DeKalb Alderman Ward 4 candidate Patrick Fagan submitted this questionnaire, answering the Daily Chronicle's questions in the 2017 DeKalb Alderman Ward 4 race.
Name: Patrick Fagan
Office Sought: DeKalb Alderman Ward 4
1) Why are you the best candidate?
I have been told many times from residents of the 4th ward that they do not feel represented. Questions, concerns or problems that are ignored leads to frustration. As an alderman I will respond to all residents that reach out to me in a prompt timely manner.
With a proven business experience I am qualified in not only to make well thought out decisions but also working with fellow council and city government to lead the city in the right direction.
2) What can the city government do to reduce crime?
Work with Police and Community to help implement safety within the city with various programs. Kishwaukee YMCA Camp Power is an example. Crime has fallen since the duration of the program in that area. Give the police the tools that are needed for the reduction in crime.
3) Both of the City’s tax-increment financing districts and the millions of dollars they generate each year will end during the next four years. How should the city prepare for this?
With the TIF Districts nearing its end we will find an increase of requests. With those requests we must make sure that the money is used so that the city can have a return from the investment and not a burden.
As to prepare? TIF District money was never meant for use for the General Fund. We have to start living within our means. The city has to be run with the property tax and sales tax it generates now.
4) What is the one issue that is important for your ward?
This question I do not think is fair to ask. There are many important issues. Ones that people of the ward think that are important to them rather to others. With that said the number one issue that is brought up is taxes.
5) A recent Study called for the city to take over operation of the Egyptian Theatre, renovate the venue and contribute to its operation budget. Is this a good idea? Why or why not?
The Egyptian Theatre is an excellent venue and certainly a landmark in DeKalb. But I do not believe the city should take it over. The city cannot assume responsibility of the theatre along with adding staff to payroll to run it. We just cannot afford it.
6) Under what conditions would you support development of a STEAM learning center in downtown DeKalb? Do you think the city should contribute 4 million in TIF funding toward the project?
I do not know how this could work at this time when we have so many other responsibilities to the growing problems that we are faced with. The research said that various businesses and corporations would be interested in backing the project, but there was not anything to show it would sustain itself. I am afraid that the city would be stuck with paying for most of the project. NIU has a Stem out Reach which offers programs for P-12 students, their families and educators to utilize at this time. Again we cannot afford it.
7) What is one thing the city spends money on now that should be reduced or eliminated?
This is another question that there is no simple answer. The City expenses should be evaluated on all levels. We pay for studies that either is never implemented or we knew we could not afford it.
8) The city government sometimes is criticized as not being “business friendly.” Is this fair? What changes can be made, if any?
The general concusses of people I talk with is the city is not business friendly. Whether it is fair or not that is their feeling. When I built my home here in 2008 I saw firsthand some of the difficulties dealing with the city. So I do understand the frustration that some builders and businesses have.
In order for the city to attract new businesses or current business expansions, they must realize that they are competing against other municipalities. In order to do this they must show ease of doing business.