Oswego Election 2015: Ryan Kauffman, Candidate for Village Trustee
Mar 17, 2015 09:23AM ● Published by Steven Jack
Name: Ryan CT Kauffman
Employment: Accounting Team Leader for the Northern Trust Bank.
Family: Kristin (wife 32) and Dylan (3 month old son)
Education: B.A. in Finance and Economics, North Central College ‘04. M.B.A with specialization in Finance from North Central College ‘08
Previously elected office: This will be my first.
Relevant community service: Current Police Commissioner for Oswego
What makes you qualified to be a Village trustee?
I bring business acumen and a managerial mindset to the table. I have never held office before so I have fresh ideas and a new perspective that I believe will energize the Board.
What do you believe is the role of a Village trustee?
A Trustee serves as a leader for the community, and as guardians of the public trust. A Trustee must be the eyes and ears for the residents to prevent government encroachment and overreach.
What should be the No. 1 priority for the next Village Board?
To demonstrate that we are business friendly so we can grow the Oswego economy. Helping to create an environment where small businesses are able to prosper is on the top of my list.
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?
I envision it developed as a commercial site. I can imagine boutique shops, restaurant or a bookstore. Ultimately, it’s not the Board’s decision as to what goes in there, it is up to the free market to decide that.
What is your long-term vision for Main Street?
I support the Comprehensive Plan for Oswego. I see a Main Street that honors the past while looking forward to the future.
How can Oswego maintain the hometown feel while at same time encouraging development?
By maintaining the best traditions of Oswego (for instance, the Christmas Walk, the Tree Lighting, The Bunny Hop, etc) and encouraging residents to shop at local businesses. Simultaneously, it is essential that the Board adopts a more business friendly approach to encourage businesses to locate in our wonderful community.
How do you propose the village fund its long-term needs for infrastructure improvement?
State grants, Federal grants and increased revenue from business growth.
How can the village better use natural resources like the Fox River for its economic and cultural benefit?
I support the Comprehensive Plan for Oswego that calls for a nature walk through the islands in the river and eagle’s nest to encourage the return of the eagles to our part of the river. I’m very strong on Conservation of natural resources and Oswego does a wonderful job of that.
What role should economic incentives play in attracting new desirable businesses to Oswego?
I’m a businessman, and I recognize that all of life is competition. Towns, no less than individuals, compete with each other. I’m for whatever makes Oswego the strongest competitor around. We cannot afford to lose another Sam’s Club. Sam’s brings in an enormous amount of revenue for Montgomery, and it should have been here.
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.
By listening (and hearing!) what my fellow Trustees are saying. A good listener incorporates other viewpoints and intermingles them with their own to arrive at consensus. For instance, I manage a team of 12 accountants. In my day to day experience, interpersonal strife sometimes arises between team members. It is my job as a manager to mediate and resolve those conflicts. Sometimes, disagreements between myself and my teammates arise. At those times, I do my best to articulate my point of view as clearly and succinctly as possible and then listen to what the other person is saying. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong, but the method used to determine who is right or wrong always must be communication.