Election 2013: Mark Walsten for Des Plaines Mayor
Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Walsten is running against Tony Arredia and Third Ward Alderman Matt Bogusz and for mayor of Des Plaines.
The following information was provided by Mark Walsten. Patch provides a platform for candidates to share their messages, and does not give endorsements. To share your message with readers for free, add it to the Local Voices section on Des Plaines Patch.
Mayor of City of Des Plaines
Campaign contact information. Please include any or all of the following: website, email address, phone number, Facebook page, Twitter account, mailing address, etc.
Facebook: Walsten for Mayor
Mailing address: 2303 Magnolia St., Des Plaines, IL 60018
Family Include as much info as you like (names, ages, number of children, etc.):
Dontina, 21, U of IL. Annaliese, 19, U of IA.
Education Include degree(s) and school(s):
Edu. U of IA., Communication
Self-employed, Accurate Home Inspections NW Corp.
Official name of your campaign committee (if you have one):
Citizens for Mark Walsten
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices:
Alderman 6th Ward Des Plaines (two terms, second won 87% of the vote).
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
Self-employed, better understanding of the business community. Alderman, two terms, community involved, member of Neighborhood Watch Block Captain, Des Plaines Elks Lodge, Des Plaines Historical Society, Des Plaines Art Council, Church Property Board, Des Plaines Special Events Commission.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Reduce debt; continue flooding controls, increase anti-gang efforts, support possible historical designation of downtown, feasibility study of O’Hare Lakes billion dollar development that may bring in $30 million in tax revenue to City of Des Plaines.
What are the most important issues facing Des Plaines and what would you do as mayor to address them?
Same as above.
How do you believe gaming tax revenue collected by Des Plaines should be spent? What should it be spent on?
I believe gaming revenue should be spent to remove debt.
There have been a number of proposals to expand gaming in Illinois. If elected, what would you do to protect Des Plaines’ interests with respect to gaming?
Under my administration, I would continue to fight any legislation to expand gaming through lobbyists and legislators.
The city has $58.3 million in debt in the capital improvements fund, the tax increment financing funds and the water and sewer fund. Approximately $4.4 million in the capital improvements fund will become callable in 2013. If elected, would you support refinancing this debt or paying it off immediately, and why?
I would be in favor of paying off the 4.4 million debts immediately to avoid interest charges.
Downtown Des Plaines has a low occupancy rate in the retail spaces in the Metropolitan Square development. If you are elected mayor, what would you do to address this?
I would meet with the owner of the development and mutually develop a plan that would reduce lease charges to bring back tenants to Metropolitan Square.
The Des Plaines Police Department is involved with a number of lawsuits, including, most recently, accusations that a former commander falsified records. If elected mayor, what would you do to address the litigation? What would you do to gain the public’s trust in the Des Plaines Police Department?
As Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, I am not at liberty to discuss the ongoing police investigation.
However, I believe Police Chief Kushner is doing an excellent job to regain the public’s trust of the Des Plaines Police Department.
Why would you do a better job representing Des Plaines than your opponent?
I believe I would represent Des Plaines better than my opponents because of my commitment to the community and its residents.
Being an Independent, I am financially conservative by offering a 0% tax levy increase in Des Plaines for three years in a row. We have also reduced our city debt by $20 million while increasing our fund balance from 2% to 18% in case of more natural disasters.
By also being an Independent, I am open minded to progressive thinking, such as the feasibility of the city backing the billion dollar O’Hare Lakes development project, historical designation district for downtown Des Plaines, supporting electrical ‘smart grid’ to eliminate power outages.
I will lead Des Plaines to a stronger financial position while improving economic strength and public safety.