: While we might have to postpone the larger projects, we must keep up with basic maintenance tasks on roads and buildings to avoid very large expenses down the road.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: We have to adhere to the governor's mandates, unless they are unfair and need to be challenged. However, I support restricting certain types of businesses to protect the health of residents.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your city council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: Yes, I agree. Our police must closely monitor the new businesses to ensure they stay in compliance with state regulations.
Q: Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your city council.
A: I am a consensus builder -- I will work with the city council representatives to ensure that we come up the best alternatives to challenges. I also have an "open door" policy. I listen to people's concerns and try to help them any way I can.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I don't owe anything to anybody. I am a hard worker, and I am not for sale. I will work to restore integrity in local government by imposing term limits, transparency in city contracts, and following common sense hiring best practices.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Nobody talks about the history of political corruption in Oakbrook Terrace, which has been going on since the '80s. I publicly predicted that the red-light cameras were going to lead to corruption and there is still ongoing FBI and IRS investigations underway. I stood up against corruption. Today, my idea is to prevent this from ever happening again by starting fresh, clearing out the old relationships and ushering in a new, more transparent government culture.