|Name||What are the top three priorities that the village board should be focusing on for Village of Oswego?||What impact has the new TIF district had on downtown Oswego and should it be expanded or limited in any way?||Other than TIF districts, what financial incentives, if any do you support to attract new businesses to the Village of Oswego? Explain.||Do you support taking the full amount allowed in the tax levy in order to support smooth and sufficient Village operations?||What steps do you feel should be taken to continue to make Oswego a more open, inclusive and welcoming community?||What must the Village of Oswego do to ensure an adequate potable water supply for Oswego residents in the future and how should it be funded?||What is your position on the extension of the Metra system to Oswego?||Should annual tax levies reflect the actual amount needed to fund Police pensions, or is it acceptable to fund shortfalls with General Fund monies? Defend your position.||Should the Village of Oswego utilize the "Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Act" passed in November 2020, to offset losses of sales tax from business closures and internet sales?||Should economic development be allowed to commence unchecked even if it typically requires a zoning variance, or should zoning ordinances be changed to meet the needs of developers?|
|Luis Perez||1. Budget management during the Pandemic 2. Economic Development (smart growth) 3. Continued expansion and growth around Shared Services with other local government bodies.||The TIF district has transformed a blighted area in downtown Oswego and by doing so, new business development, residential development and commercial development has arrived into the market. This growth will continue for years to come. An transformative economic development success story for Oswego.|
When the TIF map footprint was established in 2015/2016, we made it as large as possible to cover any and all areas that would be TIF eligible. Because of this, I believe the TIF map footprint is appropriate and does not need to be expanded or reduced.
|As your village trustee since October 2015, I am proud to have been a part of smart incentives that have driven new business and residential / commercial growth to Oswego. I fully support:|
1. Small business grants totaling $500,00+ to 99 Oswego business' affected by COVID 19 have been issued.
2. Sales tax abatements properly negotiated when the business has proven to be of high importance and need to Oswego residents and when the business adds new Oswego jobs.
3. Small business loans to assist start up costs that ensure best in class marketing and branding during the critical start up in year one for a small business.
|Yes, taking the full tax levy is fiscally responsible in that it keeps Oswego on pace to sustain inflationary increases and unexpected non-budgeted expenses should they occur.|
100% of the tax levy goes toward funding the police pension fund. I am proud to say that as a percentage on our property tax bill, this % has ranged from 1.25 - 1.35%.
|As your village trustee, I will continue to support downtown events such as our Oswego Christmas Walk and Beats N Eats which our residents desire. During COVID, we initiated the community caravans to reach out and promote social interaction while distancing.|
I will continue to promote walking and bike path growth for Oswego. We have worked with Yorkville and the Oswego land Park District to promote and expand bike paths which offer connectivity between our neighborhoods here in Oswego.
|This is one of the most important capital projects our village will encounter; I am happy to inform you that the village leadership team has been planning our future water needs for over five years. Here are the facts: We need to decide and pick our long term water source partner no later than Summer 2021. It will take Oswego 4-5 years to complete the pipe construction to finish. In anticipation of required engineering studies and costs, we raised the water rates to help offset these expenses. We have also hired a federal lobbyist who will find and secure federal monies for our long term Oswego water project. the lobbyist will compliment and help to subsidize our established long term capital water fund budget.||I favor the continued investigation into securing Metra for Oswego residents. We secured federal monies which help to offset these exploratory costs. We have hired a federal lobbyist to secure federal monies which would help to pay for Metra for Oswego. I believe strongly that as your village trustee, it is my obligation to fully present what it would take to have Metra in Oswego. The residents in Oswego would then have all of the information needed to decide if they want Metra - yes or no.||We have been dipping into the general fund over the last two years but it would be more fiscally responsible to fund future pension cost increases through the tax levy. If we know we will need more, we can identify the need, budget for the increase needed and not have to overburden the general fund with un-budgeted expenses. The fact that we have maintained a low tax levy percentage during my 5+ years on the board (1.25% - 1.35%) makes this the most responsible way to address.||Yes I favor the village utilizing the new law. As it relates to internet sales, this immediately helps to level the playing field between online sellers (they must charge the fair share of taxes) and our independently owned mom and pop brick & mortar retailers who already charge tax each and every day.||No economic development should never be allowed to commence "unchecked" but we do negotiate today with developers who may benefit and be encouraged to enter Oswego. We have only accepted these negotiations when the return on investment "ROI" and overall benefits favor Oswego in the short and or long term.|
|Pam Parr||Long term water source for the village....economic development....effectively establishing and managing the budget during Covid||All of the new development which has happened in the downtown is directly attributable to the establishment of the TIF district. That includes a 6 story luxury housing complex, our first parking garage, 5 new restaurants either here or coming soon, the new infrastructure construction of water and sewer lines, reconstruction of streets in downtown, installation of new traffic signals, sidewalks and landscaping.||Oswego has several grants and loan programs available to new and existing businesses. We also offer tax incentives, sales tax abatements and reduced fees. I support all financial incentives when the business can prove they are needed to open and/or expand AND based on the number of jobs the incentives will bring to Oswego. All are negotiable but not guaranteed.||Taking the full tax levy is part of responsible planning. Whether you need the money immediately or not, unexpected things happen all the time: a squad car is totaled, a well starts to go dry, a bad winter causes major damage to local roads and streets, etc. Funds on hand allow us to pay for the unexpected expenses that routinely happen. By the way, in Oswego every cent of property taxes collected go to pay for the police pension fund so that taxpayers are not hit in later years by ballooning pension costs.||Oswego has worked hard over the years to develop a community which regularly engages its residents. Whether through festivals, truck and equipment caravans, trails, bike paths ,advisory committees etc. There are plenty of opportunities for people to mingle, engage, and participate in lots of community events. And we plan to do more.||The Village Board and staff have been investigating various options for a future permanent water supply for the last 6 years. Now it's time to make a decision. We have choices nd engineering studies from experts to guide us. Once a choice is made we will have anywhere from 5 to 10 years to construct a pipeline and obtain funding. Meanwhile our aquifer is being depleted and our wells are beginning to need repair.|
We have acquired a $100 million grant from Springfield and have just a hired a federal lobbying firm to get us a $400 million grant from Washington DC to fund it.
|I fully support investigating costs and opportunities in bringing Metra to Oswego. The feasibility study has been completed. We are waiting for the potential costs. I also support putting the question of whether or not to approve an RTA tax to help fund the Metra on a referendum for the people of Kendall County to decide.||State law requires that the Illinois Police Pension Fund be fully funded by municipalities by 2040. Oswego is on target to meet that requirement. Whether or not the Village funds this through the tax levy or general funds makes no difference. That said, when the tax levy reflects the actual amount needed, then general fund monies can be used for capital expenses and services to residents.||Yes. It helps our brick and mortar retailers compete with internet sales from businesses who have a presence online but not a true location in Illinois.||The Village established specific ordinances to regulate how and where development can occur. However, we can and do allow for variances to the ordinances when it makes sense to do so. Those exceptions are discussed and allowed depending on several factors. The Board's primary responsibility is to our community not the developer.|
|Tom Guist||1) Determine a future water source for the Village. Currently Oswego residents obtain our water from a deep sandstone aquifer that is being withdrawn faster that it can be replenished. Pending an updated report, some estimates are the aquifer will be stressed in as little as 10 years. As a civil engineer, I know decision making, design and construction of any of these options will take a considerable amount of time.|
2) Continue the commercial development momentum within the village. Residents want to see continued revitalization of downtown and want to enjoy their Friday nights close to home. Currently the Village property tax base is approximately 85% residential, which is considerably higher than our neighbors and increasing the commercial tax base will bring tax dollars to the Village, schools, fire department, etc... without looking to our residents.
3) Safety downtown. Hudson Crossing and downtown developments require us to manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic, especially on the north and south sides of Washington (US 34). The current Village leadership have already taken steps to start this process, but continued focus is needed to make sure an emphasis is put on getting the proper safety measures in place, as soon as possible.
|The simple answer to this question is that it is too early to tell. Oswego residents associate the TIF district directly to the Hudson Crossing development. The original $24 million TIF budget for the 174-acre TIF area was surpassed with the Hudson Crossing development alone. Since the establishment of the TIF district in 2016 it has brought in less than $350k in increment revenues. Furthermore, the soonest we will see a full year impact of the Hudson Crossing development increment revenue from the TIF will be 2023. Since the TIF budget was exceeded, the TIF budget will have to be expanded for the Village to recapture the increment revenue that it has loaned to the TIF fund. TIF can be a valuable tool in negotiating with developers looking to invest in Oswego and for that reason, I would not be against expanding the budget beyond that which is needed to pay off Hudson Crossing overage, however exploring the possibility of putting limitations on the size of future TIF projects is something worth researching.||As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, I have seen the desire there is to get into Oswego. We have a lot to offer, but the Village should be willing to consider other financial incentives in support of attracting new businesses. However, these decisions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. In working with developers over my career, sales tax rebates and fee waivers were incentives I saw developer clients pursue but, consideration of these incentives does not mean it will be in the best interest of the Village or residents to give these incentives to the developer. Many factors, such as residential vs commercial, project location and project size, just to name a few, would go into the decision. Developers are trying to make the best deal they can in order to make the most money they can, and the Village is also looking to make a deal that brings a desired product/service to our residents as well as tax revenues. When both sides can get what they want is when you make a deal.||The Village should continue providing the smooth and sufficient operations that we are familiar with, while balancing the tax burden on the residents. Developing budgets and looking for ways to streamline operations should be a continual and constant emphasis for the Village. These kinds of actions are what can result in a reduction in property taxes to the residents such as was the case in both 2019 and 2020.||Oswego should continue to strive to make all residents feel safe, respected, and comfortable in being themselves, so they share a sense of belonging with all residents and are proud to call Oswego home.||As one Village Director has correctly pointed out “If we run out of water, we don’t have a community”. More than anything, the Village must continue to make this a priority in 2021. With the recent decision by the City of Joliet to connect to the City of Chicago Water Department, the clock has started on this option, since Joliet’s design and construction is just starting. Many factors such as timing, water quality and long-term management have to be vetted, not to mention the price tag and the funding options. Until these numerous questions can be answered, and costs put next to each of the options along with the pros and cons for each, a true understanding of how to fund this project cannot be made other than making every effort to utilize any available state and federal funding options.||Oswego has been working towards a Metra station in Oswego for the majority of the twenty plus years that I have been a resident and it has the potential to bring a lot of opportunity to the community. The costs associated with this are anticipated to be significant and must be carefully reviewed so that it is not a burden to all residents. However, to dismiss this opportunity at this time would be short-sighted and a disservice to the efforts put forth to this point. The Metra Kendall Extension study results which will have further analysis into cost-benefit, ridership, and environmental analyses of the Oswego location is expected to be out soon after delays due to Covid-19. The results of this study will go a long way to informing the Village the viability of the future station.||All village pensions, including the police department, should be fully funded annually.||The Village of Oswego sales tax revenues had increased for three straight years leading up to the pandemic. The data is not yet available to understand the impact of covid related business closures and internet sales on the data for the current year and whether it will have a lasting negative impact to sales tax revenues moving forward. Regardless, similar to many of other states, the State of Illinois has already passed the “Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Act” effective January 1, 2021.||Economic development is an essential aspect to a healthy, growing community and is often times the very first contact that developers have with Oswego. In the early stages of discussions on projects it is important to be open to hearing the goals of the development, even if some of the aspects of the development will need special considerations, such as potential zoning variances. As a member of the Planning and Zoning commission, I have seen that in many cases, zoning variances can already have precedence within the community and even in cases where there is not, the presence of the Planning and Zoning Commission should eliminate the fear for residents of development being allowed to commence “unchecked”. Zoning ordinances are not changed to meet the needs of developers but the potential need to provide a variance can be reviewed and recommended through a checked system by the Planning and Zoning commission and approved by the Village Board if it is determined to be in the best interests of the Village.|
Jennifer Jones Sinnott
|• Expand the economic base responsibly|
• Collaborate with all intergovernmental partners
• Deliver services to our residents/businesses efficiently
|Based off the information that was shared at the February 2, 2021 Committee of the Whole Meeting the impact is “huge”. How do you approve a $24M TIF budget in 2016 but end up allocating millions more with the difference coming out of the various reserve funds?||This is a case-by-case conversation to ultimately be a “win-win” for both the business owner and the Village of Oswego. It takes a team to move a community forward in the right direction.||I will focus on being accountable and responsive to the needs of the village/residents by taking no more or no less than what we need to support smooth and sufficient Village operations.||Continue to work with the “key” players (businesses, institutions, community-based organizations and the Village of Oswego) to make residents feel safe, respected, and comfortable in calling Oswego home!||The Village of Oswego needs to continue to accelerate the research being done on the available options; Fox River, DuPage Water Commission, Joliet Water Commission (being formed) and Plainfield (American Water) so we can make a fiscally responsible decision that will sustain the long-term water supply needed for the current/future generations of the community. |
All avenues of funding will be explored from the local, state and federal level.
|I can’t wait for it to arrive! I’ve been waiting 20 years and welcome the arrival of the next public meeting scheduled for spring. ||The budget will reflect the ability to fully fund all Village of Oswego employees’ pensions without shortfalls.||It’s my understanding that the state of Illinois will share what is received and this will be passed along to the Village of Oswego.||The Planning & Zoning Division for the Village of Oswego has checks in place to review all development plans to ensure they adhere to the Zoning Ordinance which maintains the physical development and the overall well-being of the community.|
|Kit Kuhrt||Expand our economic base fiscally, responsibly and coordinate with our business community. Collaborate with all intergovernmental partners to best service the many needs of our community. Deliver services to our residents efficiently and timely manner.||Based on the previous board meeting in order for it to succeed, the TIF Districts budget needs to be expanded. In 2016 the TIF budget was set at 24 million dollars, by 2017 it had been over allocated and has continued to be millions of dollars over allocated to this day due to inadequate planning by the previous board. Monies had to be loaned from the Village capital funds to cover cost until the TIF can generate enough funds. In order to recoup the monies that had to be spent the TIF Districts budget will need a hard look at being expanded or the Village residents will never see the loaned monies from our reserves.||There are many financial tools to be used. Each opportunity needs to be looked at by a case-by-case basis.||I support looking at this in a fiscally responsible way to ensure a smooth and efficient Village operation.||I feel we can continue the forward movement of growing fiscally and responsibly.||The Village really has been taking this forward lately and may be a decision made this year. As a result of the current boards study the aquifer will be stressed by 2030. This is not a short process and needs to be addressed sooner than later. No municipality can fund this alone; it will need local, state and federal governmental resources.||The Metra Station can bring many great opportunities to Oswego, that being said we can’t let the burden fall solely to our residents to pay for it. This also will require state funding to elevate some of the burden to get this done. The Village has already secured 100 million last year for this and is working on securing additional funding.||My stance on this is to continue fully funding the Police, Village staff and public works pensions with any means necessary.||The State has passed this and will be distributed by the state to the municipalities when monies are due.||No development goes unchecked, the Village of Oswego has a process currently in place. First it goes to Village staff, then public hearings are held with planning and zoning committee. After that it goes to the Village board.|
|Judy Siedlecki||#1 Water - Review all options to meet a cost-effective new water source for the community to ensure a safe water supply. Fund with mix of federal and state grants. Engage the public through information campaigns to be fully aware the part they can play in keeping our water safe and available. No water, no life!|
#2 - Working together with scientifically informed solutions to end the pandemic is essential to our economic future. Providing vaccines, getting children back in school full time, seniors gathered for meals - all improve mental health as well as physical well-being. Partnering together against COVID-19 means an opportunity for economic growth with workers, children and parents feeling safe to resume life and getting back to work = increased tax revenue.
#3 – Ensure and support police presence, replace retirees with qualified officers, and fund their pensions. Do not “defund the police”; reassess and adjust training to meet community needs. Feeling safe is essential for well-being.
|TIFs are not magic, but essential in this modern age. Government and developers working together to enhance our community with commercial, residential, and parking spaces expands our options for enlightened growth and is appealing to new businesses, existing companies, restaurants, and families looking to locate here for our good schools benefitted by TIFs. TIFs are important to our bottom line = increased tax revenues that are a magical boost for our future.||Attracting new business is essential to our financial well-being. We need to advertise why we are the place to be, how along with reasonably competitive impact fees and help with infrastructure can be a benefit to both the investor and the Village, without giving away the store that would penalize other entities. Eyes forward = increased tax revenues.||Oswego Tax Levy must fully support continuous Village services – water, roads, infrastructure, police pensions that should not be taken from general funds, fire protection, yard waste & brush collection, leaf and snow removal, and emergency shelters. Everything that citizens expect, but don’t realize where these services come from until they may be gone due to lack of funding – there’s no free lunch – we pay for what we get that I think is pretty outstanding.||Welcome to Oswego! Partner up with existing community cultivators of inclusion – Oswegoland Park District – their fantastic idea for a PrairieFest Restaurant Week Feb. 21-27, to support restaurants so negatively impacted by the pandemic. Join with other idea-hatching-resources such as the Chamber of Commerce, Oswego Sr. Center who with current limited-gathering-ability are still having BINGO & virtual holiday parties, Oswego Public Library, churches, schools, include organizations that often benefit our youth, sports and music activities. Community engagement – block parties and cultural events that promote diversity as strength. The more you learn about someone different from you, the more you realize how much we are alike. Employ widespread communication of activities through newsletters, flyers, public postings, email, social media, word of mouth especially for those without computers or unable to purchase newspapers, whatever it takes to get the word out there. Share ideas; think outside the box. Find new exciting ways to emphasize community togetherness as good for everyone's mental and physical health. Be welcoming to newcomers and new ideas. Bring back some of the old, but tried and true, ways of socializing - like Oswego Days. Promote that together we can do anything.||An adequate and safe potable water supply for Oswego is essential. Hearing from an experienced conservation friend of mine, our deep underground water reserves are being pumped up faster than rain water can seep back down. So, creating water reservoirs and more retention ponds and natural wetlands to reduce rapid storm runoff into the creeks and rivers are needed for a sustainable underground water system. Climate change is causing extremes in weather (for instance, crippling winter storm in Texas right now) and more frequent heavy rainfalls in the Midwest are predicted for this spring and the future. The runoff from agriculture and roadways will result in more pollution in the Fox River and Lake Michigan. Water retention systems to trap and filter that runoff will be even more important. Investing now in research with engineering firms to address this critical issue is imperative before we are in crisis. Through effective lobbying for federal and state grants, funding is possible. The public needs to be informed of this serious water issue and be willing to do their part to maintain a safe and viable water supply as well. No viable water supply = no viable community.||I am on board for Metra extension – expands commercial economic opportunities and provides a transportation network for work and play. Would save on gas and wear & tear on vehicles. Would provide a niche for us not enjoyed by most other neighboring communities.||Police pensions need to be funded by the Village Tax Levy and not rely for shortfalls from the general fund which monies are needed for the operation of the Village to maintain and develop infrastructure. This is the way to support our Blue. They continue to be there for us; we need to be there for them.||“Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Act” passed in November 2020, allows taxing on-line sales to benefit Oswego. Because the pandemic disrupted and closed so many businesses, on-line sales tax is needed revenue to maintain a level of expected services for the Village.||Economic Development is crucial to our financial success, but cannot just bend to a developer. Zoning variances need to be transparent and explained to our taxpayers, especially when it affects them. Listening to each other’s concerns can lead to an understanding that is agreeable to both sides. A few minutes of explanation why this or that, led by a trusted informed leader from each party’s viewpoint can lead to peaceful resolution for differing opinions that benefit everyone and is a practical way to continue commercial development to broaden our tax base.|