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

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One Response to Goals and Platform

  1. Richard says:

    I like your positions, I’m a huge supporter though of Longmeadow and wish it could of been done differently without tolls but the opposition forced the county to self fund the road without a tax increase.

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