2017 Oswego Candidate Questionnaire: Pam Parr, Oswego Village Board
Mar 19, 2017 03:18PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Name: Pam Parr
Employment: Self-employed - Management Consultant
Family: 2 fat male cats
Education: Attended the University of Iowa
Previously elected office: Kendall County Board member– 2002 to 2010, Oswego Village Board 2013-present
Relevant community service: Past Board member and secretary Conservation Foundation, Past President of the Oswego Optimist Club and Kendal County Forest Foundation
What makes you qualified to serve on the Oswego Village Board?
Long time Oswego business owner (Founder Fox Valley Trophy) and 12 years in local government as an elected official. I have a brain and I’m not afraid to use it.
What do you believe is the role of a Village Board Trustee?
To attend meetings, do my homework and partake in policy discussions, making decisions in the best interest of all residents.
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?
Oswego’s vacancy rate is very low (less than 5%). That said Oswego continues to take the lead in filling the empty Dominick’s space here as well as regionally. The old Lowes space is now 2/3 filled with great prospects for the final third. The Bed, Bath & Beyond space is in a thriving center and should not be long vacant.
As the redevelopment of Downtown Oswego begins to take shape, what specific infrastructure improvements should the village undertake to facilitate even more redevelopment?
The board approval of a TIF district last October was a game changer. Fact: Creating a TIF district cost: $0, yet we expect the gains from this district to exceed $30 million. Specific infrastructure improvements will be negotiated on a case by case basis. A parking garage is a great example of a public improvement that I would support in our 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?
We continue to be an active partner in helping to ease some of the district’s financial woes. Key to this, from the Village standpoint, is generating residential growth and economic development—that is our focus and responsibility.
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 has been running lean and mean since 2008. The only thing to trim without affecting services is the elimination of our special events, this would not be my first choice. More important is our responsibility to look for alternate sources of revenue which do not affect property taxes.