Mayor, City of Harvard
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have served as Mayor of Harvard since 2005 and was an Alderman and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals before that. I was instrumental in founding the Harvard Economic Development Corporation and served as its first chairman for six years. I am a lifelong resident of Harvard who has owned a business and raised a family here. I am active in the community, served as President of the Harvard Chamber of Commerce and I am a Navy Veteran. I care a great deal about this community and its future and I have worked very hard to make good decisions on behalf of our city and its residents.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
1) I am very proud of the fact that the City of Harvard has had a balanced budget every year since I took office in 2005, and even during a bad recession. I intend to work very hard to maintain that track record and to keep the City in solid financial shape. 2) Economic growth is very important to any community and we must continue to work hard to keep Harvard on the radar of expanding companies so that we continue to attract new businesses to town. Harvard residents should be able to work, shop, go out to dinner and have activities to choose from in their own community. More choices are coming to town every year. 3) Strong schools and a strong community are very important. We need to make sure that our city has good parks and recreational programs for our young people, and that our schools stay safe and drug-free. We have a new elementary school, a great public library, a growing park system, a new senior center and a strong sense of community. We need to preserve and build on
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
Yes, I would support a freeze in the tax levy as long as there are real reforms in pension costs, public works projects and unfunded mandates. That being said, I don’t think a municipality should ever take away its flexibility or limit its options, especially when the economy is still uncertain. Harvard weathered the worst recession in decades and came out in good fiscal shape. We also came out stronger than a lot of other communities. We kept our car dealerships and new businesses have continued to open in town over the past few years. We worked very hard to tighten our belts and to control costs and we were successful in doing so. It doesn’t make sense to tie your hands and limit your options, because you never know what may happen in the future.
What one decision by the village board do you most disagree with and why?
The Harvard City Council works together as a team, for the good of the community. There are a lot of committee meetings, everything gets discussed and we really do work together as a group. I don’t disagree with anything that the City Council has done, because our decisions have been group decisions that were made with Harvard’s best interests in mind.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
Our City’s biggest accomplishment has been maintaining a balanced budget and keeping Harvard economically strong. We did what we had to so that the City would stay on solid financial ground. For example, a year ago at this time, the City had $760,000 in debt. At the end of January 2013, we had only $140,000 in debt. The City Council and all of the city departments worked together to make that happen.
Why should voters elect you to office?
We have accomplished so much as a city and as a community. Harvard has a balanced budget. We have new businesses opening in town and employers creating new jobs. Companies that have been here a long time are expanding. We have a new senior center and food pantry, a community sign that our residents count on for local information, and family oriented events like Milk Days and the Tri-County Rodeo that create community pride and attract new visitors to town. We reduced electrical costs dramatically, kept city services going during a tough recession and recently won the Governors Home Town Award, which we are very, very proud of as a community. These are Harvard’s accomplishments and, as Mayor, a lifelong resident and an active community member, I couldn’t be prouder. I would like to continue to work with the City Council on Harvard’s behalf to continue all of the good work that is being done. Thank you.
- Zoning, land issues divide Barrington Hills Village Board candidates
- Election 2015: 3 seek 2 spots on Elgin Community College Board of Trustees
- Richmond Village Board candidates look to balance small-town feel, big-business dreams
- 5 candidates running for three Holiday Hills Village Board seats
- Property tax referendum key in Spring Grove Village Board race
Other Local Races
Kelley Ann Kepes