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Oswego Election 2015: James Marter, Candidate for Village Trustee

Mar 17, 2015 09:12AM ● Published by Steven Jack

Name: James Marter


Employment:  Self Employed, Professional Consultant:  Project Manager, Work Process Re-engineering, Software Implementation.

Family:  Married to my beautiful wife Jill 30 years this June!  We raised our 4 children: Son 27 I/T professional for local businesses, Son 25 Purdue Univ. graduate working for Heun Elec., Son 20 Junior Loras College, and Daughter 18 Freshman Clarke Univ.

Education: 1981 Limestone Comm. H.S. (Bartonville, IL), 1984 Purdue University, Bachelor of Science Industrial Management (Krannert School of Mgmt.), Computer Science minor. Dean’s list Spring 83, Fall 84, 1995 CPIM Certified in Production and Inventory Management (APICS  American Production & Inventory Control Society) 

Previously elected office: Precinct Committeeman Republican Party, Oswego 22 (2015)
It is an elected office, I was appointed to fill a vacancy by those with the authority and sworn in by the Kendall County Clerk.

Relevant community service:

Midland Michigan

Served on my Church Education Commission (4 years)

Adult Leader of LHAC for the Cub Scouts (2 Years)

Served the local USS/USA Swim club as an assistant coach (5 Years), committee member (3 Years), meet Director for a major 4 day meet at Saginaw Valley State University (3 Years), and finally served as VP of the Midland Dolphins Community Swim Team for a short period of time, which ended when we moved to Oswego in 1997.

Oswego Illinois:

American Legion Post 675 Troop 63, Boy Scouts of America:  (15 Years & counting) as Committee Member then most of the time as Assistant Scout Master and Merit Badge Counselor. This Included many hours of community service.  Some examples:  building a bridge for Prairie Point on my driveway before transporting to its place, building shelves for Animal Shelter’s storage facility, Restoring landscape at the American Legion post 675, and fences at the Amvets in Aurora. I camped with the Scouts well in excess of hundreds of days/nights watching over our youth and providing for their personal growth and protection.

OLGC School in Aurora (5+ years, in the same time frame above) for my two youngest children. Basketball team Head Coach for Boys 6th-8th and Girls 5th-8th. Off season, served as an assistant coach at the Prisco Center for Aurora Grade School Intramural leagues.

What makes you qualified to be a Village trustee?

Per ILLINOIS State Board of ELECTIONS [10 ILCS 5/17-16.1]. 

Only one Candidate for Trustee on the ballot (Diane Selmer, whom I support) followed the proper procedures this election cycle, per the July 1 RESOULTION unanimously approved by the Village Board including both Village President Candidates.

HOWEVER, the Voters should KNOW why I am NOT on the ballot.  And why I am perhaps a more legitimate clear choice than most on the ballot. Therefore, I am answering here in quite a different manner than which one might expect!   See my FB page for the rest of the story.

I played by the rules!     [65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-5(a)(d)]  WRITE-IN CANDIDATE PROCEDURES

… a write-in candidate must file a notarized “Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate” no later than 61 days prior to the election. 

GO TO the Village Website and find the Audio files:

June17th, 2014 20140617COTW-Part 1, Drag the time bar to 56:32.
Clearly the several current Trustees were confused from the beginning, and they “did not want to confuse the voter”, seems ironic now.

July 1, 2014 20140701RegVB-Part 1, Drag the time bar to 38:55 for VOTE

Parr Motioned, Johnson Seconded. All voted in favor.

Court rulings put the other 5 Candidates for Trustee on the ballot, but ignored all candidates who choose to write-in per the original Dec. 26th Deadline.  In my opinion the court rulings ignored ILL election Law.  I had several conversations with staff at the ILL State Board of Elections, including an Attorney that would seem to back up that opinion.    

I am not holding that against anyone at this point, and in fact I am supporting two who made the ballot from the second filing period. Trustee Rasma Z. Motykowski and President Tony Giles.  They are great candidates and will make fabulous public servants in their new roles.   

QUALIFICATIONS: Qualified elector/registered voter.  [10 ILCS 5/17-16.1].

A person is not eligible to take the oath of office for a municipal office if that person is, at the time required for taking the oath ofoffice, in arrears in the payment of a tax or other indebtedness due to the municipality or has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony. [65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-5(a)(b)]

RESIDENCY: Mayor or President, Clerk, Treasurer and Trustee: One-year residency in the municipality preceding the Consolidated Election. If a person is a resident of a municipality immediately prior to the (exceptions noted for active duty military)  

What do you believe is the role of a Village trustee?

Provide executive guidance, management, and authorization to fund and execute the core functions of Village Staff, the Police, event management and Public Safety, maintenance of roads (repairs, snow removal, etc.) and village properties and assets, utilities management (e.g. water, waste management, etc.) and general building code management and development approvals. 

The above tempered with the following:  1) standing for efficient government 2) eliminate wasteful spending 3) fiscal responsibility 4) streamline village services 5) maintaining a fiscally sound ledger 6) being an advocate for residents 7) supporting local business 8) protecting Taxpayers, Opposing those who will “Raise your TAXES!”

What should be the No. 1 priority for the next Village Board?

Sound financial management and planning without increasing taxes.  Eliminate extraneous services not core to the Villages primary functions.    

We need responsible and natural growth, managed and governed by the leadership of the Village Board, while keeping a fiscally sound ledger and following the accomplishments of these last 8 years of the Village Board under the leadership of Village President Brian LeClercq

What is your vision for the old Alexander Lumber Co. lot and the parcel of land that includes the old Village Hall and the former Oswego Chamber office?

First the old buildings, one has asbestos in it, remove it, demolish it and sell the properties with our without buildings for cash to the highest bidder with their own vision for the property.   Hold out to a better time & market if necessary and put the money into a reserved building fund earning interest.  Reserve the fund for Police Station or some expansion option. 

Second the old Alexander Lumber co., I try not to have visions at the taxpayer’s expense, but rather exercise reasonable executive authority as a TRUSTEE to authorize such developments that would occur in the village according to village code, needs and ordinances.   What we need is a parking and road plan before authorizing such development.  I would end S Adams Street such that it is no longer connecting to route 34, with perpendicular parking on both sides then have it turn west for a block parallel to 34 with similar parking on both sides.  Now we have a parcel which can support the needed parking for any expansion of the area.  Perhaps even consider requiring the lower level of any development on the site be all parking garage for said property especially considering it is in the 50 year flood plain.  Much longer term, here’s some vision, assuming the much talked about growth actually will occur, let the incoming developments fund a parking garage over former S Adams Street and the train tracks with entry from village parking currently above the tracks behind the old firehouse.

What is your long-term vision for Main Street?

Here we go again, my vision is not important in this manner.  As an advocate for individual liberty I would seek out opinions of all the current business and/or property owners, and serious new investors in downtown.  Keeping in mind, I am not giving them any handouts to create an unfair playing field against the existing businesses in Oswego.

How can Oswego maintain the hometown feel while at same time encouraging development?

Well I am not sure the Village Board can or should control the “hometown feel”, which I am sure means something different to each individual asked. We have a job to do and that is to run the functions and services of the village which the Taxpayers have funded from their long hours at the office, or sweat and labor on the job site and in the field.

How do you propose the village fund its long-term needs for infrastructure improvement?

Starting with letting interested investors and developers fully fund the roads and infrastructure required for their investments which reaps the profits that therefore they will have earned.  

The village “found” funds and the board approved them for the 2015 road maintenance program.

Trustee Volpe has pointed out at numerous meetings that the revenue streams have been increasing several years and he projects a continuing trend.  We currently have a $12 million dollar surplus and increasing revenue streams per the village’s FY 2015 budget.  

As Oswego grows in development and population, which will happen naturally if we allow it, so do tax revenues streams, and millions of dollars in transition fees.  

Perhaps a better question:  Is there room for a tax cut after further streamlining of village priorities and expenditures?  

How can the village better use natural resources like the Fox River for its economic and cultural benefit?

I am an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, and love to play and participate in outdoors activities, and especially involving natural waterways, plains and forest.   

The notion that Oswego is not already benefiting from the Fox River, perhaps ask the expanding Oswego Cyclery shop, is simply vexing.   I am not one for exploiting our natural waterway to make a few dollars for developers, other than in a manner which “Leaves No Trace” and support and allows for the responsible sporting activities. 

Perhaps those saying something needs to be done by the River front are unaware of the natural beauty of the river in its current form, and the many existing parks, pedestrian and bike paths, and bridges stretching from Oswego all the way to Aurora in the North. 

With my fellow Scouters I have launched canoes from the park at the end of mill road at Violet Patch park and stopped at Saw Wee Kee Park to the south heading all the way down and through the new white water rapids in Yorkville (a story for another day) and twice all the way down to Wedron near where the Fox empties into the Illinois River. 

As a Cycling Merit badge counselor for the Scouts I have led dozens of rides starting at Hudson Crossings Park where many prom groups (including my Daughters of some 25 plus couples) choose as there site for pre-prom pictures.   The trail leads up to Aurora passing over and under bridges of all sorts, the Montgomery Dam and water fall to the Gilman Trail and old railroad bridge, where one can cross to the Montgomery side, navigate back to the bike/pedestrian bridge under route 30 back to the Oswego side and through Oswego’s Violet Patch Park, where a new bridge connects the path Marina and Shore Drives.

What role should economic incentives play in attracting new desirable businesses to Oswego?

None, will always be my starting point.  Oswego is now a sought after location, currently #4 in housing starts, no incentives necessary.   Though a common past practice, we are in a different time and place today and have experienced both the benefits of some deals, and the detriments of others (Lowes, Dominick's).   We have increasing revenues because of the expiration of these past corporate favorite’s giveaway programs.  Perhaps a rare exception involving a specialized business or an employer might justify it, only with a contractual bond ROI to the taxpayers.

I am for natural growth of the community as determined by the individual Liberty and free will of its residents and interested newcomers and investors.   I am for growth tempered by thoughtful and critical analysis of any proposal.  No developer should directly or indirectly profit from the taxpayers footing the bill.  I am not against growth, I am merely a healthy skeptic of those running for office who believes it is their job to usher growth in at the taxpayers’ expense under the guise of “Economic Development”.   I do not believe it is the Oswego Village Board’s mission to move the community ”forward” while ushering in another era of crony capitalist growth.  

We need responsible and natural growth, managed and governed by the leadership of the Village Board, while keeping a fiscally sound ledger and following the accomplishments of these last 8 years of the Village Board under the leadership of Village President Brian LeClercq.  

How do you plan to work with fellow trustees to build consensus and arrive at decisions that benefit our entire community? If possible, please provide an example in your personal or professional life of building consensus in a group setting. 

There is a popular notion in the business community that “it’s vital to recognize that consensus is the enemy of collaboration”.  Morten Hansen’s book, Collaboration, stated: “The goal of collaboration is not collaboration itself, but great results.”  What then is the point of collaboration if the results of collaboration does not meet the objectives of the most vital and interested party in the village, the Taxpayer, whom I view as the Board’s Boss!  

Consensus often exists solely because people are inherently conflict-averse, that type of consensus likely would not achieve the best results in the interest of the taxpayers.   I do believe in healthy constructive and spirited debate and rather like to avoid the pitfalls of group think, which seems to be rampant in this election’s campaign themes. 

For the last 18 years I have been a Professional Consultant:  performing the tasks of Project Manager, Work Process Re-engineering, and Software Implementation.  Without the ability to reach consensus, I would not have been successful in my line of work.  I negotiate my own contracts and I am hired to execute to the terms of contracts typically involving the client’s employees the contractor’s resources and several 3rd parties, all working together as a team to bring a complex re-engineering of work process, new technologies and software on a set schedule and budget.    It can be both exciting and unnerving at the same time.   The amount of experience one gains by working with people from nearly every country over the years on a daily basis, traveling to their sites to work with them and besides them is invaluable.  

I have been most fortunate to experience opportunities with up-close and in-depth tours of businesses and factories in very diverse industries in Illinois, across the United States and internationally to learn how products are grown, manufactured, recycled, invented, managed, sold and transported from inception to end of life cycle.  It is important meeting and learning from the host of people working together to make it all happen.

In a typical project, not that one exists, It is of paramount importance to visit the front line workers and supervisors, listen to them, and understand their needs and requirements, as well as learn the conditions and circumstances of their work environment.  At the same time, listen and respond to the executives, directors, and office professionals of all sorts.  

Finally it is my role, to plan, execute and lead the client’s personnel and related resources to a successful implementation, which in the business we call a “Go-Live”.    I have done this continuously and repeatedly over the last 18 years. 


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