Wednesday, February 13, 2019 || By Community Editor|| @maywoodnews
On Feb. 13, Village Free Press emailed our candidate questionnaire to individuals and/or slates running for three open seats on the Maywood Board of Trustees.
We’re also publishing the questions before the candidates answer to give the reader a glimpse of what we’ve asked and just in case candidates don’t see our email message. We want to cover all of our bases and give candidates ample notification ahead of Feb. 21, which is the deadline for submitted answers.
We’ll use those completed questionnaires as guides that will help the candidates forum we’re planning go smoothly.
The forum for trustee candidates is on Saturday, Feb. 23, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., at Second Baptist Church, 436 S. 13th Ave. in Maywood.
If you have any questions you’d like us to ask candidates for trustee, please email them to email@example.com, post them as comments to our Facebook page or place a comment below this article (we’re temporarily waiving our recent ban on comments for this purpose).
Maywood Trustees Candidate Questionnaire
Please submit answers (attached in a MS Word file or in the body of the email) to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than at anytime on Feb. 21).
Previous political experience:
Previous community experience:
Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Full disclosure: parts, or all, of your answers are likely be published:
- In January 2018, the board voted unanimously to establish a commission of experts and community stakeholders that would explore the feasibility of the village tapping into a water source in Maywood that officials say runs directly underneath the Prairie Path and flows through to DuPage County. If such a measure is implemented, Maywood would no longer be reliant on Melrose Park for transmitting water — a service for which the village pays Melrose Park $1.8 million a year, according to an estimate by Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet. Since its creation, however, there is no evidence that the committee has met. Do you agree with the committee’s formation? If so, how will you ensure that the committee actually meets regularly and do what it was created to do?
- How do you propose that the village fund much-needed infrastructure projects, such as long overdue roadway and alley improvements, that are not eligible for alternative forms of revenue, such as TIF funding; and county, state and/or federal grants?
- For the last several years, the board has approved 3 to 4 percent annual levy increases — despite staff recommending increases that are higher — in an effort to address residents’ property tax burden. A major result of these minimal levy increases, however, has been that the village has forgone potentially millions of dollars in much-needed annual tax revenue over that time period. That translates into the village having to make emergency purchases, such as the acquisition of a nearly $1 million aerial ladder truck for the fire department, by taking out loans that only add to the village’s debt load. How would you balance the need to collect tax revenue with legitimate concerns about residents’ property tax burden?
- What are some of your ideas for addressing Maywood’s annual deficit? It’s low credit rating?
- What are your thoughts on the level of trust that residents have in village officials to responsibly serve their interests? Do you think that trust between residents and village officials needs to be improved? If so, how would you work to help improve it?
- The population of Maywood has changed rather dramatically in the last 10 years, with the village having experienced a significant infusion of Hispanic residents. For instance, the student population of both Districts 89 and 209 are more than 50 percent Hispanic. Do you believe that this growing demographic is adequately represented in the village? If not, what are some of your ideas for reaching out to the Hispanic community in Maywood?
Business & Economic Development
- What is your position on the issuance of Class M liquor licenses for businesses that may want to bring video gambling into Maywood?
- In October 2018, the board voted 5 to 2 in favor of a resolution in support of granting National Cycle Inc. a Cook County Sustainable Emergency Relief Class 6b property tax incentive that company officials estimated could translate into around $1.4 million in tax savings over 10 years— despite the very vocal objections to the tax break made by Manager Willie Norfleet, who said that the company’s savings would potentially mean higher tax bills for residents. How do you manage the need to provide property tax relief for businesses with the need to make sure that already overburdened homeowners are not bearing even more of the property tax burden than they need to?
- What is your understanding of Maywood’s reputation in certain industry circles (i.e., retail, manufacturing, etc.) as a place to do business? Do you think Maywood can improve its reputation and, if so, how?
- What is your understanding of the role and functions of the Maywood Board of Trustees?
- Do you think that the current village manager form of government is sufficient? If so, why? If not, what alternative model would you recommend?
- From what you can tell, is there currently a system in place that effectively evaluates the performance of village administrators and employees? If not, do you think one needs to be implemented?
- Do you believe that key village committees and commissions, particularly the board’s finance committee and the village’s water commission and economic development commission, are active and/or effective enough? If not, how might you help them become more active and effective?
- Do you believe that Maywood is, generally speaking, a safe community? If so, what are some things that make this so? If not, what are some ideas you have to make the village safer?
- Do you believe that the village is spending too little, just enough or too much money to settle police misconduct and workman’s compensation cases? If you believe too much or too little money, what are some of your ideas for getting those expenditures to a level you believe is sufficient?
- If elected, what are the three things that you would do as a member of the Maywood Board of Trustees immediately upon your swearing-in (and ‘immediately’ means within your first two months as a board member)? Be as specific as possible. VFP
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