Enthusiastically Endorsed by the Daily Herald

DH Endorsement

Happy to report that I have officially been endorsed by The Daily Herald, along with Pat Schultz and Virginia Stephens.

A big thanks to Daily Herald staff for taking the time to interview and research all of the candidates for local office.

Please click on the link below to read the full article.

http://www.dailyherald.com/arti…/20170301/discuss/170309974/

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About Me

My qualifications for Trustee are detailed on another tab on this site. It’s easy enough to find on desktop, however on mobile it’s buried in the menu tab.

With that in mind, here’s a direct link to my background and experience. I think you’ll find it makes me an excellent fit for the Trustee position:

https://trusteerehberg.com/about/

Thank you for taking the time to research candidates ahead of election day. Even if it isn’t for me, please be sure to vote on April 4th.

Campaign Mailer

When you run a 100% self-funded campaign in a state with the highest taxes and most powerful special interest groups in the nation, it’s imperative to find similar-minded, hard working candidates who you can trust to run with and split costs.

Sure this isn’t the glossiest or slickest mailer you’ll see this election season, but if elected on April 4th we will owe no favors to special interest groups for it – and that in and of itself makes this the best kind of campaign mailer in my book.

click on the thumbnails to enlarge

Goals and Platform

Outlined below is a summary-level review of goals that I would like to achieve if elected Trustee on April 4th. Smaller goals aren’t included here, and as my first term draws to an end I’m sure many more issues beyond what is outlined below will come to the forefront.

Tax Relief

I should copy/paste this several times to reiterate where this ranks on my list of overall priorities as an elected official. As chairman of the Audit & Finance commission, I pushed for a 2017 budget that lowered the Carpentersville portion of residents (non-pension) property taxes and that’s exactly what the village board did. Unfunded mandate pension increases obliterated those savings, but that won’t stop me from continuing to make this subject a priority.

I will actively oppose any new form of taxes that might be introduced and will work to reduce taxes wherever possible, including a reevaluation of the non-mandated (IMRF) pension costs to taxpayers.  Our spiraling taxes are my #1 concern and my #1 priority.

Increasing Transparency

I made this a priority after I was sworn into office, and as a result Carpentersville’s transparency index has shot up from 40% to over 90% – winning an Illinois Sunshine Award in the process.  We still have work to do but the end goal here is to achieve a 100% transparency score and to continue to improve our Freedom of Information Act system.

 

Create a Budget Summary Document

Along the lines of increasing transparency, the full Carpentersville budget is easily available online. However, it is a huge document and isn’t easy to navigate for any resident researching the Village’s finances for the first time. I want to create a summary-level explainer document that can help all of our residents accurately and efficiently interpret how the budget works and what each fund is designed to accomplish.

 

Cultivate a Pro-Business Environment

Like all of the suburbs, Carpentersville has its share of empty storefronts. The commercial real estate landscape is changing thanks in large part to the internet. Village officials need to be aware of that and focus our efforts on filling our storefronts with businesses that can flourish well into the future. This also helps organically grow sales tax revenue, which when applied to the budget properly alleviates some of the property tax pressure our homeowners feel.

 

Infrastructure-only Spending

The village has a large amount of bonded debt. Much of this was implemented prior to my arrival and in some cases on things that only indirectly benefit taxpayers, however I do recognize that we cannot ignore basic infrastructure needs – especially in Old Town where residents have waited patiently for their share of upgrades. We have a plan for future infrastructure investment, but that plan needs to be constantly reviewed and weighed against the current cost of borrowing vs. the future cost of borrowing.

 

Term Limits

This is one of my short-range goals that I hope to have implemented before my first term is complete. I want to bring a vote before the board that will add a referendum to an upcoming ballot where residents can decide if they would like to institute term limits.

Some surrounding communities seem to celebrate their elected officials who have remained in place for decades. I, on the other hand, shudder at the thought of a singular vision being applied over such a long period of time.

This might also increase our residents participation in local government. More residents may  pay attention to Village Board matters when they know an incumbent is stepping down.

 

Body Cameras

By any indication, the Carpentersville police force does an outstanding job in protecting and serving the community. Unfortunately, we live in an increasingly litigious society and municipalities are incorrectly viewed as piggy banks to many.  This can make policing a very costly endeavor.

Body cameras help solve multiple problems that modern police forces face and as the technology matures it has become more affordable. The time is right for Carpentersville to implement them.

 

No Red Light Cameras

Carpentersville is surrounded by communities that abuse their stakeholders with red light cameras. Many elected officials claim they boost safety, however there have been numerous studies that prove just the opposite. They are nothing but tax revenue collection devices. I’m proud of the fact that Carpentersville is red light camera-free and I will work to ensure it stays that way.

 

Longmeadow Parkway

I will continue my opposition to the toll-based funding for this project. As I have said in the past, utilizing toll-based funding for regional infrastructure is a terrible precedent to set when your neighbor to the east is Cook county. I imagine they will be watching this situation closely as they desperately try to find new revenue sources to cover for their ineptitude and corruption.

 

Incentive-based Trustee Salaries

Currently, Village Trustees are provided an annual compensation of approximately $4,500 after taxes per year (no benefits or pension). I would like to see our board move away from the flat salary and lead by example by marrying our compensation to a key performance indicator (KPI) of the Village. The gross compensation would be capped at what is currently provided, but if for whatever reason the KPI drops – then the Trustee’s compensation drops an identical percentage amount.

 

Update Ordinances For New Peer to Peer Economy

Uber and Airbnb are indicative of the changes that are occurring in our economy. I love them because they directly address the government’s over-regulation/overt-taxation of their respective industries. As we move forward, more and more sectors of the economy will be disrupted (in a positive way) by these new companies – and Carpentersville’s regulations need to get out of the way of that progress. I want to eliminate our taxi regulations and take a hard look at how we can help residents earn extra income by utilizing services like Airbnb.

 

End Human Trafficking Within The Village

Human trafficking is something of an unspoken epidemic in the Chicago suburbs. Illegitimate ‘massage parlors’ open and immediately devalue surrounding commercial real estate. The far greater concern is that the women providing this service are not doing it through their own free will. They are modern day slaves. The owners of these establishments withhold their immigration documentation from them and subject them to emotional and physical abuse, making it impossible for them to leave.

At my urging, Village staff has taken big steps to shut down these fronts for human trafficking, but more needs to be done. We also need to share our wins with surrounding communities so they can implement similar changes to their municipal code.

 

Virtual Village Hall

The enemy of good decisions is the phrase “because we’ve always done it that way”.  Our Village Hall building is old, tired and could have many very expensive repairs coming up. Instead of spending huge amounts of money attempting to get Village Hall back to how it functioned in 1995, I believe we should attempt to modernize according to how business will be done in the near future. The private sector is seeing tremendous success by utilizing technology to shift away from costly large physical locations and moving towards remote workplaces. Less people in an office setting means a much smaller physical footprint is required. That translates into huge savings on things like general maintenance all the way up to new HVAC units, elevators, plumbing lines, roof and tuckpointing.

There would be benefits to residents well beyond huge financial savings, as well. Pulling permits and other activities that used to require a trip to Village Hall could be done 100% electronically. Imagine being able to handle all of your Village business via an app instead of having to wait in line at a physical location with limited hours.

Again, this is a longshot as we have essential physical services still tied to Village Hall – mainly our Police station, but it is worth investigating to the fullest as the private sector undergoes this workplace evolution.

Thank you for taking the time to research my positions on the numerous issues facing Carpentersville as we look towards the future.

Sincerely,

Kevin

rehberg_kevin

Accomplishments

Proven Results

Below is a list of actions that I consider to be some of the larger wins for residents since I became a Trustee, a period of just over four years. Some of these were initiated and developed by me while others were directions that I championed and fully supported. None of these would have been possible without agreement from the majority of the rest of the Village Board and the hard work of staff.

Abolished the vehicle sticker tax

I have many issues with this form of tax.  It was an inefficient use of staff’s time and a horrible utilization of our police force.  To make matters worse, the village had a policy in place where police were canvassing local businesses in order to write tickets. Residents commented to me on more than one occasion that they were no longer supporting local businesses over the practice. The entire tax had to go.

http://www.cville.org/Services/Finance/Budget/2017BudgetFinalUpdated.aspx

Lowered the (non-pension) property tax levy

There are three main components to Carpentersville’s property taxes: the daily operating levy, the debt service (bond repayment) levy and the pension levy. As chairman of the Audit & Finance commission, I strongly advocated for a freeze to the daily operating fund levy for the upcoming fiscal year. We also lowered the debt service levy, meaning with the exception of pensions we actually managed to lower the property tax levy.

Unfortunately, unfunded pension mandates handed down from the state obliterated those taxpayer gains.  This will be a continuing challenge and fight for every taxpayer advocate.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpentersville-budget-st-1115-20161114-story.html

Enacted the most transparent Carpentersville government in history

When I was sworn into office, Carpentersville had a transparency score of approximately 40%. Better than some municipalities but still nowhere close to where we needed to be. At my urging, we added to full public view the spending and operating data necessary to increase that score to over 90%, winning a Sunshine Award for Transparency in the process.

We still have work to do to reach 100%, which is an ongoing goal of mine.

We also instituted a new Freedom of Information Act digital initiative that posts all requests online, saving staff and resident time with subsequent requests for the same information.

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/61-local-taxing-bodies-win-sunshine-award-in-illinois/

Made Village board meetings accessible to anyone, anytime

When I was sworn in, board meetings were videotaped and then replayed on a community access channel. Only Comcast subscribers had access to it and even then, only in one hour increments per week. If a board meeting lasted longer than two hours, the remainder simply was never even broadcast. If you were busy at 7PM on a Friday night, as most of us are, you missed that hour entirely.

I successfully pushed to have all board meetings livestreamed via the internet, and also archived so anyone at any time could go back and review any portion of a board meeting.

This also made it much easier for local reporters to cover board meetings, resulting in shareable news stories that reach far more residents via social media than any videotaped board meeting could have ever hoped to.

http://carpentersville.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Best-in-class financial reporting of taxpayer dollars

Continuing the theme of full transparency, Village staff was recognized with GFOA and CAFR awards for our budget presentation and excellence in financial reporting.

http://www.cville.org/getattachment/a8bef004-1cad-46dd-89f6-f727b48ddaff/Press-Release-Village-Receives-Awards-For-Excell.aspx

Reduced the number of pensionable full-time employees

Full time Village staff has been reduced nearly 25%. This was accomplished without sacrificing efficiencies thanks in large part to the efforts of remaining staff and advancements in technology that automated many previously manual tasks.

http://www.cville.org/Services/Finance/Budget/2017BudgetFinalUpdated.aspx

Facilitated Carpentersville business growth

Growing Carpentersville’s sales tax revenue is essential to relieving overtaxed homeowners. Over the past 5 years, Carpentersville’s sales tax revenue has increased 17%. To put that in perspective, Algonquin’s sales tax revenue has increased 7% over that approximate time. This trend needs to continue.

http://www.cville.org/Services/Finance/Budget/2017BudgetFinalUpdated.aspx

Implemented skills-based rankings of public union employees

In our most recent Public Works SEIU contract, we managed to replace seniority-based rankings with rankings based on knowledge, skills and ability. This means that if any layoffs occur, the least knowledgeable will be let go first. It replaces the old highly inefficient system that protected lower-skilled employees simply because they had successfully managed to punch a clock longer than their colleagues.

If you know how much control public unions hold over local governments in Illinois, you’ll understand why this is a substantial step forward in value and efficiency for residents.

Reinstituted a ride-sharing service for senior citizen and disabled residents

Funding to this ride-providing service for seniors and the disabled had been discontinued by a previous board. I voted to apply video game revenue towards renewing funding so that Carpentersville’s seniors and disabled residents could once again have access to affordable transportation.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpentersville-ride-in-kane-st-0627-20160624-story.html

Initiated a Spring Hill Mall revitalization

This is most likely the last ‘best effort’ to revitalize Spring Hill Mall.  As consumer preferences have shifted and the internet became a primary and convenient way to shop, places like Spring Hill Mall struggled to maintain viability. Working together with West Dundee, Carpentersville was able to create a revitalization agreement that doesn’t gamble up front with our taxpayer’s dollars.

That said, I will most likely not support any further TIF incentives here beyond this agreement. I do not want Spring Hill Mall turning into the next downtown Elgin where elected officials threw good money after bad in failed attempts to swim upstream against the current of free market shopping habits.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-west-dundee-spring-hill-mall-update-st-1027-20161026-story.html

Initiated Carpenter Park redevelopment

Carpenter Park has been an underutilized asset within the village for decades. It’s central location within walking distance of so many residents created a prime opportunity for upgrades.

A victim of the Illinois budget stalemate, construction languished for over a year. The board, correctly as it turned out, decided to stay the course as opposed to foregoing nearly half a million dollars in state grant funding.

The park is currently under budget, as well, and should be completed this Spring. The addition of a full featured park should help to increase the home values for many Old Town residents.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpenter-park-st-0818-20160817-story.html

Kept Carpentersville free of red light cameras

East Dundee has them, West Dundee has them, Elgin has them, Algonquin and Lake in the Hills have booby trapped their entire Randall road shopping corridor with them.

I’m proud of the fact that Carpentersville remains one of the few area municipalities of any size that has said ‘no’ to red light cameras, and I will continue to fight to ensure it stays that way.

http://www.photoenforced.com/illinois.html#.WK0ZHvkrLic

Completed Maple Avenue reconstruction

As one of the main arteries through town, Maple Avenue had fallen into disrepair to the point where business owners were mandating to their employees to take alternate routes around the pothole-strewn roadway.

The road was successfully widened, beautified with landscaping and had a bike path added that connects to Carpenter Park.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpentersville-property-values-st-1108-20161107-story.html

Eliminated last of Carpentersville’s blue laws

Blue laws refer to alcohol sale restrictions that communities put in place around the turn of the 20th century, typically for religious purposes.

When I became Trustee, Carpentersville still had their own blue law on the books which prohibited alcohol sales before 10AM on Sundays. Folks shopping at Woodmans would get frustrated as the liquor store was closed while everything else was open. They usually just went outside the village to purchase their alcohol, and Carpentersville residents lost out on that sales tax revenue.

I brought this to the forefront and directed staff to get our Sunday liquor sale hours in line with the rest of the week. This effectively eliminated the last of Carpentersville’s overly restrictive blue laws.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140110/news/701109759/

Administrator of ‘Illinois Cares About Taxpayers’ Facebook page

I have been a vocal opponent of almost every tax increase referendum over the last 16 years.

In that capacity, I am also a site administrator for the Facebook page ‘Illinois Cares About Taxpayers’.  It acts as an effective tool to mobilize grassroots opposition to the steady diet of proposed tax increases that are thrown at area residents.

https://www.facebook.com/KaneCaresAboutTaxes/

Addressed human trafficking

Human trafficking is something of an unspoken epidemic in the Chicago suburbs. Illegitimate ‘massage parlors’ open and immediately devalue surrounding commercial real estate. The far greater concern is that the women providing this service are not doing it through their own free will. They are modern day slaves. The owners of these establishments withhold their immigration documentation from them and subject them to emotional and physical abuse, making it impossible for them to leave.

At my urging, Village staff has taken big steps to shut down these fronts for human trafficking, but more needs to be done. We also need to share our wins with surrounding communities so they can implement similar changes to their municipal code.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-massage-parlors-carpentersville-st-0609-20150608-story.html

Introduced puppy mill-focused consumer protections

I never envisioned making this a priority as Trustee, however a Cook county ban on puppy mill pet shops lead me to believe that these unethical businesses wouldn’t close their doors – they would simply relocate to just outside the county line. That meant Carpentersville would be one of the logical choices. Spring Hill Mall had already hosted multiple puppy mill pet shops in the past.

I set about collaborating with an anti-animal abuse group to craft an ordinance which virtually guarantees that no puppy mill dogs or cats would be sold in Carpentersville pet shops.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpentersville-pet-shop-st-0726-20150724-story.html

Led efforts to address rush hour traffic backups

One thing we tend to undervalue is our time. We sit in unnecessary traffic backups and come to accept them as just the way things are. It doesn’t have to be that way, and there is no reason why we should accept failing intersections.

Village staff listened to the board’s concerns and for the first time I am aware of, new traffic patterns were instituted.  Feedback has been mixed but we continue to monitor and adjust in an effort to give residents a significant portion of their day back.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-carpentersville-no-left-turn-st-0925-20160923-story.html

Opposed the Longmeadow tollway

One of the main campaign issues of my 2013 campaign for Trustee was opposition to the Longmeadow tollway. This was approx. a full year before the current opposition groups formed.

Establishing a toll to pay for regional infrastructure is a dangerous precedent to set when your neighbor to the east is Cook county. I have had several meetings with Kane county board official to voice my concern.

The link below is to my 2013 candidate survey. Note Key Issue #2.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130215/submitted/302159953/

Campaign 2017 Format

Hi Everyone,

You’ll notice if you scroll down that I haven’t been updating this website much over the last couple of years. It’s essentially a reflection of the evolving digital landscape. In tracking the analytics, I realized that outside of the weeks leading up to election day that nobody was visiting the site. We’re all busy with our day to day lives and hot button topics inevitably found their way to the various community Facebook pages, where I would dedicate time to adding my input instead of updating this site.

Redirecting my time towards the community boards just made more sense from a constituent reach and feedback perspective. While this website allows me the platform to go longer form compared to my Facebook page, I found myself spending time here answering questions that nobody was asking.

I will continue to utilize this site in my campaign for Trustee moving forward, but the content will cater to what I learned from the website analytics after the last election. It will be more efficient in order to cater to busy voters researching candidates for the election on April 4th.

Campaign information will be categorized in three ways: by qualifications (the About Me section), my accomplishments, and my platform – or what I want to accomplish with another four years.

Thank you for stopping by and performing your due diligence as a voter.

Best Regards,

Kevin

Election 2017 Announcement

It has been an honor to represent and serve the residents of Carpentersville over the last four years. So much so that I would love to continue to serve on the village board for another term.

With that in mind, I’ve successfully filed my paperwork and it’s time to kickoff my campaign for reelection.

Over the next several weeks I will use this space to review accomplishments as well as discuss what I want to prioritize and achieve with another term.

April 4th will be here before we know it. Please feel free to like and share this page and PM me or comment if you would like a yard sign.

Thanks everyone!