High School, Geneva Community High School
Bachelor's Degree, Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
Well before my decision to run for Alderman, I began going to the city council meetings so I could better understand the workings of the city. Anyone looking to run for city council should have been at these meetings for a minimum of the last year to have an understanding of how the city works. Besides city council, I’ve been involved in the Strategic Planning Advisory Commission for four years, I was a board member for the Geneva Community Chest for two years and I’m a five year volunteer at the Geneva History Center. All of this experience is absolutely necessary before you jump up to take the job of alderman.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Number 1 is no new taxes or fees. This is not the solution to any of our problems, and we need to quit putting the burden on the residents. Number 2 is we need to increase our sales tax base. This is the solution to some of our problems. Besides the 1 percent sales tax that will go into Geneva’s general fund, 68% of every dollar spent in Geneva stays in Geneva. We need to have more emphasis on economic development in order to fill the vacant spaces in our downtown. Number 3 is we need to defend the personal property rights of the residents. Commercial buildings and residential property should not be subject to the same historic preservation guidelines. Historic preservation is important to Geneva. The work that has been done to this end is one of the things that has made our city so great. But while we need to enforce and maybe even strengthen the preservation guidelines for our downtown commercial buildings, we need to redefine what’s necessary for private residents. Too often historic preservation has gone not far enough in the commercial district and too far in the residential district. Currently the restrictions on home owners are punitive, and it violates their personal property rights. Yes, historic preservation is key to the success of Geneva but we need to be fair in its application .
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
Absolutely! No more fees and no more taxes. We have to stop thinking that this is the solution to a problem. The residents of Geneva cannot afford to carry the load on their own. An aggressive plan by the economic development department to fill the vacancies in the downtown should be their number 1 priority. I absolutely will be against any additional burden on the residents.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
I believe the biggest mistake the city council made was to side with the historic preservation commission rather than a Geneva resident over the replacement of windows. A Geneva resident was forced to spend $70,000 fighting the city for the courts to say he had a right to replace the windows on his own house. Again I’m a big proponent of historic preservation especially in our commercial district, but the historic preservation at all costs attitude is not a benefit to our residents and it should be changed. If the Geneva resident spent $70,000 fighting the city to win, how much did the city spend of our money to lose? Reasonable guidelines in place for the residents but not punitive ones.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the city council in the past year?
I\\\\\\\'d have to say the biggest accomplishment that benefited the city would have been moving forward with the plans to put the second level on the parking deck. I believe construction should be starting right around election time. This additional parking deck, which the council now allows anyone to use in the evening, will be a benefit to the businesses in the downtown area. Anytime you can supply more parking in your business district, it increases the number of people who come to town and spend their money.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I\\\\\\\'ve spent a great deal of time at city hall keeping up with the everyday running of the city. I could take office hitting the ground. I don’t believe my opponent possesses as much knowledge in this area as I do. I’m of the single-mindedness that increasing taxes or fees is not the way out of a sluggish economy, but the generation of new sales tax dollars is. I believe probably the biggest reason to choose me over my opponent is my more realistic opinion on historic preservation. The buildings and their history in the downtown commercial district should be held to a high standard, but again the personal property rights of a resident looking to improve his own home has to be taken into consideration and the punitive restrictions put on Geneva residents should be looked at. I don’t think my opponent’s 11 years on the Historic Preservation Commission lends itself to a balanced look at the problems of the city. One-issue candidates normally don’t do well in politics.
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