Commercial Real Estate, Premier Commercial Realty
See recent video below of Bruce Kaplan talking about the issues.
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
It has been a true honor to be elected by the people of Cary as their Trustee since April of 2011. As a 37 year resident and small businessman, I have “sold” the benefits of living and working in Cary every single day. I have had the pleasure to serve on the Cary Economic Development Committee for 7 years, as well as a number of business and Civic groups, like the Cary-Grove Chamber of Commerce, Cary Grove Business Association, Association of Midwest Business Brokers (now MBBI), Cary Grove Jaycees, and Past President of the McHenry County Board of Realtors (now Heartland Realtor Organization).For many years, I also coached Cary Youth Basketball. I share a unique perspective of the hurdles small businesses face when considering expanding in or relocating to our town. I know firsthand their frustrations with unfair, confusing and many times costly decisions this Village has made at their expense. I plan to change that. As a Trustee, I have proven my level of engagement by attending nearly 100% of all meetings and as Mayor, I would expect to do no less.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
First and foremost, we MUST make Cary competitive with surrounding towns. We are competing for new businesses and development all the time. We, as a Village, need to create a service oriented culture. We must let everyone know Cary will work with new and existing businesses and that we WANT their business! We must relieve tax pressure on our residents and broaden the commercial tax base. Residents deserve to know that business development and broadening the tax base are two sides of the same coin. We must seek new revenue sources to help offset flat revenues but not do so on the backs of businesses or residents. I plan to remove obstacles to development. Changes must be made to outdated building and zoning codes, high permit and impact fees, and excessive plan review requirements. Our response time to business requests must be quicker. Another issue I campaigned on two years ago was to create better transparency between our Village and our residents. While I am proud of our progress to date, we have more work to do. All ordinances need to accessible and searchable on the Village of Cary’s website. We must also update the woefully outdated Municipal Code Book and establish a new procedure to keep it up to date. We also need to look at how to better use social media as a way to reach out to our residents. I want our residents to be easily able to reach out to us.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
While past Village Boards taxed to the max, I have kept my promise by voting twice since I was elected to NOT raise our property tax levy. My focus continues to be on the SPENDING side of the equation, by figuring our ways to run our Village with efficiency, while providing essential services. The people’s tax money needs to be cared for by an open and honest leader. I am against raising the taxing district’s levy at least until housing prices rebound substantially.
What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?
I disagreed with a decision to limit certain uses in residential districts for home businesses. I argued that the local government has NO RIGHT to tell a person what he can or can’t do in his home. A home business needs to pass three acid tests: 1) no noise, 2) no smell and 3) no excessive traffic or parking in the neighborhood. It was odd how the zoning board unanimously agreed with me but the Village Board went 4-3 with the current Mayor breaking the tie. In these economic times, people are trying every way they can to make money. They can’t afford to lease expensive commercial space and they need to be able to use their homes as a base of business without government interference. People need to remember that companies like Apple, Amazon and Disney all started in the garage of someone’s home!
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
We had two big accomplishments (among many lesser ones) in the lsat year: 1) We were the first Board EVER to create more parking spaces for downtown businesses and shoppers. Downtown business people have been screaming for more parking for years and we kept our campaign promise and made it happen. 2) We hired a full time Community and Economic Development Director to help focus attention on our prime development sites and vacant commercial/industrial spaces. This was a big investment and we expect big dividends!
Why should voters elect you to office?
Living in Cary since 1976, I am part of the fabric of the community. Debbie and I raised our four children here. We have been in numerous local groups and organizations. My wife taught in School District 26. What motivates me is helping people solve problems. I want businesses to thrive and prosper by keeping local government out of their way and focused on essential services. I do not accept the status quo when it comes to operating procedures at Village Hall. I’m a taxpayer, too, and I will be fiscally conservative with everyone’s tax dollars. I’ve run a business in Cary and understand the problems. Our focus must be to increase our Village’s financial returns. I also want everyone to enjoy first-rate Village services. I am and always will be approachable and accessible whether you are a resident or business owner. I want to be on a first name basis with all of you.