High School, Marengo Community High School
Banking & Construction, Prairie Community Bank & Brackmann Construction Company
CJ Brackmann, 18
Alexandra Brackmann, 9
Caleb Brackmann, 6
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I am a third-generation resident of Marengo. I graduated from Marengo Community High School and am raising my 3 kids here. I am a member of Zion Lutheran Church and am very active in the community I grew up in: City of Marengo Alderman, 2009 - Current Marengo Mainstreet Board of Directors, 2009 - Current Marengo-Union Rescue Squad District Board, 2004 - 2009 McHenry County Housing Commissioner, 2010 - 2012 Leadership Greater McHenry County, Class of 2010 Former or current volunteer Jr. Tackle Football, Little League, Little Indians Basketball & T-ball Coach As a Marengo Businessman, I have faced the same challenges that confront our small businesses in this uncertain economy. I not only call Marengo home but I also work here as a Mortgage Loan Originator for Prairie Community Bank and am in charge of sales for my family’s construction company.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
Aggressively Promote Business Growth - for years Marengo has had the reputation of being difficult to work with and it is very difficult to get rid of that reputation. I think we are now removing that and I would like to see that continue. Government, at all levels, need to work WITH our local businesses instead of against them. Aggresively Pursue Transportation Infrastructure Projects - Offering transportation options like the Route 23/I-90 interchange will make Marengo and our entire region more attractive to Business and ultimately Jobs.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
This is a complicated matter - especially regarding the City of Marengo. In 2011 I voted against a tax levy increase but the City Council went ahead and passed the maximum property tax increase they were allowed. The result of that decision was actually a decrease in property taxes paid to the City in the amount of $34,000 because property values dropped so dramatically. Because of another large decrease in property vales in the City of Marengo in 2012, it is very likely that the property taxes paid to the City of Marengo will again decrease even though the levy was increased. I believe the City of Marengo can and should make do with the current amount or even a small reduction in the amount they receive which is what happened even though the levy was increased. More important than the levy is the attraction of businesses to the city which will diversify the property tax base and take pressure off the residents.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
Florence Nursing Home petitioned the City Council to add an assisted living facility, expand the nursing home and remodel their current facility. Florence Nursing Home, which has operated in Marengo for over 85 years (my Great-Grandma lived there for a while), was not asking for any business incentives, would have created 18 additional full-time equivalent jobs, paid approximately $15,000 more in property taxes to local governments and met the need of our elderly population with an assisted living facility in the City of Marengo. Florence Nursing Home complied with everything the City Council asked of them. They brought back multiple revisions of their addition, met with the three adjoining neighbors that were against the addition, offered to build burms, plant huge pine trees and would have addressed all drainage issues in the area. Yet the City Council, with 5 in favor and only 2 against the proposal (a super majority vote of 6 was needed to pass it because of the neighbor protest), denied the request. I am still upset and embarrassed by this decision - it is another example of the City of Marengo being difficult and working against the business community.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
The City of Marengo was able to attract and approve a rather large commercial development that will break ground this Spring and, once built out, include a grocery store, medical building, fast food restaurant and multiple other storefronts. And we have managed to balance the budget during these tough financial times and uncertain economy while making road infrastructure and resurfacing improvements after years of neglect. These include the Prospect Street intersection improvements and stop light that will be done this year too.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I believe strong, business-minded leadership that paves the way for business growth is needed to position the City of Marengo toward prosperity. I will continue focusing on the Route 23 & I-90 Interchange. The interchange is something that has been discussed as a possibility ever since I can remember. There seems to be a realistic opportunity to see this happen and I believe the benefits are too large to not try to secure it. I grew up in Marengo, I work in Marengo, my family lives in Marengo and I only want what is best for Marengo. I enjoy being an Alderman - I like being able to help people with something they are dealing with and I pride myself on being accesible to anyone with an issue. I would appreciate your vote for Alderman on April 9.
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