Montgomery candidates address economics
By Judy Pochel For The Beacon-News March 11, 2013 11:16AM
Candidate for Montgomery Trustee Josh Salisbury (center) talks to the audience during a Candidates forum at The Montgomery Village Hall in Montgomery, IL on Thursday, March 07, 2013 | Sean King~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 13, 2013 6:05AM
Economics was the focus for much of the forum last week for candidates for the Montgomery Village Board.
Eight people — six challengers and two incumbent trustees — are running for the three open seats on the board.
Incumbent Denny Lee, who has been a trustee for the past 12 years, said he believes the village needs to concentrate efforts with the Economic Development Commission.
“In the first 10 years the board set policies and controlled growth. The last two years have been sporadic judgments and micro management,” he said.
“We need to change and go back to common sense.”
Steve Jungermann is the current chairman of the village Planning Commission. He said his experience with that group has helped lead him to understand village politics.
“We can choose to take another path, let the department heads run their department, and create a business atmosphere conducive for growth and economic opportunities for those that come to the village,” Jungermann said.
Greg Nelson said he previously ran for Kane County Board and while that campaign was not successful “I did knock on a lot of doors. They were opened with a lot of questions.”
Challenger Colleen Nedrow runs a photography business and has four children.
“The village doesn’t need continued political mumble jumble. I am here to listen to the community and serve to the best of my ability with no hidden agendas,” she said.
Josh Salisbury is making his second run for the office of trustee. A lifelong resident, he said he will work on programs to help residents.
“Montgomery is heading in difficult and different directions. We need to maintain fiscal responsibility,” he said.
Ben Brzoska said he wants to be an active participant with village government.
“I like to be involved in what makes Montgomery a great place to live,” he said.
Brzoska said he has been attending the Village Board and committee meetings in the past few months.
“I like the diversity of the issues, I applaud the previous boards for making Montgomery a great place to raise a family,” he said.
All the candidates at the forum, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, discussed what they would do if elected to the board, and agreed that economic growth is essential in the village.
“The biggest problem is fiscal responsibility. We have to get SSAs under control, analyze the budget and where we can make responsible cuts to cut the budget,” said Salisbury.
“I do feel spending is out of control, spending way too much on things that aren’t necessary,” said Nedrow.
While fielding questions regarding the current state of the economy, Nelson went a little further than the borders of the village.
“The problem we have is Illinois. It’s broke, pure and simple,” Nelson said, pointing to the need to attract and retain business in the area. “We need to get the word out — ‘buy Montgomery.’ If we buy our stuff here our taxes stay here.”
Incumbent Trustee Andy Kaczmarek and challenger Theresa Sperling did not attend the event, Sperling said she had a long-standing prior commitment and sent a statement that was read to the audience.
In the statement, Sperling said she is a member of the Planning Commission and is very active in the Orchard Road Steering Committee. On a professional level she said, “I anticipate problems and find solutions. I believe those traits are very valuable.”
All the candidates were asked why residents should vote for them.
“I am honest, through and analyze before voting. I am available to listen to questions,” said Brzoska.
“I am dependable, hard working and will give 110 percent. I want to have financial responsibility, bring Montgomery to the next level. We are getting there, but not yet,” said Salisbury.
“I am honest and straightforward. I am not afraid to speak my mind,” said Nedrow.
“I am what you get, this is me. The good and bad news, that is what a trustee is supposed to do and I have a good solid business background,” said Nelson.
“The TIF district doesn’t cost the residents or the village a penny. My background is on the planning commission and I know how they work,” said Jungermann.
“I feel the last 12 years speak for themselves. Eighty percent of the people here I know and I think that speaks volumes. I think my platform is understood and my reputation speaks for itself,” said Lee.
Three candidates are vying for the position of village president — Matt Brolley, William Keck Jr., and Thomas Campbell. They will be at a forum on March 21.
Early voting in the village begins March 25 and election day is April 9.