Why I'm running
The urge by some to turn parts of Naperville into an urban showcase is tremendous. Their desires, and the allure of tax dollars, is not the sole measure of a project — the people’s voices must be taken in equal measure! Public confidence in our government is a byproduct of heeding public input, not merely giving us a venue to express it.
Too many times, I have seen that input cast aside and choices made despite the public’s wishes. Too many people feel left out of Naperville’s plans. It’s not the government I’m satisfied with.
I want to be the champion for a balanced approach to governing.
I have been serving the public for the past five years on the Historic Preservation Commission. It’s a body created out of respect for the public’s wishes and this city’s heritage, but one often ignored by the council.
As a 40-year Naperville resident, I admire the city’s past and embrace the successes that have recently come to it. Our past has made the downtown area charming and alluring to visitors. Our economic success draws a diverse group of businesses. Both can live together and build off of each other—one is not expendable to further the other.
My years here go hand-in-hand with the operation of my Naperville-based business, one built on the words “safe, reliable and efficient.” As with any small business owner, I make frugality a virtue and invest where it makes the best long-term sense. As an engineer, I act after gaining a clear understanding of the facts and the costs. As a leader, I know that action must follow stakeholder input and consensus.
It’s those skills and sensibilities that I will apply to the job of City Councilman.
My family life, my business life and my civic life are all wrapped up in Naperville. This city has been integral to my life for most of it, and I want to see the best version of the city endure!
I’m a graduate of Notre Dame's Electrical Engineering program. It’s a program that emphasizes problem solving over specific tools—because problem solving is both a critical part of my field and outlasts the life of any one tool. It has shown me that the core of successful relationships is in communication. Only by listening and understanding can you find true solutions.
I want a bigger role in serving the public, and I do not stand to benefit personally or professionally from it. Nor do I plan to seek any higher office — my wife will hold me to that!
My top priorities
1. Recovery — getting Naperville’s economic engine back on the tracks in the post-Covid world that will come before long.
2. Protecting the public’s voice — Naperville’s demographics make it an attractive place for businesses and developers. That’s an enviable position to be in! But the people of Naperville must be an integral part of charting Naperville’s future.
3. Honor and foster Naperville’s diversity — it’s that diversity which has filled empty storefronts and enriches the overall local community. It’s what America was built on!
4. Transparency and ethics – Naperville is right to expect the highest standards of transparency and ethics in all government dealings, and I am committed to continue expanding on efforts to improve on the status quo.
The role of government
Above all, government must serve the public. Not solely those with the biggest plans, or those they’re most friendly with, but the community as a whole. Our collective future requires collective, valued, input. Action then comes from consensus, not simply from one member with an option. And to find consensus, all parties must be willing to give up something to get something. They must come away a little unhappy because no one got everything they wanted. But everyone got enough to call it a success!
Local government has limited resources. The public must have confidence that the resources it has are used for the overall best interests of the public and business community, without preference or bias.
Government should lead by example, transparently, and help the community prepare for the changes on the horizon. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that change does not come with a bullhorn, nor does it pull its punches. It must be met as a community—informed, involved and invested.
My first actions
1. Work with city and state governments to reduce the burden the pandemic has had on small businesses and the community at large. It’s imperative that we find our way back to a happy normal, even if it’s not quite the normal that we used to know.
2. Aid in the architecture and acceptance of a more complete ethics reform policy for Naperville elected officials. Public confidence on our elected officials should not rest on their voluntary compliance, but on their obligation and duty.
3. Dig into the affordable (not to be confused with low-income) housing issue. Particularly as a means to have housing choices for residents in all stages of life.
4. Continue the city’s support for our police force thru better resources and equipment (such as body cameras), along with evolving their policies for safe and accountable service to the community.
5. Transform my Weekly Campaign Forum into Weekly Community Forum as a vehicle of direct resident input to City Council, and implement regular surveys to residents in advance of major Council agenda items to garner resident feedback prior to action.
6. Seek out opportunities to increase government transparency, both in the city's processes and expenditures.