Local elections are coming up in April and one of the positions up this year is our Village President. Sean Michels has been the Sugar Grove Village President since 1999. This year he has competition from Village Trustee Kevin Geary.
As a resident of this town the outcome of the election will impact on me. We need a village president who will do the best for the village and it’s residents. Illinois has a long history of corrupt officials and the way to keep them out of office is to make informed decisions when it comes to voting time.
On February 18th, I sent emails to both Mr. Geary and Mr. Michels with a series of questions I had in regard to the future of this village. Unfortunately only one of them chose to send me a response. Mr. Sean Michels did not even bother to send an email saying that he was not interested in answering my questions.
Here are the questions and answers as presented by Mr. Kevin Geary, Sugar Grove Village Trustee, in their unedited form.
- What does Sugar Grove means to you?
Sugar Grove to me represents the best that community has to offer. A place where people live, people work a place where people can go to school, a place where people can come together and unite for a common cause such as veterans Park or American Legion or social gatherings like Corn Boil. Sugar Grove to me is community.
- Where do you feel that Sugar Grove needs the most improvement?
I feel that there are two distinctive areas the village of Sugar Grove needs to improve upon.The first is creating village government such that it’s accessible to the people it serves. This could be something as simple as adjusting meeting times that are convenient for residents to attend or as detailed as posting detailed meeting minutes and/or recorded meetings for people to review at their leisure. The second area is Sugar Grove needs to become more aggressive with diversifying its tax base. I believe given Sugar Grove’s geographic location that commercial development is highly plausible if the efforts are put in to market the community properly. I believe a SWOT analysis will assist the village in evaluating the infrastructure that we already have and those elements that are still needed to encourage a diversified mix of commercial development. I further believe that within the sugar Grove area we have some highly competent and experienced executives that could help direct and guide Sugar Grove in the right direction for development. I would go as far as to maybe even ask the executives what it would take to move their headquarters, call center, or business to Sugar Grove.
- How do you plan to achieve that improvement?
On the first count from above but had to work him into this budget season and have dollars allocated for videotaping or live streaming the village meetings. I see this to do take effect no later than May 1, 2013.On the second count of the above I would call for a summit of key executives and local business owners that would be interested in participating in a SWOT analysis hosted by the village of Sugar Grove and moderated by Northern Illinois University. The expected outcome wouldn’t be just a report on specific action plans moving the community forward.
- As Village President what are your plans for expanding the tax base of Sugar Grove?
Taking the data from the above summit in place it in the action plans and assigning those specific actions to staff to bring forward results. I would seriously consider moving the economic development Corporation in-house them specifically run by the village. In this way the village staff would work in concert with those businesses that want to come to town and assist them with our processes Then quarterly review the progress that we have made, make the necessary adjustments and move forward.
- What do you think is the best way for the Village of Sugar Grove to improve their operating budget?
Diversifying their tax base in my opinion is the best way to improve their operating budget.
- What are your opinions on and plans for the Aurora Airport?
I see the Aurora Airport as an asset to our community. As it stands right now the airport will have a new business Honda Jet that will bring jobs and potentially other business to the area.
- Illinois politicians and statesmen have the worst reputation in the United States and as such are not trusted by the people, if elected how do you plan to keep the trust?
I certainly understand the feeling of mistrust and if elected I plan to show the community the progress being made in each of the goals and objectives set for the village, biannual basis in a state of the community report. This report will outline all of our goals and him and him objectives will also state what the action plan is to meet that goal and were objective and the date by which that goal were objective will be completed. If the goal or objective target date is missed there will be an explanation as to what caused the issue not to be completed.
- Anything else you would like to comment on?
I would like to thank the citizens of sugar Grove for allowing me the opportunity to represent them and look forward to their support in the future.
Thank you Mr. Geary. As a tax paying resident of the village it is nice to know that at least of you will take the time to answer a few questions.