John H. Maier: 2021 candidate for Mettawa village board
Six candidates are running for three trustee seats on the Mettawa village board
Occupation: Controller at Illinois Construction and Environmental Consultants Inc.
Civic involvement: One of the founders of Rondout Community Foundation, member of Libertyville Masonic Lodge.
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: We defer to State and Federal authorities and follow the Governors proclamations.
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: Keep in mind we are a small village with a small population, no village hall or "main street." We maintain our regular committee and village meeting via virtual meetings as well as using our email for resident communications. We let our residents know that they can contact our village trustees at any time. While the pandemic caused challenges, we have not curtailed any services.
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: We are a small village, so with anything keep residents informed with current information and guidelines, Follow county guidelines and directives as well.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: We have not increased our village tax levy in over 20 years. We are debt free. In addition we have a very robust Fiscal Responsibility Act Rebate that the village residents participate in to help offset costs. Lastly the Finance Committee of which I am Chairman actively reviews costs and finds ways to gain efficiencies which in turn makes the village money work harder, which is reflected in the fact we have our credit rating from Moody's raised from Aa2 to Aa1 (2019); thereby lowering any borrowing costs. For such a small village as ours this rating is significant.
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: We have maintained and repaired all the roads in our village as well as studying stormwater management to help with drainage. These types of infrastructure projects should not be placed on a back burner. These items are paid through our current cash flow (no new tax). Additionally, we are working with residents to get county water (JAWA) to homes and use SSA set ups to help defray upfront homeowner costs.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: Keep in mind we have AbbVie and Vyaire in our village proper- good corporate citizens when it comes to health compliance. Costco is in our village as well and they have done a good job in keeping their members and employees safe. I do not know of any instance where a business or company failed in its adherence to the governors proclamations. All are good corporate citizens.
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: Our residents made clear that they did not want marijuana sales in our village. The board listened and acted upon their direction. I support my residents.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: We need to force FEMA to update their maps. The county uses FEMA maps. These maps are important in that they can show wet land and drainage issues on a plat of land. I had opportunity recently to use FEMA maps and found that they are not up to date and miss a lot of detail. This is doubly important considering climatic changes as it impacts on land drainage and wetland; it also affects how a piece of land should be used and its relative value to the land owner.