Continue to Be a Responsible Steward of Your Tax Dollars
I understand we are working with your hard-earned tax dollars and we absolutely must continue to find ways to be more efficient and cut spending.
At the village, we have reduced our employee headcount to 58, down from 65 when I took office (and as high as 90 when I started as Trustee). This is a necessity because our annual state pension obligation for our police department continues to grow, from $485,000 when I took office to over $1 million next year. While we continue to lobby Springfield to get their act together and enact pension reforms, we are taking steps to continue to reduce expenses elsewhere and generate additional revenues through economic development to keep our budget flat and lower property taxes.
A unique avenue for saving tax dollars is through municipal partnering. Since becoming mayor, the village has taken the lead on intergovernmental cooperation to develop efficiencies within village operations. We work with other communities to bid projects to get lower costs, which has saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, we’ve become trailblazers in this area, leading other municipalities in our region to follow our lead. Moving forward, I want to continue to expand our municipal partnering, looking at every dollar we spend to try to identify additional savings through economies of scale.
We also must continue to invest in infrastructure improvements. We sought out and were recently awarded a $2 million federal grant as well as over $300,000 from the state to build a new Metra station on the inbound side of the tracks as well as another fully enclosed shelter. The new station and shelter will be much safer and accommodating so our more than 800 daily commuting residents don’t have to stand out in bad weather waiting for their trains. We also worked to bring in nearly $1 million in federal funding to fix a horrible 20-year flooding disaster that continually invaded numerous homes during heavy rains at the corner of Sunset and Crest Drive. In addition, we have secured over $1.5 million in grants to rebuild Three Oaks Road from Silver Lake to Rawson Bridge Road. We were able to secure these much-needed funds because of my relationships with our legislators and my leadership in regional organizations, including my current service as Vice President of the McHenry County Council of Governments and active involvement with the Northwest Municipal Conference and Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus. I will continue to use my leadership positions in those organizations to ensure Cary’s infrastructure needs are met, including identifying regional transportation projects that can reduce congestion while supporting our employers.