March 28, 2011 1:14PM
Updated: March 28, 2011 3:13PM
Office sought: Midlothian Village Trustee
Address: 14424 Abbottsford Road
Date of Birth: April 17, 1972
Brother Rice H.S.
St. Xavier University – Studied Political Science
GSU – College of Management and Public Administration (Currently Enrolled)
Occupation: Self employed
Spouse, spouse’s employer: Christine, homemaker
Children: Three children – 14, 10, 9
Please note any relatives, including in-laws, who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state, or local levels.
What other elected offices have you sought? What year?
Midlothian Village Trustee 1997, 1999, 2003. Bremen Township Republican Committeeman, 2006.
Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, for what? What was the disposition? No
Do you have any criminal convictions on your record? If so, for what? What was your sentence? No
Political (elected or significant appointment) experience: Bremen Township Republican Committeeman, 2004-2008; Midlothian Economic Development Committee, 2009-2010; Midlothian Village Trustee 2010 – present.
In your view, what are the two most important issues facing your constituents? How would you address those issues?
Taxation. Recently the voters of Midlothian approved a 600 percent increase to the Village tax levy. It should be a goal of the village board to attempt to gradually decrease the dollar amount so that the burden on the residents is eased. There are three ways this decrease will happen. First, of course, is that the Village Board must continue to watch expenditures. Even in doing this there remains a structural deficit projected through fiscal year 2015. Second, develop the business districts starting with the Cicero Avenue corridor. In developing these areas, we will increase both property and sales tax generated through our business community. Third, we must reduce the Village’s debt. This year we will pay about $1.2 million in debt service. That amount represents more than 1/3 of the tax levy.
A second important issue facing residents is quality of life. The recent decline in the number of businesses in the village has meant that residents must drive to neighboring towns for even some of the most basic goods and services. If we are successful in redeveloping our business districts our residents will benefit from the convenience of being able to shop locally while, at the same time, helping rebuild our local tax base.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish with in the next two years if you are elected to the office to which you aspire.
I have two primary goals when elected. First, I’d like to create a Vacant Property Registry in the village. This registry will require that vacant residential and commercial buildings are maintained in an attractive, safe, and secure state. In addition, this registry will provide the village building department, police department, and fire department quick access to information on each property should they ever need to contact the owner of record.
A second goal I have is to utilize technology to make village operations more streamlined and cost efficient. We have recently formed a technology committee that had begun working towards these goals.
Please explain how you believe the office you’re seeking can help in creating local jobs. Over the past 3 years Midlothian has lost dozen of jobs due to businesses closing. Primarily, this loss occurred with the car dealerships that closed on Cicero Avenue but we also lost a local grocery store and a motorcycle shop. The village must work aggressively to bring new businesses to Midlothian and create the local jobs that these enterprises will support.
Do you believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working? If so, why? If not, why not? What would you change?
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which you are seeking elected office? If so, what?
For as long as anyone can remember, the village has never adopted a village budget. Instead they operated under an appropriations ordinance. Perhaps, this could be part of the reason that the village has been deficit spending since FY 1998. An appropriations ordinance allows greater leeway in changing figures in the middle of a fiscal year.
Trustee Don Killelea and I have been leading advocates for the village adopting a budget which is strictly adhered to. As far as the content of that budget and what would need to be changed within it I have already mentioned trying to use technology to save operating expenses. We also need to look at some of our larger expenses. While in the past two years the village had sought to reduce expenses through renegotiating vendor contracts, the renegotiating has been for the smallest contracts we have [ambulance, landscaping, housekeeping, etc…]. Our largest expenses, such as legal and engineering, have continued to rise and need to be reevaluated.