Job: Church administrator/food pantry director
Education: Collinsville High School
Previous offices: Councilman, city of Collinsville
Qualifications: I am an active and engaged councilman. In eight years I have missed only one council meeting. Collinsville is my hometown, and I want it to be prosperous, safe, and the preferred place to live and work. In this difficult economy I work for reduced spending, greater efficiency in operations and keeping taxes low. In the last five budget years Collinsville's property tax levy has not increased one dollar, and we are in the lower third of several taxes and fees compared to other communities in the metro-east. I want to ensure we operate as cost effectively as possible. I have a strong business background, am administrator of Alpha & Omega Christian Fellowship, and serve as director of our State Park Food Pantry, which serves residents of State Park and Fairmont City. From 1997 to 2011 I was an independent contractor at Scott Air Force Base, presented workshops and did resume consultation to help military members transition into civilian careers. I was vice president and member of the management team that founded Shop 'n Save. I'm also on the Advisory Board of Collinsville Faith in Action.
Top issues: I'll continue to ensure Collinsville stays financially sound through whatever economic challenges come, to keep taxes and fees low and service levels high. Our focus must be on the basics: infrastructure improvements, streets, water and sewer systems, public safety, police and fire protection, neighborhoods, and using technology to improve services and reduce expenses. I support effective, common sense approaches to attract and retain businesses and promote economic development to bring in jobs from entry level to highly skilled technical and professional positions. I want to see all existing business areas of the city have opportunity to prosper. We have a great location and must make the most of it. The recession has hit all of us hard, and I'll keep working to reduce spending. We've increased transparency of City government and that must continue. We must be responsive to residents' concerns and be true public servants. I'll keep doing everything I can to make Collinsville a preferred place to live and work, and to do it with integrity and common sense.
Collinsville councilman candidates Jeff Kypta and Jesse Hoskin did not respond.
Collinsvile Councilman (2-year term)
Job: IT manager
Education: BS Mass Communications, MBA
Previous offices: Precinct committeeman
Qualifications: Having lived in Collinsville the majority of my life, I am qualified to be a Collinsville Councilman because I have experience in local government, having served as a Madison County Election Judge, and a Collinsville Precinct Committeeman. I also have an understanding of municipal government and the way it is supposed to work from political science, and having been a reporter for the Herald Journal covering local City Council meetings. In addition to my formal education (Baccalaureate in Mass Communications and Masters Degree in Business Administration) I have been fortunate to work for outstanding companies that have provided me with team building, negotiating, problem solving, and ethics training. These experiences and my career in Information and Technology Management will help me be a good citizen's representative on the Collinsville City Council addressing tax, deficit, and infrastructure problems.
Top issues: The top issues in the race are finding ways to provide municipal services for citizens without raising real estate and sales taxes, and to provide economic growth and sustainability for the city. I believe this can be done by running the city like an efficient business, by cutting operating costs and eliminating unnecessary discretionary spending, and controlling variable costs.
Collinsvile Councilman (2-year term)
Job: Office manager
Education: Some College
Previous offices: None
Qualifications: I have some college education but it is my 34 years of working in multiple industries, in various service and administrative roles, which have taught me how to analyze a problem to find the most beneficial solution, improve operational efficiency, and recognize the pitfalls that threaten to weaken an organization. A difficult marriage left me a single mother with a full-time job. This role taught me many lessons about how to endure hard times and make wise decisions so the family's situation could improve. I handled everything from dinner, to homework, to finances. Over time I managed to work our way out of poverty to owning my own home and helping my daughters pay for college. Serving at church in several different leadership roles has taught me a lot about community and working for the benefit of others. All of these skills are as important in government as they are in these other areas of life.
Top issues: In our current economy taxes are at the top of my list. The new council must continue the current council's efforts to avoid property tax increases and look for ways to reduce the general tax burden on our citizens. Every citizen is directly impacted by the city's infrastructure and the various departments that provide services. Because this is true, a commitment to the development of a policy of continuous improvement should be a focus in this election. Responsible growth is another important issue. We must view growth opportunities with a hand firmly gripping a vision of debt reduction. Reducing and hopefully eventually eliminating city debt will bring stability to our community in a way nothing else can.
Collinsvile councilman (2-year term) candidate Robert Graham did not respond.