Name: James ‘Jim’ Vernier, II
Immediate family members: His wife, Ellen and daughters, Andrea, 21, and Amanda, 17.
Town: Village of Shiloh
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Office seeking: Mayor
Occupation: Phillips Company director of operations and safety
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Shiloh mayor, fourth term (16 years); and village trustee, four terms (16 years)
Why are you running? Shiloh is a growing, thriving community which I have been involved in my entire life through active volunteerism and by having the confidence of the residents who elected me to represent them. As the Mayor, I have been working on several new soon to be announced projects and would like to see them through to completion. The recently announced Veteran’s Clinic is one example of the work I am involved in. This four-doctor clinic to be built in Shiloh will provide better health care for our Veteran’s. I would also like to continue the work initiated as it relates to retail development, road improvements, open space and park improvements, financial stability, and furthering the partnership Shiloh has with Scott Air Force Base.
What is the most important issue facing the Village of Shiloh? How would you approach it? Infrastructure improvements to keep pace with development. On our local Village roads, I want to continue road improvements to Shiloh Station Road, Seibert Road and in our residential areas. I am currently working to make the extension of Frank Scott Parkway a reality. As Mayor, I am participating with St. Clair County in any way I can to speed the planned improvements to Green Mount Road and Frank Scott Parkway.
If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? The Mayor represents both the government and community. He works with staff and Village officials to ensure that police, public works & administration have the funds to provide vital services, as well as make infrastructure improvements to roads, sewer, etc. The Mayor works to facilitate business growth to help build the Village’s tax base and create jobs.
How would you keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? I would continue to seek different avenues for financial stability with the emphasis on doing more with less. Audits currently show a sound financial base. As a result, no property tax is levied for general operating expenses. A just completed Special Census is expected to increase the per capita rate. Also, will continue to seek grant money - have received over $1,000,000.00 in federal and state grant money for projects. We currently keep cost down by bidding projects, intergovernmental agreements for joint purchasing, use of technology and contracting for services.
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 encourage our residents to become familiar with the two referendums and decide on their own.
Why should people vote for you? Because I have effectively managed the growth in one of the fastest growing communities in St. Clair County while keeping our Village financially secure and taxes down.