2021 candidate for Long Grove Trustee
Four candidates are fighting for three four-year seats on the Long Grove Village Board.
City: Long Grove
Occupation: real estate agent, lawyer
Employer: Self-employed (ReMax Suburban Sponsoring Brokerage)
questions and answers
Q: How do you see your role in fighting the pandemic: taking leadership even if it’s unpopular, giving constituents a voice – including those you disagree with, or postponing state and federal authorities?
A: As a neighbor, spouse, friend, parent, and trustee in Long Grove, I support and model the guidelines of the Illinois Dept of Public Health and the Governor’s Executive Order. For those who see the problem differently, I have listened and understood their frustrations and fears.
Long Grove is a non-homeland regulatory community and is therefore subject to the county and state regulators. We followed the protocols proposed by IDPH, as did our dealers, and wholeheartedly supported everyone’s first right of amendment.
Q: Did your city continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruption caused by the pandemic? If so, please provide an example of how it has successfully adjusted to service delivery. If not, please give a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Long Grove and its Economic Development Commission supported our residents and merchants by holding informative Zoom meetings to educate and educate them about availability and protocols required to raise funds for the paycheck protection program. These federal funds helped business owners keep paying their employees during the mandatory shutdown. Long Grove also offered a partial liquor royalty waiver for 2021.
Additionally, our Economic Development Commission has reached out to each of our business owners to touch the grassroots, identify the needs of the village and let them know we support them.
In addition, we closed the town hall to protect our employees who have moved into home offices to keep the village going for residents and contact persons. We are proud of them and very much appreciate their efforts.
Q: Given our experience with COVID-19, what safeguards / guidelines should you put in place to address future public health crises?
A: We are looking into better online and phone capabilities in the near future to do even more for residents, contractors and vendors while we continue to work outside the company.
Q: What cuts can the local government make to ease the taxpayer burden from the pandemic?
A: Long Grove Village has a tight annual budget of approximately $ 4,000,000.
Our residents do NOT pay any council tax like 97% of the other parishes in the state.
Long Grove’s revenue is primarily derived from the following factors: sales tax, Village’s portion of Illinois fuel taxes, TIF revenue, grants, and permits. These revenues are paid for road maintenance, plowing and salting, employee salaries and benefits (5 employees), Lake County Sheriff’s protection, engineering fees, and so on. In addition, the Village has a financial reserve of approximately one year of income. This mechanism was put in place to ensure that we can continue to provide vital village services in the event that current sales and fuel taxes drop dramatically. It is our goal to continue to manage our income responsibly so that we no longer have to raise village taxes in the future.
Q: What do you think is the most important infrastructure project that you need to tackle? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, in these uncertain economic times, which infrastructure project can be pushed into the background?
A: Our most important current project is the renovation of North Krueger Road. It is in critical condition and thanks to the village’s tender and financial planning it will be in much better shape by mid to late summer 2021. We also have to further develop and connect our routes so that residents can keep their cars in the garage and safely walk or cycle between districts and shopping streets.
Budget discussions will begin at the next board meeting for 2021-2022, and we will discuss adding or removing planned road projects at that time. Last year we postponed the urgently needed repair of the Stemple parking lot in the city center due to the economic uncertainty of COVID. We have received a grant from Illinois to pay part of the cost of Stemple which will allow us to pave the village portion of the property very soon, maybe this year, depending on the contractor’s offers.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board / council has taken to allow recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about this attitude if you could?
A: In the fall of 2019, the board passed an amendment to Title 10 of the Long Grove Village Code banning the sale of adult recreational cannabis businesses. I think it was the right decision back then.
We don’t lose that the state of Illinois oversold its citizens expected tax breaks in the past for initiatives like the lottery (tax dollars should fund education) and gambling. We heard credible presentations from drug rehab professionals explaining how often hard drug use begins with marijuana. The board also acknowledged that the cannabis issue is very similar to the issue of alcohol sales and its and subsequent addiction rates. We then decided that we had to react as before so as not to make a hasty decision and to be able to take up the problem again at a later point in time.
I am open to reconsidering the subject after we interview residents and I can use tax payments to similarly populated cities to determine what the potential tax refund on Long Grove would be. I believe medical marijuana should be supported, and I would not object to a cannabis growth plant. I will not vote my personal opinion. I will vote if the majority of our residents so wish.
Q: What’s a good idea to improve the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: My board duties for the past 4 years have focused on roads, bridges and paths. As a result, I recently addressed the possibility of a pedestrian bridge over Route 83 on Robert Parker Coffin Rd, as well as one over Route 53 in Schaeffer, to allow for safer, non-motorized routes that connect neighborhoods not only to one another but also to shopping and shopping connect food. In addition, I am currently researching the infrastructure requirements for car charging stations, which would be a welcome and soon-to-be-needed addition to the community.
There is no doubt that we need grants to achieve these goals, but we have succeeded in the past and I think we can do so in the future.