Name: Daniel P. Guest
Immediate family members: Wife, Jessica A. Guest; children, Malcolm, Danielle, Emma, Natalie, Elizabeth, Annemarie, Erica and Scott.
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Office seeking: Trustee
Occupation: District direct sales manager for Spectrum
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None
Why are you running? I am running for village trustee of Swansea because I want to enhance the lives of the citizens of Swansea. I have listened to some of the issues and concerns of many in our community throughout this process of running, and I believe I have the skill, passion and dedication to provide effective leadership for our community. Many of my mentors, friends, wife and family have always encouraged me to take my common-sense approach and philosophy to high places. As a Swansea trustee, this is the high place in which I now dream, and I know I can truly make a difference in the lives of many. I am not a perfect soul but I have incredible integrity, a strong unwavering faith and a strong desire to serve my community. I believe I can make a more positive impact if you give me the honor to serve as your trustee.
What is the most important issue facing the village of Swansea? How would you approach it? The most important issues facing our community revolve around improving the educational performance of our students and schools, providing more resources for our police officers using the community policing model, improving the upkeep of rental properties, a re-evaluation of our trash collection services and enhancing our public parks.
If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? If I were to write a job description for this job, I would begin with saying this job requires impeccable integrity and a desire to make a difference. Additionally, I would say the job requires a passion to serve and a proven track record of acting in the interest of those you lead or represent. I would advertise this is not a career appointment but a vote of and by the people of whom you represent.
How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? If elected, I will review with the administrator all current contracts, expenditures and any potential new business with a careful eye on providing value and cost savings for my constituents. My experiences in the private sector as being a hawk on expenses and finding ways to save money gives me the necessary experience to question, challenge and build bridges for the benefit of our community.
In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? Although I agree in the need for funding for public safety, school infrastructure, jail modernization and child advocacy, I believe other items contained in the proposals are not necessary, for example the $500,000 needed for a countywide shooting range for police officers. Is this really necessary? There are several reasons why I cannot support these increases. First, I believe the county needs to re-evaluate the expenditures for Mid America Airport. (The ginormous elephant in the room.) Secondly, I believe there needs to be a complete reset of budgeting and expenditures in the county of St. Clair. A business approach to cutting costs through consolidation, elimination of programs that are ineffective and true accountability of various departmental budgets is needed. Finally, we can’t continue to keep raising taxes and not be stewards of the revenues that are already collected. Where is the ceiling? There is more than enough money collected in property taxes, sales taxes and other fees in this county, however our leaders lack the political courage to put the brakes on. Many of the funding goals listed on both of these tax initiatives are needed but we have to find the money in our current budget.
Why should people vote for you? I Believe people should vote for me because of my passion for people, our community, our first responders and the tireless efforts of our citizens to make this a better place to live. I believe that in our diverse community we need a champion for the needs of the community, who will respect the public’s money and be trustworthy that the needs of the community are always the most important.