Bachelor's Degree, Business/Marketing, Northern Illinois University
Master's Degree, Marketing, DePaul University
Married, Julie Cerone
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
My business experience lends itself nicely to the needs of this City Council. I have 25 years of business experience, including extensive investment and risk management. Beyond that, I am a man on a mission. I will immediately make an impact on how the council invests in small businesses and economic development, as well as better protect the taxpayers from risky decisions.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
There are three core issues facing Batavia: Economic development, real estate taxes/property values, and budget management. First, we need a council that is focused on economic development, especially in the downtown area. If we want to increase economic development, we must address policies and practices that create impediments to doing business in Batavia. Second, we need to focus on the direction that real estate taxes go in relation to property values. The taxes should not be increasing while property values decrease. I will work to see that taxes and property values are in sync with each other. Finally, we need better fiscal decisions and transparency when it comes to managing the City’s budget. I think that with my business experience and education, I am ideally suited to tackle these three important issues.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
I would strongly support the freezing of our annual tax levy as long as we could continue to provide the level of quality service to our citizens that they have come to expect. Freezing taxes, then running up debt is not a solution. If I could be convinced that this freeze would not reduce any important programs, I would wholeheartedly support such a cost-saving measure.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
Investing in Prairie State Energy Plant without discovering the downside risk or determining an exit strategy. The risk/reward ratio is terrible. We are all stuck in a bad investment. No investment should ever be made without an exit strategy determined beforehand. I’m not even including the risks that are associated with Prairie State being the largest source of CO2 built in the US in a quarter century. Also, the lack of transparency and communication on this project has been appalling.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the city council in the past year?
Finally granting McDonald’s approval to rebuild their downtown location.
Why should voters elect you to office?
So they have a voice in this town. I am a man on a mission. The three priorities listed above all lead to one objective. Lower real-estate taxes for the voters. Also, there is a serious lack of 2-way communication in our ward, and I intend on changing that.
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