I am P. Sean Michels and I am proud and honored to be the Village President of Sugar Grove. I ask that you vote for me on Tuesday, April 7, 2009.
I have served as village president for the past nine years. Along with the Village Board, we have worked hard to make Sugar Grove a desirable place to live and work.
The board and I are working hard to bring in new businesses to Sugar Grove to diversify our tax base to reduce taxes. I do not believe, however, that reducing our impact fees or building standards to bring thousands of homes into town is the way to attract retail.
The sales tax will benefit the village, but the other taxing bodies, such as the Kaneland School District, will only receive property taxes.
Further, as the other candidates claim, residential must come first to attract the retail. Then I ask, who will pay for the new schools and infrastructure until the retail comes, if impact fees are reduced? The only answer is that current residents would be asked to approve more referendums.
Look at an Oswego tax bill. The village rate is the lowest in the area, but they pay more in taxes due to the school district. My approach is that Sugar Grove must work to attract commercial development. This can be done now that sewer and water are at the site of Hi Point Business Center, a 180-acre business park west of Waubonsee Community Center. This infrastructure was recently extended to the new Kaneland Middle School and looped around Hi Point, which will significantly reduce the development costs for this business park. This has taken some time to be completed, but this was a very expensive project that the village could not undertake by itself.
Under my tenure as Village President, Sugar Grove has maintained a strong financial position. The village went from an â€œAâ€ rating by Standard and Poorâ€™s in 2006, to an â€œA+â€ rating in 2008. This was based on good fiscal practices that have helped the village maintain very strong financial reserves. This conservative approach in spending will help the village through these tough economic times.
We have spent tax dollars wisely to improve or repair our infrastructure. We have improved water quality, added water storage, looped and extended mains while not raising taxes. We do regular maintenance on the sewer system, and do annual inspections to make the system efficient. We will be improving the dangerous intersection of Bliss Road and Merrill Road, and resurfacing Hankes and Wheeler roads, all with grants or matching funds, costing the village a fraction of the total cost. We realize there are other infrastructure needs, which we are currently working on.
Under my leadership, the village has made many plans to prepare for growth. We have been recognized by Kane County for our planning efforts. We work with our neighboring communities to plan for road and bike trail extensions. We have negotiated boundary agreements with Aurora, North Aurora, Montgomery, Yorkville, Plano and Batavia. We have tried to work with Elburn and Big Rock, but they have not wanted to negotiate an agreement.
I again ask that you vote for me on April 7. Please look beyond the campaign rhetoric. It would be a great honor to serve four more years.
P. Sean Michels