Michael Gibbs

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Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.

Profession: Elevator Sales/Inspector

Years lived in River Forest: 1961-1989 in Oak Park, 1989- present in River Forest 24 yrs

Spouse/Children: Wife of 24 years, Sally (Dee) born and raised in River Forest, Twin 10 year old girls- Molly and Abigail

Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office? 

Current River Forest Village Trustee, Past Traffic & Safety Commissioner

Why are you running for this office? 

I am running for president of the Village of River Forest because I believe it is important to give back to our village and actively participate in the governance of where we live. Currently it is my honor to serve as village trustee and I am working hard to transform my leadership to the role of village president.

What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing the Village in the next four years?

I believe three of the biggest challenges the Village of River Forest faces are:

  1. Traditionally the quality of life in River Forest has been outstanding. It is up to village government to maintain some of the things we love about our village like high functioning public safety and public works departments. Under the constraints of the economy, our village will be called upon to make difficult and necessary decisions to maintain fiscal responsibility for things like our quality public departments.
  2. As ambassadors of our village, we need to improve our visibility to potential business and enhance promotion of our village to build our economic development potential.
  3. In the near future the village board will have to address two major development and infrastructure topics. The intersections of Park and Lathrop Avenues and Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue are Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects and are under consideration for development. The village is facing a major decision of extensive storm water management renovation projects.

What skills/talents do you have that would enable you to deal with those challenges?

I believe my extensive professional business career and service on many boards adds to my qualifications for village president. I offer leadership and professional skills to aid in our village's progress. My years as village trustee and public works committee chairman give me first hand experience on how we can improve how our village administration in servicing our community.

As a contractor in the elevator industry, a licensed inspector and member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, I am knowledgeable in the process of bringing an idea from drawings to completion. I look forward to working with talented residents who have the desire to dedicate their time to enhancing our committee structure.

In addition, I am proud of my record as the ten-year president of the Oak Park and River Forest High School Huskie Booster Club. During my tenure we accomplished a lot enhance our community.

If elected, what are three goals that you have for the next four years?

My goals are simple: to ensure financial responsibility and seek out potential economic development for our village while maintaining our traditional and current village quality of life.

If you are running as part of a slate of candidates, why? If not, why not?

I am pleased to be on the same team with Lissa Druss Christman, Kevin Hanley and Tom Dwyer Jr. We are all life long residents of our community. We bring a unique group of skills sets to the challenges our village faces and we respect each other. Together we bring a new vision for the future River Forest that has been cultivated from our upbringing in our community.

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