Candidate Full Name: Jerry Quandt
Office: 43rd Ward Alderman
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: www.jerryquandt.com
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. What is the most important issue that you will address in your ward?
Returning the city to fiscal responsibility is the main issue for our ward and for the entire city. All other issues will be dependent on this core issue. In order to resolve this, I am not in favor of tax increases to solve our budgetary problems. I believe we first need to make substantive, structural changes to put our finances in a better, stable long-term position. To increase revenues prior to making such changes would simply be throwing more money into a hole while we're still digging the hole deeper.
After we have made the necessary fiscal reforms, I believe we can begin to have the conversation about more revenues. I believe the issue of expanding the sales tax base is one that deserves some dialogue because it levels the playing field for businesses, making it more an issue of fairness than of revenue. I would also consider the option of bringing in more revenue from individuals who do not live in our city but enjoy the many benefits Chicago provides, especially our world class transportation for which those of us who live in the city pay to build and maintain.
2. What are your plans for helping fight crime in your ward?
I do support the need for more police on our streets, however I am not sure it is immediately feasible due to budgetary constraints. As a result, I believe we need to be more creative as to our approach to this problem to identify ways we can address this issue without requiring additional officers in the short run.
We must work to make our community safer. We should be doing everything possible to ensure our children can safely walk and bike to school. While I recognize we live in an urban environment, we should not accept as a way of life any crime and violence that makes our children and their parents feel unsafe.
In my Ward, we face several unique challenges. Because the crime rate in our community is lower than in other areas of the city, we have seen drastic reductions in police staffing levels. While it is understandable that certain areas need a heavier police presence than others, this has resulted in a noticeable increase in crime in our neighborhood. Violence has increased, evidenced by a shooting that occurred on the incumbent Alderman's block just a month ago. We've even seen an uptick in drugs in the community, though it's not clear if that is an increase or simply that those who partake in the drug trade feel less of a need to conduct their trade in private.
Since we are unlikely to see an increase in police presence, despite our need to at least go back to previous staffing levels, it falls on the members of the community to take more of a role in improving public safety in our community. I have already been part of this effort, as I and many of my fellow community members have taken it upon ourselves to keep our Alderman and police informed of things that are happening in the Ward.
As Alderman, I will work to encourage increased community policing efforts in this effort. I will continue to be with my residents and our police officers, on the street, dealing with the needs and concerns in an active and engaged way. Our Ward needs a visible and accessible Alderman who will put the needs of their residents above those of their political bosses and special interests.
3. What, if any, city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?
Privatization of any city services must first be accompanied by a a clear and defined set of oversight criteria that guarantees that the services are performed more efficiently and more effectively. If this criteria cannot be met, then the service should not be privatized. Additionally, in certain instances where it is not in the public interest to have the service or asset permanently privatized, I would evaluate the option of private consultancy with the outcome to build the necessary skill set/operation within city government.
4. Do you support or oppose the vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019?
I support the concept of a higher minimum wage, but I am concerned with the implementation of the city's minimum wage increase. Most concerning is that fact that the minimum wage in surrounding regions is significantly lower than in Chicago, meaning that costs are increased for businesses and consumers in Chicago but not the surrounding communities, driving business across city limits. I am also concerned that this move increases the cost of doing business in the city without pairing it with necessary reforms that would bring reductions in business costs. As a result, it will be harder for our current businesses to create jobs for our residents, as well as it being harder for future employers to establish their roots in the city.
5. Are you in favor of Chicago's Red Light Camera program?
I do not support Chicago's traffic light camera program. While I have the benefit of hindsight to inform my decision, it was clear from the beginning that this was more about revenue than public safety. Since then, we have seen the rampant corruption that resulted from the program, which really should not have been a surprise to anyone. I believe we need to abolish the traffic light camera program.