Candidate profile: Rob Watt

Name: Rob Watt

Age: 46

Immediate family members: Wife: Montica Casey-Watt; Daughter: Myranda Watt; Daughter: Carissa Watt; Daughter: Emily Watt; Grandson: Ryder Jase Agney

Town: Caseyville

Office seeking: Village Trustee

Occupation: IT Specialist and Manager

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Caseyville Village Clerk – 2013-2017

hy are you running? We need strong, capable leaders that will use strategic thinking and implement new policies and programs which will benefit all those that reside and work in Caseyville now and in the future. That can only be done by consensus and working together for the greater good of our community. It is time to move away from past practices and policies that have stymied our growth and slowed our improvements to infrastructure as compared to other communities. We need to give our residents a voice. I would like the opportunity to be that voice.

What is the most important issue facing the Village of Caseyville? How would you approach it? Fiscal responsibility — where spending growth threatens to overtake the ability of our residents to support this spending due to neglecting economic realities that accurately reflect Caseyville. I want to offer a better solution to the Village’s fiscal problems by introducing sound financial alternatives used in prosperous communities in our area.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? A Village Trustee is a public servant that is elected by the residents. Oversees the development and preparation of a budget and adheres to it. Responsible for ensuring proper maintenance, sustainment and replacement of buildings, vehicles and other properties in the Village. Responsible for reduce spending, economic development and public safety. Responsible for the health and welfare for all employees. Utilize strategic planning initiatives to improve services and infrastructure in the Village. Pass and enforce Village Code, address concerns raised by residents, make difficult decisions that impact the residents, businesses and property owners within the Village. Establishes, develops and maintains effective working relationships with neighboring communities, local businesses and local organizations. Goodwill Ambassador that fosters hope and prosperity in the community.

How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? I would look into implementing energy-efficient programs, look into multi-year budgets that requires a more efficient assessment of future revenues and expenses and assists in deterring untenable spending increases, implementing a rainy day fund that enables the Village to have a fiscal buffer in case of an unforeseen emergency expense and various other cost-savings initiatives.

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? Referendums like these are a double-edged sword. You have to be careful on which side you take because if you are for it, you will be vilified for raising taxes, if not you are vilified for not caring about the children or public safety. No one wants to be taxed because they believe they are taxed more than enough via property taxes and various other taxes. On the flip side, public safety is a hot issue and is in need of help as are the school facilities that some voter’s children go to. I would ask voters to look over both and see how each will benefit them and their communities. How much will their community receive in public safety funds for their Police and Fire Departments and will their school benefit in getting needed repairs. That is the question each should ask themselves because all of us think differently and will vote differently. No one should use my support for or against these referendums as their determining factor on how to vote.

Why should people vote for you? I believe Caseyville should be about community. I also believe that leadership is about people void of political meandering. I value community service and look forward to a shot at addressing the issues that face Caseyville and its residents. I take the obligation of being a devoted public servant seriously. I will employ common sense principles in all of my decision-making, and I will work vigorously and cooperatively with my fellow Village Trustees to find commonalities that serve the best interests of Caseyville and ALL its residents.