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Terry Gavin: City Council Candidate

26 February 2013 Elgin Illinois 18 Comments

Terry Gavin Terry Gavin (Photo by The Elginite).

The questionnaire below was completed by city council candidate Terry Gavin. Mr. Gavin will be a candidate in the city council election on April 9th.


Terry Gavin

Seat for which you are running:

4 year city council

Can you tell us a bit about your background, both personally and professionally?

Born in Chicago, IL., 58 years old. Married to my wife Rose for 24 years, we married at St. Mary Church, Elgin, IL. and moved to Elgin in 1991. Graduated from Grant Community H. S., Fox Lake, IL., 1972 with honors, 5 Varsity letters. After graduation I worked as a warehouse foreman, then started working heavy construction, promoted to labor foreman, drove heavy equipment and later became a bricklayer apprentice. I also trained and boxed in the Wisconsin Golden Gloves and finished 2nd in state as a novice in the light heavyweight division.

After leaving construction due to a severe scaffold accident I went into insurance sales winning numerous sales achievement awards, trained and managed sales representatives, helped design new products and also developed new training guidelines. In 1989 I became an Independent Insurance Broker specializing in Health & Life products, awarded numerous National Sales Achievement Awards from NALU, also earned the professional designation of LUTCF aka Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow, gained after 3 years of class & field studies successfully completed. Elected to Elgin City Council in 1995, and served one term. Currently I’m serving as a board member of the Hanover Township Mental Health Board.

Why are you running for Elgin City Council?

The primary reason for my run for the Elgin City Council is the fact that after watching the last 2 years of budget meetings it was obvious to me that the taxpayers of Elgin were under represented by the majority of the current council. Since I served before on the City Council I realize that the most important duty of a Council person is good stewardship of the people’s money, their tax dollars. After they raised taxes on everybody as well as Elgin businesses the highest in city history, I decided it was time to do something that would change the current direction of our city.

If elected to serve again my goal is to cut non-core services that are costing all of us our financial freedom at a time in our nation’s history where our economy is in a long recession. Included in that pledge is a promise to cut or repeal most of the new taxes this city council has passed in the last 2 years, this would include the garbage tax, electric tax, natural gas tax. Additionally I will work tirelessly to stop the implementation of the Storm Water Utility tax aka “rain water tax”.

What do you view as the major issues facing Elgin in the next few years?

The biggest issue facing our city over the next few years is excessive taxation and excessive spending. These are not the good old days when the Grand Victoria revenues to the city were around $25M per year and the economy was strong. With the Grand Victoria no longer able underwrite the City’s big spending habits, the City has turned to the taxpayers to make up the short-fall, and the taxpayers simply can’t take this any more. They are tapped out and I am afraid that without major change on the council, this major issue will in fact remain the dominant issue with the voters for years to come.

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.

In general most of what the city council does is not controversial, but where I’ve got big disagreements with the majority of this council is with their handling of the budget. Over the last 2 years the majority of this council voted to raise our taxes higher then ever in history and at the same time they increased the spending in the budget by 36.7% just since 2011. I truly believe that the citizens of Elgin want lower taxes and less wasteful spending during these economic times.

If elected, what do you expect to accomplish during your time on the council?

If elected to serve the citizens of Elgin I would do everything in my power to change the current culture of the majority of the city council of more taxes, increased spending and the expansion of city government at all levels. This growth of the size of our city government for non-core services must stop. Enough is enough.

From a crowded field of candidates, why should voters choose you to represent them on the city council?

I am the best choice for the City Council because I will not compromise on core value issues of lower taxes, no wasteful spending and smaller more efficient city government.

While serving on the council in 1999 the Daily Herald called me the “Taxpayers watchdog”. That title was given to me because I stood up to special interests that were receiving taxpayer dollars and not delivering an equal value for those dollars. It was also given to me because we worked together as a council to lower taxes and improve core services. Even though there were several major issues that I voted NO to and the majority passed them 4-3 anyway, I didn’t cave in, give up or compromise my values on these matters.

I am reliable in words as well as deeds, so when I make a commitment my word is my bond, I will not waiver. My record speaks for itself and includes hard work, honesty on the issues and when necessary being outspoken on behalf of the citizens of Elgin, these traits will be needed in moving forward on the complex issues facing our city. Strong leadership during tough times requires courage not weakness!

What’s the best way for voters to find out more about your campaign?

Call us at (847) 697-8620
email us at citizens4gavin@yahoo.com
web site www.citizensforgavin.com
on Face book

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18 Responses to “Terry Gavin: City Council Candidate”

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  1. Chuck Keysor says:

    You know, Terry’s campaign profile showed up in the flurry of these candidate questionnaires, and he may have fallen in between the cracks! I just noticed that his profile was here, without any comments! This situation needs to be rectified…..

    Terry is a real principal based conservative. He will not be fooled or flim-flammed into agreeing to any council actions that will harm the taxpayers. And unlike some candidates, he is outspoken in his views. There is no double speak, or hiding behind excuses when Terry Gavin is involved.

    When you vote for Terry, you will know you are voting for someone that will speak out against the liberal block of the present council, the liberal block that as you know, gave us the trash tax, the natural gas tax, the electrical tax, the liquor tax, the leaf tax, and the liberal council that WILL stick us with the “Rain Tax” while at the same time, creating a massive surplus of $7million in 2012.

    In the last two years, he has been one of the few voices speaking out against all the new taxes at council sessions and during the budget task force meetings. NO OTHER CANDIDATE except for Prigge who is on the council, has spent more personal energy studying the issues, attending council sessions, networking to fight city hall, and preparing to provide strong conservative leadership on the council.

    And best of all, Terry served on the council from 1995 to 1999, so he knows how the games are played and he knows what he is getting into. Even in the 1990s, Terry was a strong advocate for keeping taxes down. This viewpoint is in his DNA! The Daily Herald at that time even dubbed him “the taxpayer’s watchdog”.

    With Terry Gavin, no one needs to guess where he stands! He is upfront and in your face about his demand that the Citizens of Elgin NOT be over-taxed. He is totally opposed to the tax and spend actions of this present liberal council.

    At last December’s Truth in Taxation hearing, Terry spoke out against Elgin’s high taxes, and he was jumped on by Bob Gilliam. The two of them had a real argument, with Terry of course swinging in defense of lower taxes, and Bob using the liberal deception of claiming disaster had the City not raised taxes.

    Terry has done well at the two forums I have been able to attend. He can command the stage because he is a strong leader. We need strong men like Terry on this council who can stick up for the ordinary taxpayers.

    IF you are in favor of councilmen that will fight to hold the line on taxes and respect the needs of those of us who pay the City’s bills, PLEASE vote for Terry Gavin on April 9th, along with John Prigge and Toby Shaw! All 3 are excellent, strong candidates. Please consider Cody Holt, even though he is young!

    Thanks, Chuck

  2. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

    I feel very confident that Terry Gavin will be an advocate for the average over taxed tax payer if elected to this council.

    Please consider voting for Terry Gavin, Cody Holt, and John Prigge for the four year positions and Toby Shaw for the two year position.

    Together I feel they will be advocates for the average, overburdened tax payers of Elgin.

    Thank you

  3. Frank Salvatini says:

    I commend you on your commitment to fight against the compulsive, addiction-like spending of City Hall. I would ask, however, for you to clarify your position on the costs of local crime as perpetrated by gangs, illegals and criminals (redundant?) and what you would do about them. For example, I read an article about a town in Texas, that imposed heavy fines on uninsured motorists, impounded and towed their automobiles, and charged them a significant fee to retrieve them (after producing evidence of insurance).

    Do you have any estimates on these costs to our community?

  4. Terry Gavin says:

    Frank, thanks for your question but in truth there’s no short answer to your inquiry. I’ll try to answer with some of my record from the past. First & foremost I was the Co-Chairman of the Elgin Gang & Drug Task Force from 1997 thru 1999.

    While serving on the Task Force I was also a duly elected city councilman who took gang crime extremely serious & helped lobby for a Police program known simply as the “power shift”. The idea came from the officers on the street who were dealing with violent street gangs day & night. Basically it called for a roving tactical unit that would move from neighborhood to neighborhood based on gang activity. This policy is still used today & violent crime numbers are at record lows. With this said though there’s no way to calculate the cost of loss of life or injuries due to violent crime in our community, especially among young people who are often the victims if they’re not involved in street gangs.

    Simply put I consider public safety issues involving street gangs to be a problem that must never be ignored by your elected leaders. Job one of government is to protect the public through policies that are both cost effective & efficent. This includes enforcement first & prevention programs second.

    While serving as Co-Chair of the Task Force & on the City Council from 1995-1999 I also worked with the Chicago Crime Commission on matters of gang intelligence sharing to help keep Elgin safe from these “urban terrorists”.

    Hopefully Frank my answer is adequate. If elected again to serve I promise to make crime in our city a priority of my 4 year term as well as my focus on the budget issues that motivated me to run again.

  5. Sally Foster says:

    Here’s someone who gets it and takes the safety of citizens seriously! Obviously with his experience being on the Task Force, looks to me that Gavin is more than up for the job!

  6. Herb Weyers says:

    I wish we had more people of Terry Gavin’s caliber on the Elgin city council. I had the honor of voting for him today and wish him every success as he gives of himself for the benefit of all Elginites.

    • Terry Gavin says:

      Thank you Herb, your words make me feel very humble to know that people like you & many others support me in this campaign! This election is about the people of Elgin not the “special” interests or person’s that now run our current city council.

      • Herb Weyers says:

        Terry, you’re quite welcome. Frankly, I’ve been looking for someone who has ‘mayor’ qualities and you’re one such person. We’ve needed an effective leader for some time now someone who can lead, make the tough decisions as well as the easy ones, without being hurtful or arrogant. I think our current mayor will live to regret his tyrade against John Prigee. Respect begets respect!

        • Herb Weyers says:

          Just noticed that I misspelled John Prigge’s name in my last post. Sorry about that John! Also left out a comma- oops!

        • Terry Gavin says:

          Again Herb thanks for your kind & gracious words but I’ll take a pass on the Mayor thing. You are right about respect begets respect & for some reason our current Mayor seems to forget that from time to time.

  7. Chuck Keysor says:

    Terry, I talked to a woman today who remembered your term on the council in the 1990s, and she said she knows how vital you WILL be on the next council. She said she really loves it when you speak to the council about taxes…. We had a good visit talking about the “Rain Tax”, and she said she will be doing LOTS of phone calling this weekend on your behalf and about the “Rain Tax”.


  8. Cruex says:

    Herb Weyers- I bet Kaptain wishes he could take his remarks back especially if Prigge wins. Maybe he has apologized to Prigge already? Our mayor must be seething every time he sees a stop the rain tax sign so maybe that’s why he fired at Prigge.

  9. Joe says:

    We need men of the caliber of Terry Gavin. Mr. Gavin realizes the correct role of government and values the taxpayer.

  10. Terry Gavin says:

    Thank you Joe, that’s the best compliment any citizen of Elgin could ever pay me!

  11. Herb Weyers says:

    Terry: One final comment and then I’ll shut up. As mentioned, I voted for Rich Dunne in his initial run for city council, at John Fahy’s urging, but to be honest he’s become a one-issue councilman; namely, the F.D. With his new job of travelling several states for FEMA, and with his political persuasions changing dramatically, I can no longer support him. Some have suggested that somehow I’m now ‘anti-F.D., anti-EMS program. Not True! I’ve spent by entire life within the fire service including being a member of 4 different F.D.’s, serving as Captain in Rutland-Dundee’s Sleepy Hollow station despite living in Elgin, as well as selling fire apparatus for companies such a Pierce, American LaFrance, Grumman and KME, among others over 30-plus years. I haven’t been in an Elgin fire station in approx. 18 years and feel strongly that any chief deserves the right to run his operation as he chooses. I might add that I also sat in on the very first meeting regarding the EMS program with George when Dr. Stanley Zydlo, noted cardiologist from Northwest Community Hospital was invited to speak before the Elgin city council about the fledgling paramedic program. City Manager Bob Brunton wasn’t in favor of the program and fought George every step of the way. George wasn’t deterred, however, and the rest is history.

  12. Herb Weyers says:

    Terry: Congratulations! Common sense, knowledge, desire and decency were the victors last night. That your mustachioed face was on that page is no accident. Be assured I look forward to finishing the job in two years.