Campaign Website: www.votefordavewentz.com
Slogan: Let’s keep Naperville great
Circle one: Employed, Unemployed or Retired?
If employed, where? Employed as an attorney with Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble, LLC at 101 N. Washington Street, Naperville
How long have you lived in Naperville? 24 years
1. What motivated you to run for Naperville City Council?
I love public service and enjoy working with residents, businesses and city staff to help solve problems. My legal and community experiences have prepared me for this position and are a natural extension of many of the things I have already been doing for the past several years.
2. If elected to serve your community, will you accept health care benefits from the City of Naperville?
YES Including the Mayor, 7 of 9 Councilman currently or have previously accepted City healthcare benefits. On May 20, 2014, I voted to make City Councilman ineligible to purchase city-sponsored healthcare at any cost and set Council’s salary commensurate with that of Joliet and Aurora.
3. If elected, how much time per week are you willing to give to prepare for City Council meetings, budget workshops and liaison appointments on boards/commissions?
Because the workload fluctuates throughout the year depending upon the tasks at hand, it is difficult to provide a consistent answer. Some weeks I spend as many as 25-30 hours a week and other weeks considerably less. On average roughly 15-18 hours per week.
4. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan City Council?
As a 24 year Naperville resident with a law degree and an established working knowledge of our residents, business community, not-for profit community, and numerous governmental entities, I am constantly seeking solutions as a representative to problems facing our community.
5. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
- A. Providing quality services to our residents at the lowest possible cost while maintaining our AAA bond rating.
- B. Attracting businesses to develop and stay in Naperville so the residential tax burden can be offset by a strong business tax base.
- C. Working with public safety and community networks so our youth and senior populations are protected.
6. Do you favor term limits for City Council and other local/state governing bodies? YES NO
It is vital to have an influx of new council members with new ideas on the Council. It makes for a vibrant ongoing discussion and not just a constant rehashing of old ideas. I voted for the term limit referendum. Three terms is long enough for any elected official.
7. Name one contribution you have made to our city that you think was most significant of your community service to date.
In late 2008 I brought the Healing Field to Naperville. In 2009 and 2012 I chaired a community-wide committee that, in conjunction with OSOT America, raised over $200,000 for veteran causes. I received a Harris Fellow Award from the Naperville Rotary Club for outstanding community service.
8. What boards or commissions have you served previously?
- DuPage County Workforce Investment Board 1996-2003.
- Naperville Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee Past Chairman 1997-1999
- NACPAC Board Member 2002-2003
- Naperville’s 175th Anniversary Futures Sub-Committee 2006
- Naperville Township Trustee Elected 2009-2013
- Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Center Board of Directors 2010-2013
- ADOPT Pet Shelter Board 2012-2014
- Citizens Appreciate Public Safety Board 2010-2014
- DuPage Mayors & Managers Transportation Policy Committee 2013-2014
9. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the city, what would it be?
Better leveraging our membership on IMEA to reduce the pass-through of utility operating expenses. We represent over 33% of the population of IMEA’s 33 member communities but only get 1 vote on the IMEA board. A weighted vote on IMEA fiscal matters could substantially reduce all of Naperville’s utility expenses.
10. How do you hope to be perceived by city staff, city manager, other council members and constituents?
Someone who cares, listens, is willing to learn and collaborates well with others. I have become recognized as one of the first councilman to reach out to constituents who address us with problems. I work well with staff, the city manager and other councilman to help solve problems.
11. What business development needs can you identify?
Despite almost a half billion dollars in new commercial development that was approved in Naperville over the past 18 months, with the closings of OfficeMax and Dominic’s, there is also growing percentage of vacant commercial space, roughly 20% vacancy rate, that has emerged along the main arterial routes throughout Naperville.
12. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses?
We need to continue working with regional economic development partners to communicate the advantages of building and maintaining businesses in Naperville. Collaborating with Choose DuPage and Illinois’ DCEO, the NDP has adopted a regional approach to assist the East Ogden Corridor and other areas to increase their occupancy rates.
13. What can the City Council do to help keep real estate and property values in check?
Adopt a rental inspection program for all apartments and residential homes that house renters. Under the guise of “crime free housing”, “maintaining property values” or “public safety”, several surrounding municipalities including Carol Stream, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Hanover Park have enacted ordinances. Councilman McElroy and I have been asking the City to do the same. This will prevent neighborhood deterioration and maintain property values.
14. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
The City should amend its comprehensive plan to designate currently undeveloped residential and transitional use areas as prime locations for low and moderate income senior housing. We approved large-scale PUD projects such as Ashewood Pointe and Mayfair but made no effort to designate any units as specifically designed for seniors.
15. What service provided by the City of Naperville do you deem most important? Least important?
Public safety is the most important service provided by the City of Naperville. As a 5-year member of the CAPS Board, I have experience first-hand how dedicated and vital the men and women of the police and fire department are to Naperville’s citizens. The least important service is the Test Track Fund.
16. Are you a member of a service club or nonprofit board of directors that receives SECA funds or other grants from the City of Naperville? YES If yes, which one(s)?
I have been a member of the Exchange Club of Naperville since 1995 and have served as past Secretary, President, Board Member, District President and on the National Jurisprudence and Law Committee. I am also a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville.
17. What city amenity is most important and how do you think it should be funded/raise revenue?
Our most important amenity in Naperville is our downtown. While most municipalities can’t bring enough people or business to their downtowns, we complain of overcrowding and not having enough parking. The 1% food and beverage tax should be reduced to ¾% as restaurant revenues have increased this past year.
18. How would you qualify Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) applicants for funding?
A priority should be made for projects which develop permanent structures, seek multi-year commitments and/or return tax dollars to Naperville’s coffers by attracting patrons who will also spend dollars in our stores and restaurants. There are too many requests for one-time events which are too exclusive with their target audiences.
19. What is your opinion of the bidding and letting process at the City of Naperville?
We need to be more vigilant in making sure every contract is publicly bid. I have been critical where staff has sought to extend a current contract in a “no-bid” format such as our current waste-hauling/recycling contract. We also need to include more Naperville contractors in the bidding process.
20. In addition to employee salaries and public safety, place in order of importance to you 12 assets and public/private partnerships that currently receive funding from the City of Naperville.
- Naperville Electric Utility Department
- Naperville Water and Wastewater Department
- Naperville Development Partnership
- Naperville Public Library
- Naperville Settlement
- Downtown Naperville Alliance
- Naperville Chamber of Commerce
- Naperville Municipal Band
- Naperville Community Television
- Naperville Riverwalk Commission
- Naperville Century Walk
- Naperville Sister Cities Commission