Erik Crawford: 2021 candidate for Carol Stream trustee
Four candidates are running for three, 4-year trustee seats on the Carol Stream village board. Two incumbents, Rick Gieser and Matt McCarthy, are seeking reelection. The challengers are Jeff Berger and Erik Crawford.
The Daily Herald posed questions to the trustee hopefuls in the April 6 election. Below are Crawford's responses. For more election coverage, visit dailyherald.com.
City: Carol Stream
Occupation: Director of Operations, Sound Incorporated
Civic involvement: Local volunteer, former part-time Carol Stream firefighter
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 a board member I would listen to our residents and local business owners on what they need and the concerns they have. I would work with our other board members to address the concerns and come up with a proper game plan for everyone involved. I would stay within State and Federal guidelines as long as the medical data and science backed the suggested restrictions. I will always lean toward the well-being of the citizens of Carol Stream as well as the livelihood of small business's within our community.
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 believe Carol Stream responded to the Pandemic swiftly and responsibly. The village moved all local gatherings to public Zoom meetings and they restricted access to public gathering places according to State mandates. I think the open communication with the residents was good and that the board and Mayor did an outstanding job.
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: I hate to say that a global Pandemic is a good test of a Village and its response to such, but that's exactly what this was and we as a Village responded admirably. The cooperation of residents and local business's shows how strong of a community we have and the outpouring of community support by individuals was beyond impressive. I would hope that there are pieces that we learn from, the good, the bad and that we work together to always be better prepared in the future.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: Carol Stream is a fiscally responsible town with a balanced budget and a board that prides itself on maintaining this moving into the future. I hope that I am able to present an outside look into future spending and maybe find more creative ways to spend but get the same result in the end. It is very important that we spend money in the proper areas so we can maintain a safe, clean, family oriented place to live.
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: Luckily for Carol Stream residents most of the large infrastructure project's have been completed in previous years. Carol Stream is in beautiful shape and previous boards have made sure this continues to happen moving into the future. I think our priority should always be the safety of the residents and ensuring that we are bringing in local business's that compliment who we are as a community.
Q. Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A. The state of Illinois is bound by a Constitution and as long as those rules are followed, I will support any orders given by the Governor or the State. I believe it is very important as a local government, if rules are set forth that are unconstitutional that we stand with other local communities to let the Governor and State know we are in disagreement and we will not adhere to unconstitutional mandates.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: When considering this question, I think about what Carol Stream is and who we are as a community. I see us being a safe place to raise your family, a clean town with great local business and community events. I do not see marijuana sales as part of our future since I feel it would go against who we are and how residents see this village in the future.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Unfortunately right now is the wrong time to talk about good ideas as they tend to cost money. In order to stay safe and continue to give the residents what they expect from us as a board, we need to stay the coarse of fiscal responsibility. We need to look at new business that compliments what we are as a village and what we stand for. We need to look at more creative ways to cut spending without sacrificing the services our residents expect.