As a member of the River Forest village board for six years, and as your candidate for village president, I am prepared to move our village forward with a specific plan of action that would provide service, eliminate unnecessary spending, and limit future property tax increases.
At a Wednesday Journal newspaper forum, I presented my plan for moving River Forest forward. I will bring the leadership of the village of River Forest, the township, the park district, and the two school districts together to develop a program of shared services, which would include building maintenance, purchasing, information technology, and grounds maintenance, all with the end result of real savings for the taxpayer.
Next, I will bring together the leaders of surrounding communities to review existing services such as our current police and fire dispatching system and refuse collection. My goal is to improve constituent services, increase government efficiencies, and stabilize property taxes.
The village needs to be more aggressive in securing grants, similar to the $1.3 million that we just received from the Illinois Department of Transportation to beautify Madison Street and aid in the development of the vacant Hines Lumber facility.
I will prioritize economic development in keeping with River Forest's character. I will form an economic commission composed of resident volunteers by reaching out to our entire community so that we have the appropriate expertise to guide the village board; every dollar in new sales tax revenue is one less dollar we need to pay in property taxes.
Last November our community made a decision regarding Home Rule. Therefore, in keeping with our community's decision, I will oppose any effort to institute Home Rule government in River Forest. I will pursue fiscal and economic policies that help ease the property tax burden, especially for those who are living on a fixed income.
In order to maintain our vibrant community, we must demand inclusion of all of our residents, we must listen, and we must embrace new ideas and build consensus. I will provide an open form of government where all of our residents will have an opportunity to serve on our village's boards and commissions. For any new openings, we will seek new applicants through an online process, advertising, and public notices. Everyone should have a chance to serve our village.
As I stated at the Wednesday Journal forum, "I'm running as an independent for village president because I want to be inclusive. … That's a reflection of who we are," which is why on April 9, I am asking for your vote to serve as your next village president.
I have the proven experience and leadership in business and in government to ensure we continue to use collaborative, consensus-driven approaches to solve the village's complex issues.
Experience and qualifications matter! Together we can continue the progress.