Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Office sought: Village Trustee
Previous political experience: Previously was elected as village trustee, serving from 2007-2011. Served as liaison to the public safety commission and to the special events commission. Served 3 terms as chairman of the parks and recreation commission between 1995 and 2007. Currently serving a fourth term on the parks and recreation commission. Served as chairman of the special events commission.
Previous community experience: An Eagle Scout and a Vigil Honor member. Currently serves as an assistant scout master with troop 21, as well as cub master with Cub Scout Pac 21 at Congress Park School. Serving as a member of the district 102 Delegate Assembly, active in the Congress Park School PTO, as well as serving as lead room parent for many years. Volunteered for the Brookfield Jaycees Junior chamber beginning in 1987, served as a President of the local chapter, then became Chairman of the Board. Is currently an active member of the Brookfield Chamber of commerce, as well as the Brookfield Little League, serving as a board member as well as coaching and managing teams for each of his two children.
Occupation: Owner/Operator at Betty’s Flowers and Gifts /Photographer
Education: Congress Park School, K-6th, Brookfield IL
Park Junior High, 7th & 8th, Lagrange IL
Lyons Township High School, 9-12th, Lagrange IL
College of DuPage, 2.5 years, Glen Ellyn IL
Studied Business and Photography
What can the village realistically do to promote and encourage economic development, and where should those efforts be focused? How can village government help promote what essentially is private investment?
I would like to see a façade improvement program put in place. This would help our existing businesses and show potentials that we are proactive and care about them. We need to be more consistent and fair during the permit and inspection process. We should also encourage our community to support these businesses.
The village has reacted to local flooding in recent years by instituting a flood-mitigation program and has taken steps to build a pump station at Forest and Washington. Has the village’s response to local flooding been adequate? What else can or should be done to help prevent floods from harming residents and their properties?
We should never settle for just adequate. We need to listen to all of our residents. Each situation and area of town will be different. Our residents can help with the history of their own area. The villages approach to the flooding has been proactive and fiscally responsible. I think we should continue to listen to our village staff and professional engineer, as they are the key to our continued response to our flood mitigation program. The village board should also support village staff in seeking grand funding.
The village had adopted an Open Space Plan and has made significant improvements to Kiwanis and Ehlert parks in recent years. What are your thoughts on those improvements and how should additional improvements be approached and funded?
The improvements are outstanding and serve all ages. With the 2014 open space plan we continue to plan our future. You really need to look at that plan to really enjoy the opportunities that could come our way. I support our village staff in seeking grant funding and will look to appropriate funding to continue our park improvements as funds are available.
How should Brookfield fund and schedule necessary repairs to streets and other infrastructure?
I support our engineer’s survey and time line of our street repairs. Our streets have been surveyed and rated. We continue to improve upon infrastructure as funds are available. Each year the village is using about 15% of the total annual budget. Village staff continues to look to other funding through grants and programs. I would like to see that continue and in 3-4 years raise our appropriation up to 20-22 %.
Are there areas where the village could be providing better service to residents? How? Should the village increase or decrease funding for certain services, programs and capital improvements? Why or why not?
I think customer service and communication to our residents should be improved. This has started with a lot of new employees in the last month at Village Hall. We need to listen to our residents’ concerns. Our new website will help tremendously. Let’s look past the phone call, but not forget to return it. Look at the text, email, Facebook etc. to better communicate with our residents.
What is the most important issue facing the village in the next four years? What should be done about it?
Our streets and infrastructure will be the challenges facing us in the next four years.
We have our engineers streets surveys in place, Village staff is educated and dedicated, so let’s look to appropriate more money. Let’s continue to seek grants and other funding.