Jason Dusenberry: City Council Candidate
The questionnaire below was completed by city council candidate Jason Dusenberry. Mr. Dusenberry will be a candidate in the city council primary election on February 26th.
Seat for which you are running:
2 year city council
Can you tell us a bit about your background, both personally and professionally?
I’m originally from the Quad Cities, graduating from Moline High School, approximately 2 hours from Elgin. I grew up in a working class family that taught me the importance of hard work to accomplish goals in life. I graduated from Western Illinois University in 1999 with a degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration. I have been managing and operating hotels for the last 13 years. I’ve been married to my lovely wife Janet for two years, together for eight.
Why are you running for Elgin City Council?
I want to bring my personal and professional skills and experience to help enhance the quality of life for all who live, work, and play in Elgin. One of my major platform ideas is to work hand-in-hand with public safety officials, business owners/managers, service/non-profit groups and city leaders to accomplish this goal.
What do you view as the major issues facing Elgin in the next few years?
Economic conditions continue to be difficult throughout the nation and Elgin is not immune to that. One of the big issues/challenges will be to get our local economy going in a positive direction. Specifically, downtown suffers from many vacant storefronts and abandoned office buildings. Many business parks and commercial buildings are vacant as well. Bringing more businesses and corresponding jobs to our area will be a major initiative in the next few years. Foreclosures are a natural by-product of the poor economy and trying to help fix that will also be a major issue facing many Elgin homeowners for the foreseeable future.
Are you generally in agreement with decisions the city council has made in the past few years? Please describe any measures with which you particularly agreed or disagreed.
“The every day, small spending items that are on most council agendas I do not generally have issues with. I agree with the new format of allowing positive interaction between the council and citizens. I also agree with the council supporting ongoing crime prevention/core services and the purchasing of state-of-the-art safety equipment.
I disagree with some of the major spending items. For example, I love to ride bikes in the summer season. However, the $100,000 to perhaps $2,000,000 needed and approved by council for a bike path extension does not sit well with me. We have also raised taxes in the middle of a recession and I believe we can combine the EastSide Recreation Center operations into the The Centre of Elgin to lessen the losses both of those facilities take on. Not long ago, $900,000 was approved for repairing the EastSide location and yet both facilities have extreme operating losses per year.
We have to better balance wants versus needs. Until we do that, we will not see a better local economy and positive downtown redevelopment.”
If elected, what do you expect to accomplish during your time on the council?
I want to help create a friendlier business atmosphere. I will work hard to bring new businesses to town. I will promote fiscal responsibility, which will free up more funds to do these things. When this is accomplished, it will expand our tax base, create jobs, and lower our unemployment. I will be extremely transparent and accessible to the people of our city so that their comments and concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
From a crowded field of candidates, why should voters choose you to represent them on the city council?
I have a track record of success in the private sector with leading a staff, working with vendors, customers, and clients. My work experience has seasoned me to take over under-performing hotels and turn them around. I am confident I can utilize these skills and abilities on the council to set the bar for accountability and accessibility to the people of Elgin. I like to meet challenges head on. I’m dedicated, passionate, reliable, and ready to work hard on day one, if elected. I’m goal oriented and task focused. I’m a middle class advocate, not a career politician or a bureaucrat. Standing up for the taxpayers and their best interests are what will be my focus.
What’s the best way for voters to find out more about your campaign?
773-329-3353 or at firstname.lastname@example.org”