Candidate profile: Herb Roach

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

Name: Herbert Roach

Age: 70

Family: His wife, Nancy; his son, Todd Roach; and, daughters, Lea McVey and Kathryn Wondolowski.

Town: O’Fallon

Office Seeking: O’Fallon mayor

Occupation: Retired senior executive.

Previous Offices: Eight years on the O’Fallon Community Consolidated Board of Education; and, six years (currently) as O’Fallon Ward 4 alderman

Why I am running: . I’m running to put my 40+ years of executive management experience to work for the people of O’Fallon. We will put professional management practices in place that will allow us to develop a Smart Growth Plan that will continue the growth of our economy in a manner that will not only help diversify our economy but will eliminate the need for blanket Tax Increment Finanace (TIFs), that will bring fiscal responsibility that will stop the tax and spend programs of the Graham/ Goodwin administration that has consistently raised property taxes, created new taxes, fees and grown the city debt from under $11 million to $67 million or 500 percent and to truly open up communications with the citizens of O’Fallon.

What is the most important issues facing the city of O’Fallon? How would you approach it?We must use modern business practices that will make us more fiscally responsible with how we spend our tax dollars so that we can continue the quality of life that O’Fallon has been known for by stopping the stream of increases in taxes and fees and the growth of our debt by 500 percent that we have seen under the Graham/Goodwin administration.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? The mayor is the governmental leader of O’Fallon. The mayor gives leadership in the growth and development of the city and makes sure that all operations of the city are being properly organized, trained and administered. The mayor works closely with the city council to establish goals, budgets policies and changes to city ordinances. The mayor conducts the city council meetings and is also the city’s representative with various organizations, with county, state and federal agencies. The mayor also can be the representative for the city in contract negotiations, in interactions with new businesses, with visitors, give formal and informal talks and participate in public events. The mayor should be available to talk with employees, suppliers, citizens and businesses. The mayor should encourage open communications with everyone.

How would you keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? We will roll back the last property tax increase and hold the line on any future tax or fee increases. We will do this by: 1.) Using smart growth methods that will benefit our citizens and enhance our city’s long term development and growth; 2.) Freeze water rates for one year while we review future needs to maintain the quality of service our citizens and businesses should receive and needs for growth. Use additional reserves to pay down debt; 3.) Stop the use of blanket TIFs that put more tax burden on residents and businesses and takes funding from our schools; 4.) Install modern procedures and purchasing policies. Require multiple bids on purchases over $10,000, and get appraisals on property being purchased. We can’t afford to continue the following practices of the Graham/Goodwin administration like purchase $2 million in property without an appraisal; or, give multi-million dollar contracts with only one bid; or, buy $200,000 of A/C with only one bid, and not allow local contractors to bid; or, buy $500,000 in software with only one quote; or, buy $100,000 in street signs without a bid; or, fail to collect $5 million in taxes; or, find out items were under-insured by $200,000 in a fire; or, making pension payments on non-qualified individuals.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. Do you support either or both? Why or why not? These two referendums cover areas that include both the city of O’Fallon and the rest of St.Clair County. I’m glad that we are giving the voters the chance to speak out on whether or not they want to continue to pay for the covered items for our schools and public safety departments through property taxes as they have in the past or would they rather see some of these expenses covered under a sales tax that will have a portion paid for by individuals that don’t live in our cities or in our county. This could be a major shift in how we fund our schools and public safety departments. I hope that all voters will carefully educate themselves on how these funds will be used by their respective departments and make what they feel is the best decision.

Why should people vote for me? I bring over 40 years of executive management experience and over 35 years of active community involvement within your city to the mayor’s office. This includes over 35 years of business development and organizational development experience. My experience includes building and leading Management teams in global companies and the development and ownership with my wife of a local small business which we operated for 20 years. I will use the experience that I have gained in developing 14 different facilities around the country to grow our economy and business community with smart economic development plans for the present and for the future benefit of our children and grandchildren. I will bring integrity and transparency to the mayors office. I will reverse the tax and spend policies of the Graham/Goodwin administration by providing tax relief to our residents through my tax relief plan and will focus on smart growth initiatives. I want to use my experience and fiscal responsibility for the benefit of all of our citizens. I have a lifetime of respect and understanding for the community that I love and I call home.