Key Village Issues in the Next Four Years

The information below is from a Candidate Profile I submitted to the Daily Herald:

Key Issue 1  Property Tax Relief

Village residents have seen their homes plummet in value while their property tax liability has soared.  I believe this is a primary contributing factor to the record number of foreclosures in the area.  All taxing bodies that draw from Carpentersville residents (District 300, Village and county governments, etc.) must stop increasing their levies and instead focus on spending cuts and savings

I have already demonstrated my commitment to this in my capacity as Village Trustee by voting against the recent property tax increase.  In addition, I am continuously working with Village staff to identify and execute further cost saving measures.

Key Issue 2  Longmeadow Parkway Toll Bridge

As it stands right now, this bridge project that will run through Carpentersville appears to be moving forward as a toll bridge.  Carpentersville residents need an advocate who strongly opposes this method of project funding.

Establishing a toll bridge right in our back yard is an incredibly dangerous and short-sighted precedent for our county board to set.  Recently, two new bridges located fairly close to one another were added across the Fox River in the area of South Elgin and St. Charles.  Northern Kane county has needed an additional bridge to alleviate traffic for decades, but when two more affluent communities needed them, they got them – and without any tolls.

A toll bridge in our community would not only unfairly penalize all who use the bridge; it would penalize all other local residents as well.  Costs of goods and services using the bridge would rise as those businesses would be forced to pass this added expense along to customers.  Businesses in and around Carpentersville would be at a competitive disadvantage thanks to these price increases.

Carpentersville residents were forced to pay for the two new bridges that they probably do not use in the form of increased property taxes, yet when we have a need for infrastructure improvements, county officials want us alone to shoulder the lion’s share of the costs.

Carpentersville needs someone who isn’t afraid to stand up to county board officials and advocate strongly for the elimination of tolls from this bridge project.  Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed as a constituent that this is the best solution that they can come up with.

Key Issue 3  Pension Reform

Illinois currently has $100 billion in unfunded debt to five different pension systems.  The recent middle class killing 67% state income tax increase is being used almost exclusively to fund that debt, meaning no other government services are being helped by the additional money.  The state’s bond rating was recently lowered to worst in the nation.  The lower the bond rating, the more expensive it becomes to borrow more money.  Illinois taxpayers now share the same low bond rating as the African country of Botswana, and the downgrade occurred days before Illinois was set to finance $500 million in new debt.

Our politicians have overpromised and underdelivered in exchange for the short-sighted endorsements of public union leaders, who gladly sit on the same side of the bargaining table leaving middle class families with no representation.  Ultimately, the blame lies in voter apathy which allows this reckless spending to continue.  The pension crisis has also made it virtually impossible for the state’s best and brightest college graduates to find employment in the public sector (education in particular) as funding for new jobs has been taken away to pay for this massive debt.

Our state needs leadership at every level who understand the severity of this issue and also understand how to tip the scales back toward sustainable government without pulling the rug out from under those who will be retiring soon and are counting on what was promised to them.  At this point, the crisis has advanced well beyond the realm of rhetoric and partisanship and has become an issue that cannot be pushed aside any longer.  Difficult decisions will need to be made regarding the scaling back of new government employee pension packages and the increasing of current employee retirement contributions and I will not be afraid to advocate for them.

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