Candidate Name: Bruce Hanson
Office Seeking: City Council
Subdivision with Zip Code: Huntington Estates, 60540
Campaign Website: www.hansonfornaperville.com
The following answers have only been formatted for purposes of this website. Answers submitted by candidates have not been edited for grammar or content.
1. When and why did you first decide to run to serve Naperville City Council?
I am passionate about Naperville. I have served Naperville for 16 years continually on four appointed commissions and am currently an officer on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
In July 2017, after serious consideration with my wife Amanda and our freshmen twins, we decided this would be the next step in my continued commitment serving Naperville. It is a responsibility to give back to the community which has given us so much. I am an enthusiastic candidate for Naperville City Council!
2. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan 9-member City Council?
Experience, passion, dedication and relationships. Historically, most members of council serve on city commissions before running. I have served on the Financial Advisory Board, the Library Board, the SECA Board and now Planning and Zoning Commission. 16 years of Commission experience. I have invested extensively in getting to know city and community leaders, and how Naperville works. Professionally, I help leaders establish teams, common goals, clear plans and metrics to measure success. Because Council’s role is to serve all residents, we must make decisions as a team, based on what is in everyone’s best interest. After all, the city we are tasked to lead is where we live and raise our families, too.
3. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?
- Fiscal Responsibility. As a past Naperville Financial Advisory Board Chairman, I understand our City finances and I know what to do to keep city costs and property taxes low.
- Vibrant Naperville. As a Plan Commissioner, I recognize the importance of responsible real estate development that honors our neighborhoods and sense of community as we promote growth, vibrancy and diverse housing options. We must also address transportation and workplace options that add to the quality of living in Naperville.
- Public Safety and Mental Health Awareness. The opioid crisis affects public safety professionals and residents alike. I am proposing a Mental Health Awareness Taskforce to keep Naperville one of the safest cities in the country.
4. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the City, what would it be?
As we near completion in development south of 95th Street in Naperville, I want Naperville to lead the charge to bring all involved government entities together and begin addressing the modernization of roadways in the area to reflect current and future demand. We need a comprehensive review of improvements required to areas already suffering from unacceptable traffic delays, safety concerns and poorly designed circulation.
5. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?
I will work to level the sales tax playing field: Out-of-state online retailers are required to collect and remit state sales tax to Springfield, but this leaves Naperville short of millions of dollars of local sales tax dollars.
I will also ensure that City Council responsibly examines all sources of revenue and expenses to reduce the property tax burden. When Chairman of the Financial Advisory Board, I identified and advised using nearly $80 million in unnecessary reserves to help ease the property tax burden. We must always strive to improve efficiencies, but we can’t always cut our way out of tough times. Through 16 years of commission experience I’m prepared to evaluate and lead when controversy arises.
6. What City amenity is most important/attractive to you and how should its care and maintenance be funded?
The Riverwalk is truly remarkable. Connecting downtown to a number of parks, Centennial Beach, the Carillon, the new Water Street development, and North Central College. We are fortunate to have so many engaged partners including the Riverwalk Commission, the City, the Naperville Park District and privately-funded supporters of the Riverwalk Foundation supplemented with public artwork, sculptures of Century Walk, and a number of historical references. The Riverwalk was initially established to honor the 150th anniversary of Naperville.
7. What should be done about the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) fund, if anything?
I served four years on the SECA Commission. I support promoting the arts, and community cultural events which celebrate our diversity and creativity. Napervillians and visitors are enriched by these experiences which draw people to town and improves the local economy. Given the importance to our community, I would seek to establish an independent taskforce of community and not-for-profit leaders to evaluate the scope and policies of SECA and identify best practices to create an exemplary multi-year framework for the fund.
8. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses that encourages development?
Businesses bring property taxes, sales tax revenue, jobs and new residents. As a Planning and Zoning Commissioner, I see firsthand the great work our city staff does for economic development, and we must make sure we reduce hurdles for businesses to move in to Naperville, avoid project delays and streamline permitting and inspections, without compromising our high standards for safety and quality.
9. Are you a proponent of Tax Increment Financing (TIF)? NO
10. Do you live in School District 203 or School District 204? D203
Please tell anything else that distinguishes your interest in serving Naperville in 150 words or less…
My wife Amanda and I were attracted to Naperville and moved here nearly 20 years ago. Looking back, I think about decisions which made this such a beautiful city to move to. Looking ahead, I think about the decisions today’s City Council will make. Decisions which will have a profound and lasting impact on Naperville’s future. I envision a vibrant future for Naperville. A Healthy, Safe Naperville. A Naperville where our children will want to raise their families, and seniors aren’t taxed out of their homes. Please vote for me, Bruce Hanson, on April 2 (or vote early beginning February 21 through April 1) to help make that vision a reality.