Candidate for City Council, 7th Ward
Education: I have an undergraduate degree from Chicago State University, a Masters Degree from St Xavier's University, and a certificate of completion from Northwestern School of Staff and Command. I also have various certificates ranging from Grant Writing to Heavy Weapons', and Concealed Carry Instructor.
Age: Not answered
Past Political/Civic Experience: Not answered
Q: Last year, the Chicago Tribune's investigative series "Broken Bonds" reported that, since 2000, Chicago had issued long-term bonds to spend nearly $10 billion, much of it for short-term operating expenses. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to delay bond payments by refinancing old debts, a tactic known as "scoop and toss" that extends payments far into the future. Was this borrowing justified? Going forward, how should City Hall change its finances to pay down existing debts and provide services? Will you argue primarily for cuts in spending or for tax increases? Please be specific.
No the borrowing was not justified. Going forward City hall should stop any new purchases unless its of an emergency nature and stop investing municipal funds in any "high risk" high reward venture. I would argue for cuts in spending before asking for any tax increase. I would place a moratorium on any new purchases for example computers, and fleet vehicles.
Q: Chicago will face a substantial increase in contributions to its police and fire pension funds in 2016. Chicago's unfunded pension liability amounts to about $7,000 for each resident of the city. How should the city solve its pension crisis? Please be specific about pension changes, spending cuts or revenue increases you would support.
The City should fully fund the pensions. I don't agree with taking from retiree's that are on fixed incomes and depend upon these dedicated funds. I would redirect how the TIF monies are being spent and eliminating TIFs as they are a part of the loss in revenue to the city. I'd look at the amount of monies being sent to the Illinois lottery by the residents of Chicago and offer a Chicago lottery. Additionally I'd look at the viability of a Chicago casino and the licensing of medical marijuana facilities
Q: What changes should be made in the city's use of tax increment financing? Would you support expansion or extension of TIF districts in your ward? How should excess TIF funds be spent? Do you support the $55 million allotment of TIF funds to buy land for a Marriott Hotel and DePaul basketball arena? Please explain.
I'd insure that the TIF monies were spent on the issues they were designed for. I would not support any additional TIFs in my ward. Excess TIF money should go back into the general revenue fund and remove that particular TIF it came from. I do not support any public monies being spent to support privately owned ventures
Q: The Tribune Editorial Board recently offered "12 ways to heal a city" — the best ideas among more than 1,000 suggestions from readers on how to craft "A new Plan of Chicago." These proposals are available at chicagotribune.com/plan. Please tell us which ideas you would champion. We invite you to offer additional ideas for dealing with Chicago's challenges.
I like them all. I fully support any initiative that will save the lives of the citizens of Chicago and residents of my ward. I will fully support the re-claiming of the large amount of foreclosed and abandon houses in the 7th ward (one of highest in the City). I'd like to build or retrofit houses to the LEEDs certification in addition to seeing more energy generating wind mills.
Q: Should the City Council keep or abolish the office of legislative inspector general? Should the city inspector general be given the authority to investigate aldermen and their staff members? Do you have other ideas to improve government ethics in Chicago? Please explain.
I believe the Office of Legislative Inspector General should be abolished. Its a duplication of services. The office of Inspector General should have the power to investigate any matter relate to municipal government. We could improve ethics in Chicago when the residents actually see it implemented unilaterally. For example, the alderman and staff are exempt from investigation from the OIG, remove this cloak of secrecy
Q: The Chicago Public Schools system has seen significant improvements in freshmen on track and high school graduation rates. CPS has also closed dozens of schools, used fiscal 2016 revenue to balance its 2015 budget and faces a roughly $700 million pension payment in 2016. Please give us your assessment of the academic and financial performance of the city's public schools. What is the key to improving public education in the city? Should members of the Board of Education be elected by the public or continue to be appointed by the mayor? Do you support the longer school day and year? Should CPS expand or reduce the number of charter schools? How should CPS close its significant budget gap?
If the closed schools that were under performing and had previously been counted in this formula and the school population that was subject to this evaluation now have a smaller pool on which this information is based, then he information is flawed. The key to improving the schools in Chicago is bring them all up to speed in subject areas, giving them all the support needed (i.e. technology and physically) , and allowing teachers to do their job. Yes i support a full school day. I don't support mayoral appointments to the school board. I have not seen any research that supports the expansion of charter schools. We could close the budget gap in the school budget by reviewing how much money is returned to CPS from places like the Illinois Lottery.
Q: How would you attract more employers to your ward? How would you encourage employers to hire local residents? What have you done to promote economic development in your ward?
I would attract employers to my ward by making it safe. I'd encourage employers to hire local resident by making it beneficial to them to do so I'd also show them that we have a base of employable residents based on different types of skill set that exist in my ward. I've developed a economical plan for development ready to be deployed
Q: Do you support or oppose the City Council vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Please explain.
I support the City Councils vote to increase the minimum wage. I support this because its a gradual increase not immediate and businesses and adjust with the increase
Q: Should the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art be built at the proposed location on Chicago's lakefront? Please explain.
No the Lucas Museum should not be built on Chicago's lakefront. I don't believe that the view of the lakefront should be blocked any more than it is
Q: How can the city improve public safety? Please address the role and performance of the Chicago Police Department and the role of neighborhood residents in crime prevention. What have you done to improve public safety in your community?
The City can improve public safety by hiring more police officers. The Chicago Police can improve their role with the neighborhood residents by having more officers more engaged with residents on a daily basis. I make it my business to know and meet my neighbors and talk with them about issues of safety
Q: Do you support Chicago's traffic light camera program? Please explain.
No I don't support Chicago's traffic light program. There is no research to support the expansion of the program
Q: Should Chicago reduce the number of aldermen in the City Council?
Yes the number of alderman should be reduced. If we redistrict wards based on loss of population then so should the number of alderman be adjusted
Q: What is your highest priority for improving your ward? What is the greatest concern you hear from residents of your ward?
My highest priority for improving my ward is stopping the kids from killing each other. Safety is the greatest concern for the residents of my ward
Q: Please tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I am a retired sergeant with over 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Chicago Police Department. I have held the rank of Commander at the Chicago Housing Authority Police Department, and have been assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). I've been assigned to the Chicago Police Departments Cold Case Squad. I've co-authored numerous grants