Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Previous political experience: No experience in an elected office or as a candidate.
Previous community involvement: Currently serve on the Riverside Little League Board of Directors. Previously served on the Village of Riverside Plan Commission and Village of Riverside Long Term Finance Committee
Education: Master of Community Planning – University of Cincinnati; Bachelor of Science Urban Affairs – University of Evansville
How should Riverside address ongoing and long-term capital and infrastructure needs and how can those types of expenditures be funded?
It is critical that we keep our Capital Improvement Plan up to date with clearly established priorities for capital projects. Funding will have to come from a variety of sources including but not limited to annual budget surpluses, grant funds, intergovernmental transfers and possibly bonds and assessments. Ultimately, the Board will need to lead a Village-wide discussion as to how best to fund our capital improvement needs.
How must Riverside address its financial future? Are there cuts that can be made? Is anything off limits?
All aspects of Village government must be continuously scrutinized to be sure that money is being spent efficiently and that budgeted programs are meeting the needs and desires of the community. This will sometimes include re-prioritizing programs and services. However, it has been clear for many years, that our Village staff runs a very lean organization and that there are no significant cuts that can be made without adversely impacting essential services.
Riverside voters several years ago voiced approval for the village incorporating green initiatives. What can Riverside do to ensure to remain committed to that philosophy?
Riverside can and should do more to incorporate green initiatives within our Village government and throughout Riverside. Creating a more sustainable Village government should be one of our immediate and ongoing strategic goals. I would first recommend that the Village staff prepare a sustainability plan for Village Government. Perhaps that includes participation in a sustainable cities organization and/or designating a sustainability officer for each department. Concurrently, we should connect with our residents and businesses to promote green initiatives throughout the Village.
Economic development has been a longtime concern in Riverside, for its downtown and on Harlem Avenue. What can the village do to foster such development? What shouldn’t it do?
First and foremost we need to make sure that each business owner has the opportunity to get to know someone on staff, on the Village Board or on the Economic Development Committee. Next, I think we need to review our permit and licensing procedures to make sure they are meeting our needs and not creating a disincentive for existing or new businesses. Finally, we need to figure out how we can make economic development and planning a core part of our Village organization. What we should not do is accept the current conditions as inevitable.
What other important issues will the next village board need to address? How would you suggest addressing those issues?
Perhaps the most important function of Village Government is the security and safety of its residents. We must continue to do all that we can to ensure that our Police and Fire Departments are properly staffed and have the tools they need to secure our homes, schools and businesses.