Candidate profile: Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell

Name: Thomas Mitchell

Age: 49

Family: His wife, Debbie, and three kids Carol Ann, Chris and Catie.

Town: O’Fallon

Office Seeking: O’Fallon Alderman Ward 7

Occupation: Director of Human Resources with a small government contractor headquartered in O’Fallon.

Previous Offices: None

Why I am running: While it may sound a bit cliché…I genuinely feel a personal responsibility for the people and the community for which we live.

What is the most important issues facing the city of O’Fallon? How would you approach it? Sustaining momentum. O’Fallon’s growth has been successful in many ways. We have experienced new opportunities like expansion of our Sports Park and Destination O’Fallon (still in planning stages), have seen new businesses open, while others revamp and update, witnessed increased city services, all while we continue to be the no. 1 choice to live in the metro-east. Sustaining momentum with a focus on long-term financial and infrastructure needs is vitally important to us now.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Wanted residents who are: 1.) Willing to serve their community and neighbors; 2.) Involved in organizations and events within O’Fallon and surrounding communities; 3.) Informed at the local level, as well as, knowledgeable of state and federal laws; 4.) Plans for success to ensure O’Fallon remains the preeminent choice to live in southwest Illinois.

How would you keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? The no. 1 issue of residents I’ve spoken with have voiced a concern over property taxes. Most realize the bulk is paid to our local schools, therefore focusing on a more collaborative environment with our local school districts is essential. State laws are restrictive on what can be done, but looking for ways to support them and minimally holding the line to home owners is critical. Further, reviewing other non-government functions, like trash pick-up, will be up for review.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. Do you support either or both? Why or why not? These are two valuable referendums up for voter decision. Both support very worthwhile causes, of which I’ve had personal involvement as a former substitute teacher (District 90) and an O’Fallon volunteer firefighter. I generally shy away from increase in any taxes, yet see the need the additional funds will help pay. With over two weeks to go to election day…I’m still reviewing their impact to our city and have yet to decide on either referendum.

Why should people vote for me? Going back to the job description question…1.) I am willing to serve the residents of O’Fallon to the best of my ability; 2.) I am regularly involved in organizations and events including the Chamber of Commerce, O’Fallon Township High School, public forums, and my church locally, as well, public affairs events throughout the larger St. Louis region; 3.) I stay informed at the local level with weekly and have nearly daily interaction with our elected officials, business leaders and community stakeholders; I continue my public administration education through on-line events; 4.) I’m not willing to halt the progress this town and the people before me have made over the last decade plus. While governance decisions are not easy and frequently not popular, I recognize there’s a reason 95 percent of our residents recently reported they are happy with city services, find O’Fallon a great place to live and an excellent choice to raise a family. Turning back progress is not a plan for success…it’s a plan towards O’Fallon’s demise.