On Feb. 6, my opponent in the race for mayor of Geneva posted a column that began with the following quote, "There is nothing as constant as change." I couldn't agree more.
Since 2001, a litany of positive changes have taken place in Geneva that has made our community more dynamic and served to enhance our reputation as a great place to live, learn, work, play and raise a family.
My opponent is campaigning on the following platform: Fiscal Responsibility, Economic Development and Accessibility. I am delighted to share with you highlights in all three areas that speak to my success as mayor and our success as a community.
Fiscal Responsibility: Geneva benefits from an impressive Aa2 Bond Rating because of its responsible borrowing practices and sound investment policies.
- Since 2001 Geneva’s Tax Rate has declined from .73 to .53.
- Since 2009 Geneva’s General Fund Budget has been reduced by 30%.
- Current City staffing levels are at 2005/2006 levels.
- Emergency Reserves have been increased.
- Only 8% of homeowners' tax payments are for city services.
- Geneva has developed and operated 11 consecutive balanced budgets.
- For 3 consecutive years, Geneva has earned the prestigious Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States & Canada.
- Geneva has posted its payments to vendors online for many years; before it was fashionable to do so.
- Since 2001, more than 700,000 square feet of commercial/retail space has been developed.
- Since 2001, more than 500,000 square feet of industrial space has been developed.
- Since 2001, more than $200,000,000 in public improvements have been invested in Geneva’s electric, water, wastewater and public safety programs to ensure reliable, responsible and affordable services for generations to come.
- Geneva has experienced 11 consecutive months of increased sales tax revenue thanks to creative small businesses and investments by regional and national retailers - this fiscal year alone sales tax revenue is up 5%.
- Downtown Geneva's vacancy rate has declined from 15% to 8% in the last year alone.
- Geneva's vacancy rate on Randall Road is 3% (far below regional averages).
- Geneva's vacancy rate in its industrial park is 2% (far below regional averages).
- Construction of the Third Street Commuter/Shopping Parking Deck.
- Beginning Construction of the Kautz Road/Rt. 38 at grade crossing to improve efficiency on Geneva's East Gateway.
- Creation of the Geneva Economic Development Commission.
- Creation and adoption of Geneva's Downtown Master Plan Planning Document.
- Creation of Geneva's Southeast Master Plan.
A hallmark of my service to the community has been my 24/7 access to citizens, businesses and guests. Anyone and everyone can reach me on my cell or via email at anytime.
The majority of the mayor’s work is not done in an office, but on the streets and in the neighborhoods and businesses throughout Geneva — visiting with people at their homes, businesses and elsewhere. Expecting people to "come to you" is contrary to building strong, mutually respectful relationships.
- I pride myself on attending the vast majority of ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremonies for news businesses in Geneva.
- I pride myself on participating in programs that benefit the community culturally, economically, socially, philanthropically and educationallyI have cultivated programs that engage citizens such as the popular Art for All at City Hall program that has, to date, honored more than 2,000 student artists.
- Accessibility of information is also important, the City’s website is full of information serving citizens, developers, retailers, visitors and the like.
- Geneva recently launched a new INFO LINE that provides quick and easy access to information about the various departments in the city.
- Geneva maintains an active Facebook page and Twitter account.
- Geneva has created an e-newsletter that reaches more than 3,000 citizens each week.
I look forward to sharing more highlights of my tenure as Mayor as the campaign continues and, as always, invite you to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or via cell at 630-877-1775.
I respectfully ask for your vote on April 9th — and preserve the positive changes that have taken place in Geneva.
Kevin R. Burns
Mayor of Geneva & Candidate for Re-election
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT STEWARDSHIP