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Election 2013: Robert (Bob) McQuillan — 'The City Must Live Within its Financial Means'

The Geneva TaxFACTS co-founder says "it is the responsibility of elected officials to make sure that expenses are maintained at the lowest possible level." He faces Kevin R. Burns in the April 9 race for Geneva mayor.

ROBERT (BOB) McQUILLAN — CANDIDATE FOR GENEVA MAYOR

Your Name:
Robert (Bob) McQuillan

Position Sought:
Mayor of Geneva

Campaign Contact Information

  • www.bobmcquillan.com
  • bob@bobmcquillan.com
  • 630-205-1683
  • Home Address: 2677 Berkshire Drive, Geneva, IL  60134

    Family Members

  • wife — Karen, 57
  • son — Tom, 32
  • daughter in-law — Jenny, 31
  • granddaughter  — Alison, 2
  • son — Andrew, 28
  • daughter — Kerrilyn, 24
  • Education

    • 1984 St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia  MBA
    • 1978 St. Joseph's College, Philadelphia  BS  Food Marketing
    • 1974 Bishop Egan High School, Fairless Hills, PA

    Current Occupation and Employer: Self employed sales consultant at the Dialogue Company

    • 2002-2008 Realtor ReMax Excels
    • 1999-2002 VP Business Development PromoWorks
    • 1997-1999 AC Nielsen
    • 1995-1997 Division President Storecast Merchandising
    • 1979-1995 Quaker Oats Company

     

    Political Party Affiliation: Republican

    Why Are You Seeking Office?

    To serve the residents of Geneva in a honest, professional manner.

    What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

    Work with the City Council and professional staff to make decisions with the best interest of the residents in mind.

    What sets you apart from the other candidate?

    Business and life experience.   

    Issue 1: What will you do to enhance economic development in Geneva?

    The mission of the Economic Development Department should be to "sell" manufacturers and retail businesses on the benefits and opportunities that Geneva offers. Implementing a professional marketing brochure, sales kit and business plan should be the number one goal of the department. Use of tax incentives can be a double-edged sword and should be used only sparingly.

    Issue 2: What will you do to hold the line on property tax increases?

    The answer is quite simple: The city must live within its financial means. No government entity can ignore the fact that raising taxes is no longer an option. It is the responsibility of elected officials to make sure that expenses are maintained at the lowest possible level. One of my goals is to reduce overall expenses by 5 percent over the next two years. At the same time, increase sales tax revenue by 10 percent. The 10 percent increase will be the result of a strong and integrated marketing plan to attract visitors to the city.

    Issue 3: How will you use technology to improve city government?

    Use of technology should accomplish two things: make all city operations more efficient and provide an overall cost savings. I'll leave it to the professional IT personnel to implement the new computer system, but the ultimate goal is efficiency and cost savings. If that isn't done, a new computer system is a waste of money.


    If you could take back any action of the past four years, what would it be?

    I strongly believe that limiting those who can run for elected office is a major problem. Not allowing an individual to be a city alderman because he/she also holds a liquor license does not make sense. Maybe this was a problem in the 1920s, but the issue should not come into play in 2013. The real issue is that the mayor is the sole liquor commissioner. That is where any conflict of interest or personal issue will occur. Making any one person the sole judge and jury to enforce the liquor laws is begging for problems.

    Do you think marital status has anything to do with a mayor's ability to lead?

    No. I believe that character and values of the individual do play an extremely important role in the mayor's ability to lead.

    Who are your three top campaign contributors and how much did they donate to your campaign?

    Campaign contributions are reported on a quarterly basis to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Any contributions collected between Jan. 1 and March 31 from an individual totaling more than $150, must be reported by April 15. Contributions received after April 1, do not need to be reported until July 15. Based on state law, a candidate is not required to report contributions until after the April 9 election. I will follow state law for all contributions to my campaign. At this point in time, I will say that I have received contributions only from individuals and no individual has contributed more than $200.

    What is your top accomplishment of the past four years?

    Being part of the start-up of the GenevaTaxFACTS organization. The goal of the group is to inform taxpayers about how their property taxes are determined and spent by local taxing bodies.

    Describe your leadership style and how it will apply to your term in office.

    My management style is to hire the best person possible, train them to do the job and then allow them to do it. While the mayor is responsible for the overall operation of the city, he or she must rely on city staff to perform the day-to-day functions. I will use my previous professional experience to ensure the city has the best people in every position. I will work closely with the city council, city administrator and department heads to make sure every employee understands the policies of the city and abides by them.

    Do you think there should be term limits for the position of mayor? Why or why not?

    I don't believe the problem is term limits. The problem is low voter turnout. When less than 20 percent of registered voters actually vote in a local election, we have a major problem. In this area, 10 percent might be employed by some type of government entity or service. How can you have term limits when we struggle to get enough people to run for office? This is the first time the mayor's race has been challenged in eight years. Government is supposed to be for the people, by the people. We need to get people involved so that their voice is heard. About 22,000 people live in Geneva and voter turnout will be about 3,200. That is a sad statement on the people's view of their role in electing officials.

    What have you done to support or enhance historic preservation in Geneva?

    I attended the City Council meeting when the Pure Oil building was on the agenda. I spoke in support of the owner and resident coming to a compromise, which eventually did happen. I think the issue of historic preservation is one that Geneva will be facing more and more over the next decade. The downturn in the real estate market has lead to an increase in the number of rental units, many in the historic downtown area. Some residents have mentioned that these properties are not being maintained; they are concerned with the deteriorating appearance of these properties within five years. I believe that historic preservation is important to Geneva, but the requirements and/or restrictions must be reasonable. I fear that when the market rebounds, the tear-down issue will resurface.

    Do you think longtime residence in a community is an asset for a mayor of Geneva?

    No. Geneva is now a city of almost 22,000 residents. Good or bad, that is what Geneva is today. The mayor's role is to serve all the city residents. Geneva is a fantastic place to live, but it has the issues and challenges of a city that has 22,000 residents and should be governed by the best possible people.

    What would worry you most if your opponent were elected?

    No response.

    What do you think are the top three challenges facing Geneva today?

    Financial responsibility, accessibility and economic development.

    If elected, how would you address those top three challenges?

    Due to limited space on this form, please go to www.bobmcquillan.com which details my plan.

    Please add any other information pertinent to your campaign.

    No response.

     

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