What you need to know about the April 2019 election
Name: Tom Vorce
Occupation: Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist at USDA
Position Seeking: Ward 6 Alderman for O’Fallon
Campaign website: www.facebook.com/Tom-Vorce-for-Alderman-City-of-OFallon-IL-Ward-6
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I love to serve, and I love my community. O’Fallon is on the right path and I aim to keep on that course. I served in the Navy for eight years. I have a job that allows two hours per week to volunteer in the schools, which I have done since 2009. I have led Scouts, All Pro Dad Program, was President of the PTO, and I’m a coach for O’Fallon Parks and Recreation. I have been married for eighteen years, have two children in O’Fallon schools, and have worked for the US Department of Agriculture for eighteen years. Prior to the USDA, I owned my own business for seven years before selling to earn a B.S. in Forestry. I promise to be available and to respond to contacts and requests promptly and I will represent and communicate the concerns of my constituents to City Council.
What is the most important issue facing your town? How would you approach it? People are concerned about growth. We all enjoy the small-town feel of O’Fallon. Our City supports its’ high school, parks, and Scott AFB and our military community. Healthy things grow. I believe that many of the events that our citizens are able to enjoy, like City Fest, our great parks, our recreation programs, and the many parades that we have, all help to maintain the sense of community and small-town feel while being a great place to live. I also fully support a smart, fiscally responsible, diversified growth to our city that will weather any economic climate that may come our way. The residential growth, and addition of another elementary school in the northwest sector of the city is good for our city. I also really love the potential the Mid-America Enterprise Zone is going to offer us in terms of light manufacturing and/or warehouse space.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you raise taxes or fees in the municipality? Please explain. I believe that taxes are too high and that we don’t need any additional fees added to our financial burden. Only under some unforeseen disaster would I vote to raise taxes. I believe that any circumstances that warrant an increase in fees would have to be thoroughly examined on a case-by-case basis and should not be taken lightly. To use a hypothetical example, let’s say a special event is to take place downtown. If it was deemed that the city would have to provide an extra person to empty trash cans at an event, then there should be an extra fee to offset at least a minimal part of that cost. The idea here is to acknowledge that additional resources are being used from the city and not to raise the price of holding an event so high that it prohibits the event from happening.
Crime has been an issue in parts of the metro-east. What is the best way to stop the problem in and around your community? Communication, education and community involvement. Having an open dialogue between the Chief of Police and the City leaders is vital. It is important that the city council understands the mission of the Police department and that they provide the necessary equipment, technology, and personnel to meet the needs of the department. O’Fallon Police have many educational programs that they offer such as self-defense, the Citizen Police Academy, and neighborhood watch programs, and I encourage more participation in all of these. The O’Fallon Police are doing excellent work in their outreach and involving the entire community through the “Cops & Kids” and “Coffee with a Cop” events, Special Olympics support, Explorers Program, and school events offered throughout the year. We are now up to fifty sworn officers and O’Fallon works hard at keeping crime from our City. O’Fallon will likely need two more officers within the next two to three years.