James Haselhorst

Mayoral Candidate
Haselhorst

Campaign Website: napervillecandidate.com

Slogan: Excellence through Presence

Circle one: Employed, Unemployed or Retired?

If employed, where? Downtown Dental Office

How long have you lived in Naperville? 20+ years (since April 1994)

20 Questions

1. What motivated you to run for Naperville Mayor?

Concern that the only candidates would be individuals that either did not have the time or the inclination to commit to community involvement on the level Mayor Pradel has done the last 20 year. I believe losing that intensity in the mayor’s office would negatively impact our city.

2. If elected to serve your community, will you accept health care benefits from the City of Naperville?

No. The discussion of this issue used up way more Council time then it should have when other more salient issues are facing Naperville. The timing, along with its use to malign/impugn the character of some Council members, makes the motives for raising this issue suspect. The issue needs resolution.

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?

Elected positions in Naperville are part-time. This means at least 20 hours a week. I am prepare and expect to spend at least 20 hrs a week working for Naperville and its residents, but I will work as many hours as possible and needed to get the job done.

4. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan City Council?

Leadership – Almost 50 years of leadership responsibilities: 21+ years as an NCO with numerous naval commands on 4 continents. Eight years as a supervisory scientist for the USDA and 20+ years as a Practice Manager. With almost 30 years being in public administration positions in a government environment.

5. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?

  • A. Redevelopment
    • Home teardown / rebuild, growth on North Central campus and the Water Street Project managed to re-enforcement Naperville character / Brand
  • B. Economic Development
    • SKF Group, 95th& Rt 59, Chicago symphony
  • C. Finance
    • Deficits in operating funds and low/no reserves

6. Do you favor term limits for City Council and other local/state governing bodies?

Yes. At the USDA I watched individuals uses their position to amass knowledge and authority to stifle change and impose their agenda, referring to this as “continuity”. Responsible leaders mentor their juniors and shares knowledge, thus facilitating their replacement in a manner that insures true continuity plus provides for diversity.

7. Name one contribution you have made to our city that you think was most significant of your community service to date.

When I first moved to Naperville over 20 years ago I became involved with the Naperville Jaycees and have work on several Jaycee community projects. My most significant contribution to the community would my 20 years of volunteering & Chairing various Last Fling venues (except for 1 year).

8. What boards or commissions have you served previously?

None. Until retiring for the Navy in October of 2010 what little spare time I had was used supporting Naperville Jaycee activities.

9. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the city, what would it be?

A vibrant downtown is important to any city but there are limits on the frequency & size of events that downtown can accommodate without negatively affecting area businesses. Development of amenities (Band Shell, Central Park) in southern Naperville would attract more events to Naperville and provide southern residents improved lifestyle.

10. How do you hope to be perceived by city staff, city manager, other council members and constituents?

I would like to be perceived as a Leader with the experience, abilities and skills (logistics, management, financial, team building) needed to address our community’s problems and facilitate solutions.

11. What business development needs can you identify?

Large national / international businesses provide significant employment & revenue and can attract other such companies to Naperville. The biggest economic engine of any city, however, is a vibrant local business community. Naperville should focus more resources on assets that enhance the small business and entrepreneurial environment.

12. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses?

Improve Infrastructure like:

  • Schools – colleges / universities / trade school campuses
    o They provide the skilled and educated employees that attract companies.
  • Transportation – highway and rail access
    o Logistically these assets are needed to easily movement raw materials, manufactured goods, and personnel.

13. What can the City Council do to help keep real estate and property values in check?

Community characteristics like quality of education & lifestyle, improved employment opportunities, and exemplary public safety attracts people to Naperville driving up real estate. Cities have tried programs and policies to keep valuations in check. I know of none that have worked. People come up with work-a-rounds that circumvent these efforts.

14. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?

Keeping housing affordable for all ages can be managed by insuring that as Naperville moves forward polices and programs are put into place that insure a diverse mix of housing options. (Condos, town homes, smaller homes).

15. What service provided by the City of Naperville do you deem most important? Least important?

What is the most important city service depends on the metric used to measure that service. I believe the services that are most widely & regularly used by Naperville citizens are the most important. So, the most important would be Naperville’s Utilities service. Least important would be downtown WiFi.

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? NO YES

If yes, which one(s)? I am a member of the Naperville Jaycees (Rooster)

17. What city amenity is most important and how do you think it should be funded/raise revenue?

This depends on the metric used to measure an amenity’s value added. The metric I use is what adds the most value to the Naperville brand or image. Without a doubt it’s the Riverwalk. The present funding through various taxes seems adequate at present and least burdensome for the residents.

18. How would you qualify Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) applicants for funding?

The best qualifier is the impact the organization / event has on improving the quality of life for residents. What percentage/number of organization’s members / event attendees are residents? How much of the funds generated go back into the local economy? Are local venders used?

19. What is your opinion of the bidding and letting process at the City of Naperville?

Naperville’s bidding process is consistent with those of other governments and well developed to prevent abuse. The recent revisiting of the controversy surrounding local bidder preference is one of well intent that can have significant unintended consequences, such as creating a one-bidder environment eliminating competition and increasing city costs.

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.

  1. Water Street Development
  2. Library System
  3. Naperville Development Partnership
  4. Downtown Naperville Alliance
  5. Riverwalk
  6. SECA
  7. DuPage Children’s Museum
  8. Naper Settlement
  9. NCTV
  10. Municipal Band
  11. Heritage Society
  12. Parking Structure

Vote April 7, 2015

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