2017 Oswego Candidate Questionnaire: Luis Perez, Oswego Village Board
Mar 19, 2017 03:10PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Name: Luis Perez
Employment: National New Business Manager for Ace Hardware Corporation
Family: Wife Kathy / two daughters Annika (junior at OHS and Angela 8th grader at Plank)
Education: BA university of St. Francis (journalism & marketing)
Previously elected office: Incumbent Oswego Village Trustee
Relevant community service: Proud to be your incumbent Oswego Village Trustee since October 2015.I have also served and volunteered for Oswego school district 308 since 2005:
- 2005 – 2015 President of the Bi-lingual Parent Advisory Committee or BPAC
- I served on the district’s Growth Facilities and Enrollment committee in 2008
- I served in various other committees including the Teaching and Learning Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, the Oswego Parent Advisory Committee and the district’s diversity committee.
What makes you qualified to serve on the Oswego Village Board?
My record of “winning” for Oswego I believe qualifies me to continue as your village trustee:
1. Keeping your property tax rate flat
2. Revitalizing downtown / you are going to love what is coming!
3. Proper planning for future infrastructure needs
4. Preserving our quality of life “Oswego First”!
Appointed by the Village President in 2015, I was brought in specifically to lead on growth and fiscal governance. My professional qualifications in finance and development differentiates me from the pack.
What do you believe is the role of a Village Board Trustee?
Job #1 for Luis Perez as Oswego village board trustee is to serve and work for the citizens of Oswego. You should trust and believe that I will do my very best to:
- Lead over and manage our revenues and expenses
- Maintain and manage our balanced budget
- Protect local government distributive funds
- Distribute local revenues (motor fuel tax, video gaming) to Oswego.
- Lead, identify and properly budget for long term expenses (Wolf’s Crossing / Water)
- Provide Oswego the leadership to continue and manage our growth while remaining fiscally balanced.
- Making sure Oswego wins big on behalf of its downtown development!
- Address vacant destination retail vacancies (anti dark legislation).
- Support Metra service to Kendall County
Oswego continues to have large-scale retail vacancies in the Route 34 corridor. What can and should the village be doing to help fill those vacancies?
The village leadership team on behalf of economic development is laser focused on hunting and prospecting to fill our vacancies. Oswego enjoys some of the strongest demographics in Illinois as it relates to average household income, employment and average home value. This is desirable to many business’ including franchises, corporate owned and family run business’. We actively promote Oswego to the franchise and real estate industry on a consistent basis throughout the year.
We have encountered challenges with some big box leases. The way some leases are manipulated to keep certain competitors out of the market. I will investigate the possibility of enacting “anti-dark” legislation prohibiting big box locations from going dark due to anti-retail tactics built into the lease. Oswego citizens should and will be protected from these anti-retail maneuvers.
As the redevelopment of Downtown Oswego begins to take shape, what specific infrastructure improvements should the village undertake to facilitate even more redevelopment?
A major redevelopment milestone has been met with the creation of the downtown tax increment financing or TIF for Oswego. Downtown Oswego has seen declining property values in three of the last five years. TIF is the right tool to allow rehabilitation, redevelopment, and reinvestment that could not otherwise occur in the private sector alone.
TIF does not increase taxes nor does it take property taxes from other governments.
Downtown property values have declined 22% from 2009 to 2014 / 65% of the structures in the TIF are over 35 years old, which can make rehabilitation cost prohibitive / 46% of the properties within the TIF are deteriorating / TIF can be used to improve pedestrian connectivity and crossings throughout the Downtown.
TIF is intended to fund public infrastructure improvements
- Areas of the downtown that are not serviced by utilities (water mains and sanitary sewers)
- Funding for public parking facilities
- Traffic signal improvements
- Floodplain mitigation
Alexander Lumber has stayed vacant without TIF assistance. The TIF will bring new independent restaurants, businesses, and residents to the Downtown.
As District 308 faces a massive budget deficit in the next five years, what do you see as the village’s responsibility in helping to lessen the impact of these deficits on all residents?
The village of Oswego should be a negotiating partner with the school district as it continues its battles against the state of Illinois for funding. Our intergovernmental relationship is strong and must be in lock step as we both face funding challenges everyday with the state of Illinois.
Oswego will continue to grow in population and we will not do this in a vacuum. Part of our negotiation on behalf of the school district will be to hold developers accountable to the needs of the school district as they develop their homes here in Oswego (land / schools).
The village will continue to look for ways to grow without stressing out the infrastructure of the school district. One great example of this is the interest in senior assisted living in Oswego. This growth adds tax revenue assistance to the district with 0 student additions which is a win / win for our school district.
Future tax revenue growth: The village will be a partner to our school district by properly planning for future tax revenue growth. The downtown redevelopment is an outstanding example of this. Our school district will win big in the future thanks to the downtown redevelopment.
As the village prepares to cope with even fewer
dollars from the state, are there areas in the village budget that you feel
could be trimmed? If so, what specifically?
The village of Oswego enjoys a balanced revenue and expense budget but naturally I will be vigilant to conditions at the state level that would put us at risk. My review and audit from an expense standpoint would focus on labor, non-essential services and our internal departmental operational budgets.