City of North Chicago Treasurer Priorities

Start a Saving Initiative

In the city of Chicago, the treasurer's office utilizes its position to promote savings among both youth and adults. As Treasurer, I am committed to implementing a similar program here in North Chicago. By focusing on the youth, we can cultivate financially responsible citizens who will contribute to leading our city into the future. We face a savings challenge in America and within our community, where numerous families struggle to weather a $400 emergency. This program aims to address that issue.

Wealth Fitness for Adults and youth

During my tenure as City Treasurer, I introduced Wealth Fitness Classes to the community for all residents. Unfortunately, the City Attorney determined that this initiative fell outside my designated responsibilities according to city code and state statutes. Consequently, I was instructed to discontinue the classes. In response, I drafted an ordinance that would authorize me to resume teaching these classes. However, the ordinance is currently being held up for approval by the Mayor’s Administration.

In my upcoming term, I am committed to collaborating with the city council to ensure the passage of this ordinance. This initiative holds the potential to foster financial literacy among our residents, thereby fostering a more financially savvy community. Furthermore, it can serve as a catalyst for addressing the home ownership challenges that North Chicago faces.

Additionally, I intend to collaborate closely with the North Chicago School District 187 to incorporate personal finance education as a mandatory component of the curriculum for all students. This proactive measure will equip our children with essential financial knowledge, better preparing them for the challenges of adulthood.

Encourage more small business

In the United States, the vast majority of citizens are employed by small businesses. Drawing from my experience as a former small business owner in North Chicago, I understand the needs of these enterprises and how to attract more businesses to our city. I am acutely aware of the challenges posed by a weak economy and the difficult decisions small business owners must make.

As Treasurer, I am committed to proposing incentives tailored specifically for small businesses. These incentives will not only attract more of them to our city but also stimulate economic growth and generate additional opportunities within our community. By revitalizing North Chicago in this manner, we can strive to recreate the vibrant community it once was 30-50 years ago.

Furthermore, fostering a thriving small business ecosystem will help retain our students within North Chicago instead of them seeking opportunities elsewhere. My plan aims to encourage residents to remain in our community by creating more opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment with fair wages.

I have been, and will continue to be, a vocal advocate for reducing business fees and city property taxes to alleviate the burden on small businesses and foster a more conducive environment for their success.

Open Government

I firmly believe in implementing an open-door policy within our city government. It's crucial that every decision allows the public to voice their opinions, whether in favor or against a particular topic. Additionally, easy access to information regarding project expenditures should be readily available both online and in print. Rather than government officials making decisions on behalf of the people, it's imperative to empower the community by putting them back in charge of their government.

As your Treasurer, I am committed to introducing and upholding this open-door policy within our city government. To kickstart this initiative, I have taken steps to digitize all financial documents under my department's jurisdiction, ensuring full transparency. These documents are now accessible through the Treasurer’s page on the city website, providing residents with easy access to crucial financial information.

Foss Park District Commissioner Priorities

Redevelop and Expand the Community Center 

The Foss Park District Community Center (formerly known as the Youth Center) has served the community well. However, the need to expand is becoming more evident every day. This is why the Park Board is working with an architect to design an expansion that will include an indoor pool, basketball courts, a workout facility, and more. I am running to ensure that this project is completed, just as we successfully completed the award-winning Foss Park Beach.

More Recreation Programing  for youth and seniors

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we began expanding our programming for youth by introducing archery and e-sports. For our seniors, we started offering more field trips to new places and experiences. Although the pandemic interrupted these initiatives, we need to use this time to pick up where we left off. I will continue to advocate for more programs, such as joining the Special Recreation Association with Waukegan and Zion Park Districts. Additionally, I plan to expand trips and classes for our seniors by partnering with Waukegan Township and other agencies and organizations.

Continue our Financial Success

When I was first elected in 2015, we implemented policies and procedures to help alleviate the financial burden on the Park District. After returning to the board in 2019, we continued this process by addressing issues identified by our auditors. Since then, we have achieved five consecutive clean audits and now hold the highest bond/credit rating among the three government entities in the city. This has been accomplished while maintaining one of the lowest tax bases in the county and serving the second-largest population. Through prudent financial stewardship and innovative thinking, we have achieved what many said couldn't be done.

Expand our Park offerings 

Since being elected in 2019, I have pushed for the expansion and redevelopment of parks in our community. By the end of 2024, we have developed four parks and opened a new one. In the next term, I aim to expand the number of parks, including one specifically for individuals with special needs, and to completely redevelop the remaining four parks.