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:

  • 2009-present, North Riverside Trustee
  • 2003-2009, North Riverside Zoning Board
  • 2004-2009, North Riverside Ethics Board

Previous community experience: Performs Pro Bono legal work for North Riverside Residents and at Law Office location.

Education: Riverside-Brookfield High School (1976), Loyola University (1980, B.A. Cum Laude), DePaul University College of Law (1983, J.D.)

North Riverside has failed to consistently fund its police and fire pension obligations in recent years. How can that trend be reversed? Are there funds being used elsewhere that can be used for pensions?

Presently, there are no funds available to significantly fund our pensions, without adversely affecting residents. There will be some funds budgeted this year for contributions. Once Cosco opens, funding will be regular and significant.

What changes, if any, would you recommend in the makeup of the village’s administration/departments. Why or why not?

I would look into ideas of combining Public Works and Recreation Departments for budgetary and manpower reasons.

Should North Riverside continue its freeze on local property taxes? Why or why not?

I would continue to freeze them until it was absolutely necessary to do otherwise. Residents pay enough in property taxes as it is and with volitale increases, any small increase the village would institute would seem to the residents as the reason for the large tax increases on their bills.

Are there spending cuts or increases you would recommend? Are there any areas off limits for spending cuts?

Nothing is off limits for spending cuts. With that said, the residents’ safety and welfare are of paramount concern. Significant cuts were already implemented following the 2008 recession. In my opinion, there is very little left to cut without a decerase in resident services.

What is the most important issue facing the village in the next four years? What should be done about it?

The village is facing financial changes on the positive side. Ending the pratice of subsidizing increases and striving for long term stability by implementing reserves would benefit the village in case a 2008 type recession reoccurred.

Should elected officials be eligible for the village’s health insurance program? Why or why not?

Village officials should not be excluded from insurance as a blanket statement or policy. Each applicant seeking it should have it decided on a case by case basis, such as his/her motive for requesting it, present insurance situation, and most importantly his/her commitment to the village to put in work as an official on a “full-time” type basis to justify full-time benefits.

What other issues do you feel will be important for the next village board to address? How should they be addressed?

The next board should concentrate on a long term and all encompassing plan for economic stability through business expansion and the weaning and eventual elimination of the former practice of subsidizing increases. This should lead to reserves in each of the departmental budgets. This would stabilize the village in case of unforseen conditions that effect us more than other villages due to its heavy reliance on sales tax revenues.