Current occupation/employer: Teacher in School District 308
B.S in Electrical Engineering Technology, Bradley University
M.A. in Teaching, Aurora University
M.A. in Educational Leadership, Concordia University
Previous village/civic involvement: I have volunteered for many after hour activities and tutoring for our young people at school and throughout the community as an OYTF football coach, swim meet worker, and various activities through church.
Why are you seeking election as village president?
I have been privileged to live in Oswego for nearly 24 years and I feel indebted to our community. I feel our village leadership has moved away from our biggest asset, the residents, and has been favoring projects over people, special interests over families. We have adopted a mentality of spend now, tax later that needs to be stopped. I want to restore our local government to be a responsive partner to the residents.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I am not a political insider. I have a very distinct background working in the financial industry for 20 years and a teacher for the last 12. Both of my opponents have voting records that have greatly increased taxes and brought debt to the village. I will be very fiscally responsible and look to develop our economic base instead of relying on our friends and neighbors for additional taxes.
If elected, what would be your top priority?
My top priority is to collaborate with all of our intergovernmental partners, including schools, to provide the best services we can. We need to work together and create a synergy that is sorely missing today.
Do you support the current board’s handling of economic development, including the establishment of the downtown TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district?
The establishment of the downtown TIF district has been a benefit for developers at a cost to our community. We have waived millions of dollars in impact fees that our schools desperately need and also our first responders, the fire department. The diversion of new tax revenue from a 75 acre TIF district will impact our schools, parks, fire department, and library for years to come. This topic cannot be adequately discussed in few words.
Do you support the village’s efforts to date to secure a Metra commuter rail station?
Metra presents an opportunity but we are talking many years in the future, however the new taxes and capital costs start now. Much more information is required. How many new riders will we serve? Will the county pass a .75 percent RTA tax? Who will pay $150-300 million for the new rail required? Who will pay for the station? Will this require the 30 cent per gallon statewide gas tax? Is the Metra station even slated on the On To 2050 CMAP plan? The future goals must be balanced with the current needs of our community and we shouldn’t blindly take on more taxes and debt.
Is there fat in the village’s budget? If so, what programs or positions would you work to eliminate?
Over time every organization develops inefficiencies. My first action would be to meet with the department heads and gain an understanding of what they do and then look to create efficiencies that would allow us to reduce costs. This is common practice in the private sector.