Campaign Website: www.martywalkerformayor.com
Slogan: Keeping Naperville Great – Through Leadership, Collaboration and Service
Circle one: Employed, Unemployed or Retired: 40 Years in the Fire Service
How long have you lived in Naperville? Lifelong DuPage County Resident; 7+ Year Resident of Naperville
1. What motivated you to run for Mayor of Naperville?
I am motivated to run for the Mayor of Naperville because I believe caring for the community should be the primary focus of any public official. My 40 year professional career as a Firefighter/Paramedic was taking care of people and developing skills to find the best way to serve them. I want to use these skills to keep Naperville a safe, award winning city and keep the quality of life at its best.
2. If elected to serve your community, will you accept health care benefits from the City of Naperville?
No, I am paying for my own health care benefits and will continue to pay for them.
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?
I am fully prepared to spend well over 40 hours/week as Mayor, preparing for and attending meetings, workshops, and any liaison appointments on boards and commissions. In addition, I believe the position of Mayor is to always be approachable and available to the residents, businesses, City Staff and Departments to get a first-hand understanding of their needs, concerns and interests; this requires being out in the public on a regular basis. I am also well prepared to be available to the public for several hours per week.
4. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan City Council?
The skill I think is most important for the new City Council and Mayor is leadership; my skill of bringing people together to work as a team is important for the leadership of Naperville. My experience as a Lieutenant in the Fire Service and 2013 Ribfest chair, has given me a valuable education in leadership.
5. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
- A: Late night drinking issues in the downtown area. This situation needs continual monitoring and review by the City and the Liquor Commission in association with the downtown business owners, restaurants and bar owners.
- B: The $12M gap in the proposed upcoming budget.
- C: The four capital projects: North Aurora Road underpass at EJ & E Railroad, traffic management systems, Naperville-Illinois Clean Energy and Mobile Integrated Healthcare
6. Do you favor term limits for City Council and other local/state governing bodies?
Yes, I favor term limits for elected officials.
7. Name one contribution you have made to our city that you think was most significant of your community service to date.
I have been fortunate to participate in many community events held in Naperville. However, the community service contribution I feel is most significant is my coordination of Naperville’s September 11th ceremonies over the last five (5) years, to recognize all of the victims of this tragedy, in particular, Naperville’s own Dan Shanower.
8. What boards or commissions have you served previously?
- Board of Directors of the “Hundred Club of DuPage County”
- Naperville Healing Field, 2009, 2012, Current Chair for 2015
- Chair, Jaycees Last Fling Veteran Appreciation Day 2010 – current
- Exchange Club Ribfest Chair, 2013
- Former Board of Directors of the “Exchange Club of Naperville”
- Former Member of Wheaton Historic Preservation Commission
- Former Member of the “Human Services Commission in Carol Stream”
9. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the city, what would it be?
To create an environment of communication between all of the different agencies in the city, (park district, school district, fire, police, etc.) to reduce any duplication in services or expenses, to purchase from local, Naperville businesses as a priority whenever possible, and to create an employment alert for veterans.
10. How do you hope to be perceived by city staff, city manager, other council members and constituents?
My experience in public service has shown me the importance of bringing groups of people together to build community. I desire to be perceived as a compassionate, caring leader and team member, willing to listen to the needs of staff, council, and the community.
11. What business development needs can you identify?
Naperville needs to maintain a diversified blend of business, industry and economic opportunity and to create an environment for new business development. It is important to identify office/business space vacancies to develop programs and/or incentives to attract new businesses to these spaces, create jobs, increase revenues and contribute to the tax base.
12. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses?
Work with Local, Regional, State and Federal organizations and agencies to define incentives for businesses to locate in Naperville for headquarters and business opportunities. Also, to work with schools, the Chamber of Commerce, Naperville Development Partnership, local groups and organizations to receive their input for future needs.
13. What can the City Council do to help keep real estate and property values in check?
- Be fiscally conservative in expenditures and, in general, any time tax payer money is being spent.
- Pay down debt to keep a high bond rating which reduces the burden on the tax payer, and,
- Ensure healthy competitive bidding on city contracts which should always include local, Naperville business.
14. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
- Continually review fiscal spending, maintain taxes at an affordable level.
- Be inviting to business to lower tax rate for homeowners.
- Make sure that there is opportunity for employment for all ages and skill levels, and,
- Work with the School Districts, colleges and universities to be sure that the graduating students have the skills businesses need to develop a resource of qualified workforce
15. What service provided by the City of Naperville do you deem most important?
Public Safety – Fire & Police
Naperville has very good services that residents of all ages like. Any change to services currently provided should be decided by residents in a citywide survey.
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. I am a member of the Exchange Club of Naperville, the Naperville Jaycees, and the West Suburban Irish
17. What city amenity is most important and how do you think it should be funded/raise revenue?
The Riverwalk of Naperville because it is enjoyed by people every day all year long. It was a gift from the people of Naperville for the people of Naperville and should continue to be funded through SECA as well as private donations.
18. How would you qualify Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) applicants for funding?
I would qualify an event funded by SECA based on how it best serves the community. The event should provide a positive image of Naperville through a cultural, educational, historical or fine art event.
19. What is your opinion of the bidding and letting process at the City of Naperville?
In discussions with the city manager the process is well defined and executed on a regular basis. The only improvement I could see is enhance communication to the mayor, staff and council on the strategies being used to pursue these contracts and to be sure to include local, independent business in all bidding opportunities.
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 Development Partnership
- Loaves and Fishes
- Naperville Settlement
- Naperville Municipal Band
- Century Walk
- Crime Stoppers
- Last Fling
- Children’s Museum