Former 2nd Ward Alderman Bill Barclay said Wednesday that concerns about city spending and a desire to return to public service are two reasons he's considering a run for mayor or a return to the City Council.
"There are ways that we can reasonably trim spending, but we're not looking," he said in a telephone interview. "At this time, with the economy where it is, we all need to tighten our belts."
Barclay said he's also concerned about the conversation at City Council meetings, which he said needs more focus on important issues.
"We argue about $5,000 for park benches, but we ignore the big things," he said. "The city spent $500,000 on a new computer system for its efficiencies, and then won't talk about eliminating positions."
Barclay said he has not made an announcement at this time simply because the April 2013 election is still almost six months away and he's been so busy with personal and business affairs. He had throat surgery last week, and he's in the process of renegotiating a lease agreement. "I've just had a lot on my plate," he said.
Barclay is a Farmer's Insurance agent by trade. He served on the Geneva Library Board from 1993 to 2001 and as 2nd Ward alderman from 2001 to 2009.
He said running for mayor is "something I thought about since my first term. As mayor, I just felt I could help out in ways that I could not as alderman."
Barclay said he enjoys public service and "had a lot of fun" representing constituents during his terms as board member, but he also is considering a run at public office because believes the City Council is too often rubber-stamping staff recommendations without questioning the cost to taxpayers.
"If you're given a big allowance as a kid, you're going to spend it," he said. "And once it's spent, you're going to ask for more."