Candidate profile: Brian Wells

Brian Wells
Brian Wells

Name: Brian L. Wells

Age: 56

Immediate family members: Wife Jaynie, two adult children and one grandson.

Town: Swansea

Office seeking: Trustee on Village Board

Occupation: Retired U.S. Air Force

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Current Swansea trustee. First elected April 2009 and again April 2013.

Why are you running? I'm running to ensure Swansea remains a nice, affordable place to live. Swansea is our home, for the long haul.

What is the most important issue facing the village of Swansea? How would you approach it? The most important issues facing Swansea are spending within our means, and filling empty businesses. See my answer (below) for my approach.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Ensure Swansea assets are used wisely, to promote the betterment of Swansea, and encourage public involvement in our government. This requires research, and the backbone to say no sometimes.

How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? By voting against unnecessary spending, promoting business in Swansea, and working to bring in additional businesses. I have repeatedly proposed the board inventory Swansea businesses, map out empty locations, catalog descriptions, and post them on the Swansea website. Swansea should also identify businesses which fit these empty spaces, and contact potential businesses to come to Swansea. I believe we have been overspending TIF money on Swansea government vs Swansea businesses and improvements to Swansea.

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? I believe Illinois taxpayers are stretched to the limit. I am not opposed to paying taxes, but we need to be smart, and look for ways to use our taxes wisely. I am concerned the county and the schools have not looked for ways to save, only ways to spend. As a Swansea trustee, I have not publicly promoted nor opposed these decisions.

Why should people vote for you? I have proven my public service. I lead the fight eliminating pensions for Swansea elected officials. I have never filed a expense voucher in Swansea. I pay my own way whether it’s to Chicago, or local meetings and training, a savings to the taxpayers of $7,000. I continue to attend training designed to assist elected officials: Disaster preparedness, ethics, aging issues, Complete Streets, Open Meeting, Freedom of Information, grant opportunities, new laws and environmental. I took the lead in updating our code book, working with all departments to update our laws. I saved the firemen’s traditional meat shoots at Swansea Improvement Hall. I suggested eliminating our engineers from attending every meeting, saving thousands of dollars. I support funding police and fire pensions avoiding the pit-fall in underfunded pensions. I supported Melvin Price Park expansion eliminating the need for a sewer lift station, saving money. I took lead to allow residents up to four chickens (hens) with safeguards for cleanliness. HOAs have option to ban. I’m present and prepared, missed one meeting night in eight years.