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LWV’s City Council candidate forum–2-year candidates

1 April 2009 jessica 17 Comments

This is a follow-up to another League of Women Voters candidate forum post that focused on 4-year candidates.  Since that post, the Courier News has covered the forum as well.

Based on candidates’ responses at the forum and in questionnaires, I have decided to cast my vote for Mike Warren.  I believe he will be able to follow through on his promises of fiscal responsibility and be creative financially because of his business background.  I believe his history of community involvement will allow him to understand the many complex issues Elgin faces.  I like that he has a strong commitment to neighborhoods and supports efforts toward sustainability.

Below are summaries of the responses each candidate gave on Monday night.  These summaries are from the forum only, and do not include other sources.  Their names link to their websites, where you can find more information if you so desire.

Emi Morales

Morales introduced herself as a person born, raised, and educated in Elgin, who now owns a home here and works as a practicing lawyer.  She believes the Council should’ve waited until after the election to appoint a manager.  Though she did not give a definitive answer of how many Council meetings she’s attended over the past year, Morales stated that she’s either attended or viewed all meetings online since declaring her candidacy.  She believes community policing, more ROPE officers, and prevention programs such as DARE and GREAT are the answer to a safer community.  Morales mentioned “inclusive” zoning as a method of providing affordable housing to residents, after noting that houses for sale in Elgin range from $49,000 to $2 million in price.

Regarding illegal immigration, Morales commented that Elgin might want to reconsider pursuing 287G since it could lead to racial profiling and does not come with its own funding.  Morales believes it is important that local, county, and federal officials all forge relationships in order to bring in money to our area.  She supports red light cameras for safety reasons.

Mike Robins

Robins put forth illegal immigration as one of his top issues and noted that 4-year candidate Prigge has endorsed him.  He believes the Council should’ve waited until after the election to appoint a manager.  He has attended 10+ Council meetings over the past year.  Regarding safety, he noted that Illinois has the highest number of gang members per capita.  Robins is against higher density developments and does not believe people will walk to a corner store, especially with our winters.

Robins wants to focus on landlord/rental licenses as a means to dealing with illegal immigration, which he states has a strong negative impact on the local economy.  He said the other candidates’ cries of “lawsuit” were nothing more than “scare tactics.”  Robins believes Elgin wasted money by doing a study to find out the public’s perception of Elgin, and also by changing Wing Park Boulevard.  He is against fees for increasing revenue to the City, including those that would add costs to dog owners.  He wants to look into having one city fund instead of both a Capitol fund and General fund.  He supports red light cameras only at certain locations because of safety reasons–not for revenue.

Brenda Rodgers

Rodgers believes the Council should’ve waited until after the election to appoint a manager.  She has attended 6-7 Council meetings in person over the past year.  She wants to improve safety in Elgin by having more officers on the street, forming neighborhood watch groups, and increasing the brightness of street lights.  Rodgers stressed the importance of affordable housing for people returning from college or from war.

Rodgers said we must wait for ICE in order to further deal with illegal immigration.  She has done an informal survey of other communities and the process appears to take 3 years, so she does not find it unusual that Elgin has been waiting over a year for a response.  Rodgers believes that attracting businesses that pay a living wage is a way to help the local economy.  She commented that in the past she has e-mailed the Governor’s office about roads that need resurfacing, and it appeared to help move things along more quickly.  She supports red light cameras for safety reasons.

Mike Warren

Warren introduced himself as an entrepreneurial Elginite who is getting involved in politics so his children can live in the kind of Elgin in which he grew up.  He does not believe the Council made an error by appointing a manager, since we cannot afford a national search at this time and Sean Stegall is qualified for the position.  He has attended three Council meetings in person over the past year.  Warren thinks strong communication between police, neighborhood groups, and the City Council is necessary to improve safety.  He said overcrowding in Elgin suggests a lack of affordable housing, while also noting that the definition of “affordable” changes over time.

Warren believes illegal immigration must be dealt with through the cooperation of different levels of government including the county, the municipal police department, and neighborhood groups.  Warren named the declining economy as the most important issue facing Elgin today, and said measures toward sustainability might also be ways to save money.  He stressed that roads must be better maintained.  For example, if cracks are filled in regularly that could extend the lifetime of the road surface.  He supports red light cameras, but only for reasons of safety, not as a revenue generator.

Stay tuned for a post covering the LWV forum featuring Elgin Township, ECC, U-46, and Gail Borden Public Library candidates.

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17 Responses to “LWV’s City Council candidate forum–2-year candidates”

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  1. Boxcar says:

    Mike Warren, the Ed Schock hand-picked puppet to take the heat off of him on critical votes has been endorsed again. Pulled from nowhere and thrust into the election to be an Ed Schock clone.

    And this site fell for it.

    Here is the proof (sigh) again of ineptitude:

    “I believe he will be able to follow through on his promises of fiscal responsibility and be creative financially because of his business background.”

    And did he tell us HOW? Oh, no. But that’s ok here, I guess. Prigge gets chastised for not “sharing” his solutions on teeny, tiny issues like gangs and murders, yet says they are on his Web site. (Which, they are) Warren can’t provide ANY solutions or plans at the forum or on his Web site. Yet, he’s the savior. Mike Robins’ site has more details on one topic than Ed Jr. has on his site.

    Continuing…

    “I like that he has a strong commitment to neighborhoods and supports efforts toward sustainability.”

    How in the world can ANYONE have “a strong commitment to neighborhoods” when they call dealing locally with illegal aliens is a witch hunt? What’s more local than a neighborhood? What is destroying these neighborhoods? Illegals and over-crowding, that’s what.

    Continuing…

    “I believe his history of community involvement will allow him to understand the many complex issues Elgin faces.”

    And those are???? Did he mention those issues he understands? No. Do YOU or anyone else know? No. Again, no specifics given. Anywhere. Yet he wins someone’s heart.

    Apparently someone didn’t hear Ed Jr. mention several times the city needs to find “buckets of money” and that the “city needs to do more with less” by reusing paper, etc. LOL.

    EVEN THE MODERATOR FROM HER NEUTRAL POSITION LAUGHED AT AND COMMENTED ON THE “BUCKETS OF MONEY” LINES!

    Does Mr. Warren know where these “buckets of money” are at and why isn’t HE sharing THIS info? And, just how does ANYONE do more with less? Ed Sr. did not prepare Little Ed Jr. very well and it showed.
    Re: the city manager hiring? Of COURSE he agrees with the council’s decision to hire Stegall. Ed Sr. told him to.

    I like a good puppet show just like the next person but this Schock and Warren puppet show is an insult to Garfield Goose and Frazier Thomas fans all over Illinois.

    One thing missing from THIS version of endorsement of candidates? The personal attacks and unfair criticism against the candidates from the Elginite writer.

    Gee, I wonder why the change?

    • jessica says:

      We will have to agree to disagree.

      I have seen both Prigge’s and Robin’s sites. My choice not to vote for them does not have to do with a lack of information on their views. Illegal immigration is not my top issue as it is yours.

      • rm says:

        Jessica’s attitude is not remarkable. In America in the 1850’s most Americans really didn’t want to deal with slavery. They wanted to talk about anything else political or social - like temperence or feminism - anything to keep the discussion from slavery. Eventually, of course, the reality of slavery as a defining issue for America could not be avoided. The illegal alien scandal is reaching that point in Elgin and America. It’s an issue that’s unprecedented in our life times, is tearing apart any sense of common American values or identity, and threatens the economic and social integrity of the nation. Never before in our history have so many of America’s political, business and cultural elites supported illegal activity on behalf of a foreign government and against the welfare of their fellow Americans. Much as Lincoln observed in 1858 with regard to slavery, illegal aliens have made America a “house divided.” Jessica may prefer to ignore it and dream about bike lanes and red light cameras, but the impact of this division is with Elginites every day from our poor schools to our soaring unemployment rates, pathetic retail choices, gang violence, deteriorating neighborhoods and political sleaziness. The future of America isn’t being decided in Afghanistan - it’s here in places like Elgin (and I’m not talking about red light cameras).

  2. Alienrants says:

    At least your endorsements are consistent. If you like Walters and Figueroa, you’ll also like Warren. Warren was OK with being left out of the Stegall decision. He likes the way Schock has managed the affairs of the city.
    It all comes down to your perception of Elgin. If you like the way things are going, he’s a nice addition to the ticket.
    If you think city hall is out-of-step with the people, those are three people you would definitely vote against.
    IMHO they don’t “get it.” They don’t understand what’s wrong with our image. They think handing out shiny acrylic awards is the answer. It isn’t.

  3. Tina says:

    jessica, your data on the two year candidate comments was factual, thankyou. However your endorsements through this campaign have been generic at best. Boxcar through time on this blog site has had the ability to research candidate weakness and how it relates to future action as a council person. Mr. Warren has a philosophical approach without the needed substance for change. With all of his past business contacts in town, he will be molded into what is already happening on the council and will not want to upset the balance. Friends and neighbors of mine feel upset about our school system, the money spent by the present council and the mayor, the gangs, drugs, overcrowding, etc. Warren has not been sound on these matters at the forums! You can hear it in his voice up there! I can only hope that we get the vote out for all the change that has been talked about, or their will simply be no change.

  4. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    We can only elect one person for the two year Elgin City Council position. I am going to vote for a life long resident of Elgin, who has a veteran’s track record of positive service to the people, is a graduate of my own St. Edward High School, has a Political Science degree from Depaul University, a J.D. Law degree from Northern Illinois University, and along with all these accomplishments she is in the prime of her life at age 27 - EMI MORALES.

    It is extremely important to have a variety of backgrounds on the city council and it is sadly lacking a more youthful perspective and all the positive energy and perspective that a late 20’s life long Elgin resident can bring to our city council.

    In education and service she is already both a seasoned and experienced positive presence fpr our city equal to any of the incumbents or challengers and when you couple that with her younger age relative to the present council you have a triple winner to help move Elgin onward and upward to being the best city in Illinois.

    In the primary she finished second in the voting and in my next posts I will explain why the top vote getter in the primary will not get my vote.

    PLEASE VOTE FOR EMI MORALES.

  5. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    It is looking more like Warren if elected to the two year race might be another vote for the mayor’s agenda in my opinion. With that being said and the fact that Warren is also an Elgin Symphony trustee I HAVE TO SAY I WILL NOT SUPPORT WARREN FOR THE TWO YEAR CITY COUNCIL POSITION.

    The mayor campaigned saying the Centre would support their operating budget with memberships and we have been funding that deficit ever since. I am afraid the mayor before he leaves office will want to build a new symphony center.

    The symphony is really nice but they are dependent on the donations of many because they are not a stand alone money making machine so to speak. I don’t want the mayor to have the votes to build unless he has the funds that will not take away from our ever growing list of basic services that the city is required to provide to the taxpayers.

    Besides, if you really have a desire to listen to the musical West Side Story you don’t have to attend the symphony. All you have to do is hang out on a street corner a few blocks from the police department and some days you can hear the gunshots for free.

    I just can’t take the chance that the mayor will have all the votes he needs.

  6. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I AM PROUD TO SUPPORT RICH DUNNE FOR THE FOUR YEAR ELGIN CITY COUNCIL POSITION because of his positions regarding Proper Development, (the current council has made big money losing mistakes with development), Fiscal Responsibility, the current council is using our tax payer dollars wastefully, and Unification of the City, currently not all areas of the city are treated the same.

    There are a number of service groups that I deeply appreciate for what those groups have done for all of us in the past. That is our veterans, firefighters and paramedics, and policeman. Rich is a veteran of the Air Force, and a Lieutenant in the Elgin fire department so he belongs to two of the groups that have given much for all. I thank Rich and all in those groups for keeping us safe.

    As a resident, raising his family in Elgin the last 21 years he has a vested interest in making our neighborhoods safe, opening up citizen communication, and taking pride in Elgin.

    PLEASE JOIN WITH MY FAMILY AND VOTE FOR RICH DUNNE FOR THE FOUR YEAR ELGIN CITY COUNCIL POSITION. Rich will help build a stronger, safer community through reliable change.

  7. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    As we go to the polls in April for Elgin City Council it is easy for me to state who I am already positive I will not support. I WILL NOT SUPPORT ROGERS, FIGUEROA, or WALTERS They were all on the wrong side of the Elgin council issue to one degree or another regarding whether the city should hire the law firm that is now currently hired by the parents group to sue our own U46 school district.

    Rogers, Figueroa, and Walters should have exerted proper tax payer steward leadership and not even brought up the thought of hiring a law firm to sue the district. Although because Walters changed his mind which was going to result in a tie vote so the proposal was tabled, he as well as Rogers, Figuroa, and our own Elgin mayor were initially considering suing the district.

    So the parents group goes on to hire that law firm, the district has spent about 6.7 million dollars defending the suit with no end to costs or resolution in sight, and any informed property buyer knows that this suit is costing the taxpayers big time.

    If they would have done their taxpayer steward homework they would have realized that the same law firm resulted in a Rockford district having a lawsuit bill of over 250 million dollars. What leader in their right mind knowing that would want to even say the word lawsuit if they are elected to be excellent stewards of our tax payer dollars?

    This is real money we are talking about and they need to be held accountable for such reckless talk by being voted out of office. That will send a message to the other council members to think twice before talking about suing another taxing body.

    PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR ROGERS, FIGUEROA, OR WALTERS.

  8. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    TO ALL THE CHALLENGERS FOR THE ELGIN COUNCIL POSITION AND THEIR SUPPORTERS I suggest that if your supporters don’t have any particular interest in voting for anyone other than their challenger friend then coach them that they don’t have to vote for three - four year council positions. They can super size their vote so to speak by just voting for their favorite challenger or a combination of challengers only.

    One of the reasons the incumbents have a total of 65 years on the council is because they have the name recognition advantage and the more challengers there are the more this advantage plays into their hand.

    A new challenger will bring out people who really are only going to vote for their friend and so they vote for that friend and since they don’t have a strong reason to vote for anyone else then because of the name recognition of the incumbents to fill out their voting they pick two incumbents and consequently you multiply that voting by all the other challengers voters and the incumbents end up getting the most votes.

    It is my understanding it is ok to only vote for one four year council position and by not voting for any incumbents it will super size voting power.

  9. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    The library board race is an easy one for me. Our Elgin library is a precious jewel in a downtown treasure chest that is increasingly bare so to speak. It is one of the most popular destinations for citizens. Business is booming there because they have the product that practically all in Elgin want and seek. It is second to none in America in my opinion.

    That being said when choosing your three to vote for, first and foremost HERB GROSS WHO IS AN INCUMBENT NEEDS TO BE REELECTED. Herb is one of the most approachable Trustees you will ever meet and twice a week he greets at the library so say hello.

    Secondly RANDY HOPP WILL GET MY VOTE in part based on the fact that since 2004 he has attended every regular and most of the special library trustee meetings. Clearly he has a passion for our library.

    Thirdly JESSICA THOMPSON, with an MBA in I believe Urban Planning with experience working on issues with the Chicago library as well as having youth on her side IS MY SENSIBLE THIRD VOTE. Our world is changing at lightning speed and having a younger person with both education and experience with other libraries are qualities we can’t afford to pass up.

    PLEASE VOTE GROSS, HOPP, AND THOMPSON.

  10. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    One of the best values for your education dollar is Elgin Community College. Illinois State University is about 22,000 with room and board. I believe you can do two years at ECC for somewhere around 4,000 or less.

    At a cost of about 7 cents per day for the bond referendum on a 200,000 home I think it will be money well spent to continue to improve the best value in our college education dollar.

    Their library is sadly lacking, increasing programs for the health and fire safety programs, as well as working on infrastructure, this will be money that will benefit Elgin because of the programs it will give needed improvements to as well as the local jobs and dollars that will be returned to the local community.

    PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING THEIR BOND REFERENDUM THIS TUESDAY - APRIL 7.

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward - The Taxpayer’s Watchdog

  11. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    We can vote for three U46 school board members. The fact that school board incumbent Spencer voted against Connie Neal’s contract will get my vote.

    I am quite sure thanks in part to Fountain and Smith voting for her contract Neale is enjoying her lifetime family medical benefits in retirement and laughing all the way to the bank. I THINK THE VOTERS WOULD BE BRAIN DEAD TO VOTE FOR FOUNTAIN OR SMITH BECAUSE OF THE LAVISH CONTRACT THEY GAVE NEALE. IT WAS A CONTRACT THAT MOTIVATED HER TO RETIRE - NOT CONTINUE WORKING FOR U46.

    Of the others I like PERCY AND I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH KEVIN ECHEVARRIA. HAVING GONE THROUGH ALL U46 SCHOOLS AND HAVING YOUTH ON HIS SIDE I THINK HE COULD BRING A WISER YOUTHFUL PERSPECTIVE TO THE BOARD.

    With the current board being up there in years you would think that they would have the wisdom that should come with age. All you have to do is look at Connie Neale’s contract details if that were fully allowed and you can see that of the incumbents running SPENCER IS THE ONLY ONE WHO GETS MY VOTE BECAUSE HE DID NOT VOTE FOR NEALE’S CONTRACT.

    CONSIDER SPENCER, ECHEVARRIA, and PERCY to better serve our taxpayer’s and students of U46.

  12. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    “To any anonymous posters out there who are critical of my cut and paste I have this to say. Our freedom of speech is one of the most precious liberties we have in America.

    Don’t tell me what I should or should not post if you are unable because of possible employer retaliation or unwilling to reveal your real name. ”

    The fact that my posts are all election related makes them on point in any article about the election coming up.

    Besides, it is so easy to scroll past my words if you don’t want to read them. There are others perhaps who have not read the other articles so an informed voter is a better voter.

    May God bless America and a special blessing for Elgin.

    I am not afraid to leave my name at my posts. It would be nice to know who the true name is of anyone critical of my views and reveal it in your posts otherwise why bother to be critical of me anonymously?

    Common Sense Clarence Hayward - The Taxpayer’s Watchdog

    I love our country and I love Elgin. Everyone please get out and vote.

  13. In the loop says:

    Clarence you are a nice guy. But! The group of us who stay in tune with local issues and politics and that know and are aware of you, are tired and somewhat used to your self indulged perception thinking you are in the know. You are not. In fact most of the comments I have heard lately is that your one strange bird. Most are lacking interest in all of your pastes even though this is important to you!
    Your candidate that went to your high school is indeed to young for the council. During these times of change we are striving for, we also need life experience on the council, and not someone who has been active with organizations in order to be hand picked for a spot! The others also have educational levels, one of which will be independent of any direction or suggestion given from city or state politicians. Your self proclaimed watchdog status lately is of no interest in the loop. Get a grip!

  14. Kurt says:

    First of all, I said this before and I will say it again, to be an American is so general! If you look at the map, residents of North, Central and South America are still called Americans!! We are United States citizens! If you want to be educational within your comments, start off with knowing geography!

    Second, we have an Illegal immigrant problem here in Elgin which has caused a problem with overcrowding by hiding them and taking jobs from legal citizens that are too prideful to work for little money and rather soak, yes soak, the government (our tax paying money) to ingest money than work!

    Third, our gangs are of a multitude of races! The Hispanic gangs that everyone says are illegal aliens are mostly legal because our hospitals legalized them by being born here whether their parents are legal or not! Plus, gangs are not only Hispanic, but Black, Asian and also White, yes White who hide themselves easily within our community!! The problem with illegal aliens is the lack of ICE trained personnel that will inform and work with the feds and have them deported before they give birth! That is the fault of our current council!

    Forth, the safety of our town has been compromised by cutting police and firefighters even though we have increased the size of this town! We keep promoting to build a bigger town, but cut these positions! That to me is incompetents! This is to me another fault on the current council!

    Fifth, it seems that most of the council members and candidates want to increase the availability of rental properties! If anyone has really studied this closely, you would notice that a majority, not all, but a majority of renters DO NOT care of what they do to property that they don’t own. My dad owned a rental property and had to sell it because he couldn’t afford the damages that inconsiderate tenants would do to it, and because of these tenants, he refused to be called a slum-lord and sold it! The more rental properties that we have, means the more we have uglier homes and property! Is this how we want our town to look! My house is not up to par because of the economy and medical expenses of my wife, but I am still trying to keep it up the best I can so if and when I do sell it, I will get the most equity out of it!

    Sixth, I have been bred, born and have been raised in this town for 42 years and to see beautification and bike paths take place over automotive destructive roads is appalling! I drive these roads every single day! Almost every street there is in this town I drive on, and it sickens me that our current city council wastes mine and other’s money without thinking of the inconvenience of the whole town! Why would anyone by a house in Century Oaks East with roads that have been put on the side to put a stupid island down Wing Park Blvd. that has inconvenienced those residents on going only one direction to do a U-turn to go the other direction on top of clearing even more snow on an oversized side walk if front of their home! This doesn’t even touch on what the people of the south side of Walnut Ave. have to deal with! This again, is the result of our current council!

    Do you see where I am going!! This might sound similar to what has been a nation wide campaign for our new president. Just so you know, I didn’t vote for Obama and I have been praying since he was elected for him to run this country the right way, but here in this town, we NEED A CHANGE! In my eyes, the job that the people in office here in our town now, can’t be done any worse by someone else that was elected!!

    Let’s break-up the Schock coalition and vote for new blood!!

    The seventh thing that irritates me is that only about 5000 people in Elgin voted in the last election out of around 70,000 registered voters (which schock received 3000 votes from)! If you are sick of this councils wasteful spending of money and want to be more secure in walking down the street at night by having an adequate amount of law enforcement, or having firefighters that are not over tired from working overtime,
    THEN GET OUT THERE AND VOTE and quit complaining about something that you let happen by not voting! We need (man I hate to say this) a change!!!!!

  15. Dave Reinert says:

    YOU’RE INVITED

    WHEN: TUESDAY APRIL 7, 2009
    WHERE: AT YOUR REGULAR POLLING PLACE
    TIME: 6:00AM TIL 7:00PM

    TO VOTE FOR PENNY WEGMAN FOR TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR