Master's Degree, Business Management, St. Joseph University
Bachelor's Degree, Food Marketing, St. Joseph Colleg
High School, College Prep, Bishop Egan
Sales & Marketing Manager, Self-employed
Married, Karen McQuillan
See recent video below of Bob McQuillan talking about the issues.
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
A lifetime of experiences! Growing up and over the course of marriage, I have faced the normal life decisions that form one’s character and values. I come from a working class family where my parents instilled the values of hard work and knowing right from wrong. My wife and I are extremely proud of our three children and their sound work ethic. I have worked for Fortune 100 companies and family-owned businesses. As a Geneva Realtor for more than 6 years, I understand the financial strain homeowners have faced due to the market downturn. My professional experience includes sales, sales planning, people & broker management, product development and promotional execution. In terms of public service, I’m co-founder of a grass-roots organization whose goal is educating homeowners about how their property taxes are calculated. The group, GenevaTaxFACTS, has worked to inform the residents of the financial issues the Geneva School District will face over the next ten years. I’m not a career politician and not looking to advance my career by being mayor of Geneva. I’m an average guy who realizes many residents have lost trust in elected officials. My goal is to give residents the voice they deserve.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Fiscal Responsibility, Accessibility & Economic Development. Residents now understand that property taxes are based on the requested budget and the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the city. Since assessed values lag behind the current market by three years, we aren’t out of the recent market downturn. In order to at least maintain property taxes at the current dollar level, I believe expenses need to be reduced 5% over the next two years. For any government to operate effectively, the mayor must be available to meet with staff and residents. I will hold regular office hours and will treat all in a professional manner. I will also be available via e-mail and cell phone. Economic development is a team effort of all city staff and is not limited to a healthy downtown-shopping district. Much of the future growth of Geneva will be in the eastern part of the city. The industrial area from Kirk Road east to Kautz Road is prime for development. We need to focus on securing tenants in anticipation of a turn-around in the market. There also needs to be an integrated marketing plan to bring visitors to the city. Visitors are potential future Geneva residents.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
As one alderman accurately stated at the Geneva tax levy hearing in November 2012, we are dancing around the issue of property taxes and whether the maximum levy, or some increment, should be enacted. While property taxes account for only about 29% of the city’s revenue, current total property taxes are having a negative affect on Geneva. Homebuyers may be able to afford a house in Geneva but the property taxes are unaffordable to many. At the present time, I don’t think freezing the levy is enough. I think residents need real relief and even if the levy is frozen, taxes still increase because of the debt service payments owed by the city. The city needs to complete a full analysis of the budget with the intent to reduce expenses. Do we have the right number of staff and are they in the right positions? No one can answer that until a comparison is done against comparable cities. I would propose that expenses be reduced a minimum of 5% in the general fund. Efficiencies of scale need to be explored in all other funds. The current city budget is $72 million with the general fund being $15 million.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
I disagree with the decision that a liquor license owner can’t be a member of city council. I disagree for two reasons. · When you start limiting the number of people that can run for office, you are going against the principles of democracy. Effectively, you are taking away the rights of someone that has invested in the city and could be a voice of reason on the council. · The real underlying issue is that the mayor serves as the sole Liquor Commissioner. I don’t believe that any individual should have that much influence. There should be at least three people serving on the liquor commission. This accomplishes two things; it takes any personal issues off the table and calls for a majority decision.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the city council in the past year?
I agree with most decisions that the city council has made throughout the year but the one that stands out is the Pure Oil building. This issue had the potential to create a major divide among residents. It could have also led to a precedent for decisions in the historic district. The city took the time to listen to all views and made a decision based on what they believe was best for the entire city.
Why should voters elect you to office?
First is my passion to do the best job possible to allow Geneva to have a bright future. I’m running for office to serve the community. I want to ensure the wants and needs of the residents are listened to and acted upon. I’m a normal resident who has educated myself on how local taxing boards operate. I firmly believe the voice of the taxpayers is not always heard. For that reason, we are facing many financial challenges. My only goal is to be open and honest with the taxpayers and explain the city’s options in a way everyone can understand. I’m tired of officials stating the tax rate has declined when in reality the dollars you pay in taxes has increased. The residents deserve the correct answer, not one that makes an elected official look good. Second is that I understand what needs to be done. I have worked with budgets for over 30 years and understand how to resolve issues. Running for mayor is about being determined to do the right thing. I believe change is a good thing. After twelve years of the current leadership, it is time for a change.
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