Patrick Horcher: 2021 candidate for Wheeling village president
Occupation: Florist, Self-employed
Civic involvement: Cook County Farm Bureau; Wheeling village trustee 16 years; Wheeling village president four years
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. To be aware of State requirements and make sure Wheeling gets assistance we're entitled to. We made everyone aware of the rules and the exact orders. I told people ultimately it's everyone's job not to kill family, friends, employees, or customers by spreading this. If asked what difference is one persons actions I would point out it was probably one person that first got this.
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. Wheeling stayed open on divided shifts throughout the situation. Staff who could worked from home, those positions that required a physical presence were divided into smaller groups that were in the building on different days.
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. The processes we have established will be guidelines for future events but we must also be able to adapt.
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. In 2021 Wheeling will be removing some lead water service pipes that were found. We received a million dollar grant to offset the expense.
Q. Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A. It's everyone's responsibility to protect each other.
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. Absolutely agree.
Q. Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
A. I encourage everyone to voice their opinions then calmly rationally make fact based decisions.
Q. What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A. I welcome opposing views, they broaden awareness of situations for decisions. I also have 16 years' experience as a Trustee and 4 years. as President.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. When I was first elected to the Presidents position I tried to get our Fire stations to include a basic community clinic type facility.
Q. What cuts can local government make to deal with the pandemic?
A. Because of our solid financial foundation, we cut no services. Wheeling did waive all business and liquor for 2020 and has already decided to cut them by 50% for 2021.