Four candidates will compete for three four-year-term seats, while three other candidates will vie for two two-year positions.
Maple Park village trustee Terry Borg will look to continue his 12 years of public service on the board by seeking re-election on the April 9 General Election ballot.
Borg, 56, holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and criminal justice from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in contemporary European studies from University of Sussex in Brighton, England, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Michigan State University. He’s currently employed at Northern Illinois University’s College of Education as the director of External & Global Programs.
Borg’s community involvement is an extensive list, as well: he served on the Kaneland School District 302 Technology Plan Committee from 2000 to 2001; District 302 Finance & Facilities Committee in 2001; District 302 Finance Advisory Committee from 2003 to 2009; and Rock Valley College Students in Free Enterprise Business Advisory Board from 2004 to 2010. He’s also been a member of the District 302 Citizens Advisory Committee since 2009.
As a village trustee, Borg believes his role is to serve as a good steward of my community. He was initially drawn to the position because of his desire to “ensure there is a logical and fair process for Maple Park decision making, applied equally to all residents.
“I am a servant leader with a passion for service,” he said.
According to Borg, he is an ideal candidate for re-election because his trustworthy, impartial and reasoned judgment are the hallmarks that he brings to the Village Board.
“I thoughtfully consider every issue, do my homework and ask questions,” he said. “I also seek input from residents and listen to their concerns. Having demonstrated these attributes for 12 years on the Village Board, my track record makes me a known quantity that wishes to serve my community.”
If re-elected, Borg’s top priorities would include maintaining infrastructure with limited funding through the prioritization of needs utilizing reasoned judgment with data; planning for the future through establishing a plan to prioritize village investment and prepare for opportunity when confidence and the market returns for growth; and investing in village personnel.
“With few employees, the village needs to ensure that personnel are well trained, use good judgment and are resident-focused in order to provide high-quality service, making Maple Park a safe and outstanding place to live and raise a family,” Borg said.
Borg believes the key to achieving his goals as a village trustee is to ensure they are commonly shared with fellow board members and village staff.
“It is critical we operate as a team and focus on consensus and compromise. Recognizing the knowledge, experience and expertise we each bring to the team creates mutual respect and the achievement of mutually shared goals,” he said.
Borg supports the village’s recently implemented tax increment financing (TIF) district, and sees it as a tool to raise funds and invest in needed infrastructure.
“Without a TIF, Maple Park will not be competitive with neighboring communities to attract investment,” he said. “While these investment funds come at a temporary cost to other governmental units, the current Village Board has made a commitment to support these governmental units should needs develop as a result of the TIF.”
In terms of the current state of village business and growth, Borg believes market conditions have taken a toll on residential housing and, in turn, Maple Park businesses. He said local businesses need the consistent support of local customers to make them viable.
“Until such time (when) our current housing inventory is fully populated and new rooftops are built, local businesses primarily reliant upon local customers will struggle,” Borg said. “It is crucial that we support these entrepreneurs in these tough times. (The board) looks forward to offer opportunities to future investors as our population increases.”
Greg Cutsinger will seek one of three four-year-term seats on the Maple Park Village Board this spring.
Cutsinger, 42, has been a Village Board trustee since 2011, and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Ohio University. He has worked for a nation-wide transportation company for over 18 years, and has managed a terminal in South Elgin, Ill., for the past six years.
Cutsinger said the role of a trustee is to balance the needs and safety of all residents while remaining mindful of budgetary and regulatory constraints. As a current board trustee, he feels that skills he brings from his “day” job are put to good practice in Maple Park.
“I bring an objective eye to every decision that comes before the board,” Cutsinger said. “I have a long-term interest in making the village a place where people will want to raise families, and to where business will want to migrate.”
If re-elected, Cutsinger will focus on continuing to make Maple Park a safe place to live and work by addressing needs with its Police Department, Public Works and code inspector, and also working to increase the village’s visibility for developers and businesses.
Cutsinger believes the TIF (tax increment financing) district was needed to keep Maple Park equal with it’s municipal peers in it’s ability to attract development.
“The board considered a wide variety of views and ultimately made adjustments based on that input,” Cutsinger said. “I think hindsight will show it to have been a good decision, although that’s 20-plus years away from now.”
Cutsinger believes the village is a great place for small- to medium-sized businesses, as it allows residents access to services and goods without having to travel to make purchases, or having the village lose out on tax revenue.
“My ideal vision would include growth that still allowed for the continuation of Maple Park’s small-town feel,” he said.
Lucas Goucher is one of two newcomers seeking a four-year seat on the Maple Park Village Board this spring.
A graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., with a degree in finance and management and a minor in speech communications, Goucher, 32, has served on the Maple Park Plan Commission Board the past two years, and as past president of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce on two separate occasions. He’s currently the vice president and commercial loan officer for National Bank and Trust, and focuses on local commercial lending.
Goucher believes village government is in place to preserve and improve the vital aspects of the community on behalf of its residents and guests, and feels he can be an asset to the village and his neighbors through the position of village trustee.
“My education and professional background provide a perspective on the issues faced by the village, (and) I have knowledge and the resources to be productive and work towards thoughtful results,” he said.
If elected to the Maple Park Village Board, Goucher would focus on budget restrictions and limited revenue sources to “add a new perspective by reviewing expenses and eliminating waste while working on opportunities that will bolster the top line.” He’d also emphasize maintaining and improving infrastructure and outstanding development issues to “continue to improve and implement a plan to address the aging infrastructure on the east side of town, as well as the waste water plant.
“(I’d) continue to press for thoughtful resolution on outstanding developer issues that does not leave the village with the bill, (and) consider village beautification (and) connectivity, as well as open space (parks) in macro long-term planning,” he said.
He intends to achieve such goals with a “focused determination on the core (today) issues, and the foresight to also implement for tomorrow.”
Goucher believes the village’s TIF (tax increment financing) district is good for the infrastructure issue in time, “because there is no supply of immediate resources as it takes time to build up that fund, especially when there are limited factors increasing the tax base within the district.”
“It should not be forgotten though that the TIF also takes away from other municipal entities that would have otherwise counted on those revenues,” he said. “Bearing that in mind; it is important for Maple Park to prudently utilize those funds as the account starts to build.”
In terms of local business and growth, Goucher believes the focus should be on the many businesses that are in town, “open for business and supported.”
“The village misses the (Moondance Diner), but there are still two eateries open and busy in the downtown, in addition to many other businesses—framing shop, stylists, hardware store and an attorney, just to name a few,” he said. “If the residents of the village continue to maintain a “shop Maple Park first” approach, and the business owners continue to draw a client base from out of town, Maple Park businesses will succeed.
“Maple Park needs business to maintain ‘community’; without business, a village will struggle to succeed.”
Brian Kinane will challenge for a four-year seat on the Maple Park Village Board this spring.
The director of Sales and Marketing at TimberBuilt Rooms, Kinane, 29, holds a Bachelor of Arts in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I would define Maple Park trustee as a position that looks out for the best interests of the citizens of Maple Park,” he said. “I wanted to be more involved in the community. I am planning on living in Maple Park for a long time and would like to be active in its development.”
Kinane believes his background in engineering and construction allows him to understand and help with local ordinances and building codes. If elected, his priorities on the board would include improving downtown business, quieting village railroad crossings, and addressing the need for public parks or playgrounds.
“All three items will be addressed individually and planned for accordingly,” he said. “The biggest problem with getting anything accomplished is securing the money to do it. That is where I would start—finding out what each item costs, and how to fund each venture.”
Kinane sees the village’s recently implemented TIF (tax increment financing) district as good for Maple Park, but acknowledged its shortcomings.
“More money is available to spend on the things that Maple Park needs to get accomplished, but at the same time (it) hurts the community programs that do not get any additional dollars from the growth of the town,” he said.
He also believes village business needs more growth.
“More growth means more available dollars to spend on village improvements and such,” he said.
Stephan ‘Steve’ Nowak
Steve Nowak is one of three candidates seeking a two-year term seat on the Maple Park Village Board this April.
Nowak, 33, has been a trustee since 2011, and has served as the village’s financial chair during that time. He holds an MBA in finance and operations management from Aurora University, and is senior vice president of Commercial Banking with American Midwest Bank.
Nowak is also the finance council chair for St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park, where he and his wife and are active parish members.
Nowak defines the role of trustee as the responsibility to foster and support prudent and tempered growth initiatives for the village while maintaining measures to preserve its economic viability and balanced budget.
He is seeking the trustee position because he wants to continue to serve and support Maple Park in an active role that focuses on the future of the village.
“I have lived here for over 11 years and have seen this community progress, and I would to help support progress for the future,” Nowak said.
Nowak feels his professional background, knowledge of the community, and his support of balanced/tempered growth, will help to propel Maple Park into the future without ignoring our past history.
If re-elected, Nowak’s priorities on the board would include balanced budgeting of the village, fueled by prudent spending decisions and new revenue streams, and public safety through consistent funding of the police department, as well as improved street safety and progressive involvement with other intergovernment relationships, such as the the Maple Park Fire Department.
Nowak also wants continued emphasis on infrastructure improvement.
“These initiatives can be partially supported by the TIF financing and economic development through the attraction of new residents (and) small businesses, which will help fuel job growth and a more robust tax base,” he said.
Nowak plans to achieve his goals by “listening to the community and implementing actions as trustee that support the best outcome for the community as a whole, and not one particular entity.”
Maple Park Village Board two-year-term candidates Debra Armstrong and Christopher Higgins did not reply back to the Elburn Herald’s questionnaire.