Donald Lee Waller: 2021 candidate for Wheeling village board
Six candidates for three seats
Occupation: Business management consultant at Genesis 1 Technology Ltd.
Civic involvement: President, Prairie Park HOA
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: Provide leadership.
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: No, Wheeling should have taken proactive measures to find out what might be done to help struggling businesses. For example, the village could have invited leaders form the bar and restaurant community to set down and discuss ideas they have for helping them survive the pandemic.
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 would have the Department of Public Health review CDC guidelines and draft their recommendations for presentation to the village board.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: There are some temporary tax cuts that could help, e.g. the liquor tax, licensing fees, etc.
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: The biggest infrastructure project in Wheeling that will have to be dealt with sometime soon is the growing traffic congestion on Dundee Avenue at the train tracks. As the surrounding apartments fill up, the already unbearable situation is only going to get worse. Since I don't the final solution, I cannot tell you how to pay for it. Sorry, I am a little late on this one, but the fire station rebuild at Wheeling Road and Hintz should never have been started during this pandemic.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: I would engage them to see how the village could help them stay alive, but the short answer is No!
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: Yes, since marijuana sales are legal in Illinois, restricting marijuana stores only inconveniences Wheeling residents and reduces potential tax revenue.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: I am thrilled to have Laura Rodriguez join our slate of candidates for the Wheeling board of trustees because I feel that the Wheeling Hispanic community (40+% of the population) has never been properly represented.