North Riverside Trustee Candidate
Age: 50 | Occupation: Teacher | Education: Bachelor of Science: University of Illinois at Chicago Masters in Teaching: National Louis University, Chicago Currently pursuing an Endorsement as a Reading Specialist
Why are you running for trustee in North Riverside? What motivates you and what experience and perspectives would you bring to the job? How would those be valuable as an elected official?
Drawn to the North Riverside for the balance of commerce and green spaces I proudly call the Village my home. Long-term careers in community service, building writing and organizational skills. Currently teaching for 15 years with prior experience in the postal service. Served as a union representative for both. Bachelor degree in science with additional credits in statistics and behavioral science. Research oriented. Experience with scientific reports and data compilation. Holding a Master’s Degree in Teaching and pursuing an endorsement as a reading specialist to promote communication and literacy.
What can be done to ensure the village’s long-term financial viability and make it more resistant to downturns in sales tax revenues?
Investigating grants and government programs to provide funding for projects without a tax burden on residents. Developing opportunities for interested residents to volunteer in the community. Rebranding the mall and finding methods to attract a greater variety of businesses to the Village while providing residents local purchasing options.
As a trustee you will be asked to balance what’s best for the village as a whole with what might be in the interest of businesses or specific residents. How will you do that? When have you had occasion to do something similar in the past and how did you accomplish that?
Approach all issues and concerns with an open mind. As an educator seeks balance to ensure success for all students, promoting team building and working together a focus on the best interests of the Village will provide a strong community for all.
What future do you envision for North Riverside’s residential and commercial districts? How should the village approach redevelopment in the face the challenges faced by the retail sector? Should affordable housing be part of that redevelopment conversation? Why or why not?
Provide a balance of forums to ensure that all voices are heard to address residents’ ideas and concerns while seeking input from professionals prior to making long-term decisions.
Social media has become an important way for local officials to communicate with local residents, but not everyone in the village is on social media. What do you feel is the best way for elected officials to use social media to communicate with residents and how will you communicate with the wider community beyond that?
Offer multiple methods of communication including phone lines, the website, and community meetings to assist residents in making connections and providing a forum to address ideas and concerns. Aim to build strong community ties.
Last summer was a challenging one for North Riverside in terms of fallout from civil unrest and safety concerns at North Riverside Park Mall. What role should the village play in responding to and preventing such incidents in the future?
Planning ahead and developing a comprehensive strategy to keep all involved prepared and ready to act.
North Riverside historically has asked homeowners to pay very little in property taxes to support village services. With pension obligations continuing to grow and the state of retail sales on uncertain ground, how would you continue to keep property taxes low? Do residents need to start paying more to fund obligations such as pensions? Why or why not?
Every effort must be made to keep down property taxes. Developing a goal-based budgeting plan to assess current expenditures, analyzing the necessity of each, while investigating alternatives and identifying areas to limit spending without limiting services.
What are the three most important issues facing North Riverside in the next four years? How should those be addressed?
Balancing the budget, business redevelopment, and improved communication and transparency with residents to meet financial goals.