Election 2013: Tony Arredia for Des Plaines Mayor
Anthony “Tony” Arredia is running against Third Ward Alderman Matt Bogusz and Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Walsten for mayor of Des Plaines.
The following information was provided by Tony Arredia. 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.
Anthony (Tony) Arredia
Mayor 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.
A very young 75.
Family Include as much info as you like (names, ages, number of children, etc.):
Wife = Ida Jean --- Sons Joseph – Charles – James (4 grandchildren).
Education Include degree(s) and school(s):
Completed University of Chicago's Advanced Management Courses.
Retired --- currently the Director of Government Relations – Maryville Academy.
Official name of your campaign committee (if you have one):
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices:
Des Plaines Alderman (6yrs) --- Appointed Mayor (2yrs) --- Elected Mayor (8yrs) --- Chairman NWMC flood committee - Chairman NWMC legislative committee – Vice President of the NWMC GOG - President of the NWMC GOG.
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
Vice President (Operations) – Continental Bank of Chicago – Director Asbury Court Retirement Community -- Director of Government Relations – Maryville Academy.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Maintain the current business community while bringing in businesses to fill vacant property and store fronts.
Continue the storm water (flooding) plan that I started with the construction of the $15.000.000.00 Levee #50 project (all but $400.000.00 was funded by state/federal grants).
Initiate phase #2 of the Des Plaines Storm Water Project.
Initiate phase #2 of Casino Build out (restaurants – shops – etc) --- while studying the possibility of returning a portion of casino revenue to the residents in the way of reduced service fees and/or taxes.
What are the most important issues facing Des Plaines and what would you do as mayor to address them?
Aside from maintaining a strong revenue base (general fund and reserve accounts) and Re-stocking the business community by filling open store fronts … I will reduce flooding (always been a resident concern) – during my tenure I completed (as promised prior to my election) the Levee #50 storm water project that had been delayed by the Army Corp – Illinois Department of Natural Resources and FEMA for a period of 25 years. This $15.000.000.00 project was funded via state and federal grants (DP payed $400.000.00) …. It is important that Big Bend Lake and west of the river residents get flood relief. I will continue what was a successful plan to reduce flooding in Des Plaines.
How do you believe gaming tax revenue collected by Des Plaines should be spent? What should it be spent on?
I believe that we should continue the casino revenue plan that was initiated when I was in office …. tax revenue should be directed toward infrastructure – reducing the city's debt and addressing areas identified as prone to flooding.
There was also a plan to reduce resident service fees as well as addressing property taxes at some future date …. I still believe that this plan will service the best interest of the city.
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?
The best lobbyists are the mayor and the local state and federal legislators --- I will work just as hard to maintain what was promised to be the 10th and final license as I did when I got the 10th casino license.
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?
Paying off the debt is always a strong consideration --- however I would need to become familiar with what would be the best avenue for the city.
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?
When I left office Metro Square was 80% full --- I also brought over 80 business --- three successful strip malls while addressing the developer's request for more foot traffic via 11 condo developments …. and four of the largest air courier companies to Des Plaines.
My administration was able to accomplish this because of commitment and hard work. We will need to re-establish contacts and reputation with developers and business corporations while making our presence known in the small business community. We must make ourselves visible at business conventions while working closely with the current business community in an effort to keep them within our boundaries.
I had success during a similar economic slow down period being experienced today and I will accomplish it again.
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?
Again, I am not familiar with every facet of the problem – what I do know is that the only way to properly address any problem is to face it head on – if elected I will direct attention to resolving this issue asap.
Why would you do a better job representing Des Plaines than your opponent?
I have at least twice the business experience of any of my opponents -- served as alderman (6 yrs) --- appointed mayor (2 yrs) -- elected mayor (8 yrs) – chairman of the Northwest Municipal Conference's flooding committee (6 yrs) --- chairman of the NWMC legislative committee (3yrs) --- VP/Pres of the NWMC (2yrs). As an alderman and mayor I was known to be available – assessable and approachable to the residents …. local businesses and the Des Plaines Chamber to mention a few. During my previous term I was also known for my work ethics and work schedule (40 to 60 hours per week). Both of my opponents have full time jobs.