Chris Borawski: Candidate profile.
Name: Chris Borawski
City: Long Grove
Office sought: Trustee
Age (on Election Day): 56
Family: Married to Laurie 27 years, Living in Long Grove for 26 years. 3 Children raised in Long Grove (Clint Borawski, Curtis Borawski, Charles Borawski) via District 96 and District 125 schools. 1 Grandson with a second expected in August.
Occupation: Director of Sales, for a global electronic component company. We design, manufacture and sell into the major telecommunications, automotive, consumer, medical and industrial customers which are headquartered in North America. Broad international travel and business relationships.
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois. Numerous additional continuing education professional business course work. Early Education: Gurdon S. Hubbard High Public School, St. Turibius Grammar School. Hobby Coursework taken includes: Private Pilot, Real Estate Sales, Auctioneering, Welding.
Civic involvement: Past Volunteer activities include: Long Grove Zoning Board of Appeals, Long Grove Plan Commission Secretary, Chairman Long Grove Plan Commission, BGRA Baseball Manager, Member SWALCO Board (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County)
Previous elected offices held: Trustee Village of Long Grove 2003-2007, Long Grove Park Board Commissioner
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes. This is my second time serving as a trustee. Currently filling a two-year vacancy by appointment of the Board. Previously served as Trustee from 2003 -- 2007 to a fully elected term.
Website: I do not maintain a personal website, I am not planning on hosting a website for this campaign. Residents are very welcome to call or email me to discuss any issue or simply to get to know each other.
Facebook: No Campaign-related Facebook activity
Twitter: No Campaign-related Twitter activity
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Finishing the rebuilding of Downtown is a priority as the construction must be completed to facility the growth of downtown commerce. Rebuilding the Long Grove Historic Bridge so the bridge can continue to be the anchor and symbol of Long Grove. Work to attract new business to downtown as well as appropriate areas outside of downtown.
Continuing to oppose the expansion of Route 53 North so an unneeded tollway truck route does not bisect the Village. Continue to work with other officials to widen our arterial streets to ease the current traffic congestion. Continue to oppose any new taxes or fees as our residents already have enormous tax burden. Collaborate with the Park Board and the other great volunteer organizations to utilize all the available talent to collective make Long Grove a better place.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I feel I am very qualified and I always remember that the Village Board represents the people who live here. Beside my experience in past Village roles (Trustee, Plan Commission Chair, Plan Commission Member, Plan Commission Secretary, Park Board and Zoning Board of appeals), I have an engineering background which allows me to think logically when we consider the issues and challenges. I have traveled extensively to many countries and have learned how issues are handled and considered in other parts of the world. This allows me to us these broad experiences to bring a knowledge and balanced viewpoint to the board. It also allows me to appreciate the uniqueness of Long Grove more. I do believe in protecting the resident and the environment. We moved to Long Grove for dark skies, open space, wildlife and quiet that Long Grove provides. I hope that through my efforts the residents of Long Grove can continue to proud to live here and enjoy the rebuilding of Long Grove and its uniqueness.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board.
For most of my adult life I have been a leader. From team captains to head of global sales and business development organizations in several companies I have always been in leadership roles. My leadership style tends to intuitive thinker. I generally like to think about issues, rather than talk about issues. Often, I find myself listening in meetings much more than speaking. This allows me to internalize, ask questions, and to form opinions and ideas. The current village board is a very diverse and strong team of people. All the people on the board bring unique skills. This board is also very hands on and very involved in the details of all issues. There is a lot of team work and mutual respect on the board currently. People are supportive of each other rather than confrontational and show great teamwork. It's a good environment to contribute to and be a part of this collaborative team.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
Long Grove's budget has been and will continue to be balanced. The Village has one year of operating expenses held in reserve. The Board should continue to keep this buffer. The Village is financially healthy although our budget is very small, and our revenue is very limited. Unlike other neighbor larger communities that have property tax or hotel taxes, Long Grove continues to be non-Home Rule community, which by State law (and reaffirmed by our voters by referendum) limits the Boards ability to implement additional taxes. As a result, our biggest challenge is tightly controlling our expenditures to be efficient in utilizing the limited funds we have. Our biggest expenses are our Village staff members' salaries and benefits. The Village also has one Tax Increment Finance District (TIF) centered around downtown. This has allowed us to spend TIF Funds on the infrastructure needed to improve the streets, sidewalks and streetscapes. The TIF funds and expenditures are monitored carefully as at its conclusion, the TIF is predicted to barely break even.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
When I walked neighborhoods to obtain signatures on my petition I talked with many people. Some people signed and wished me well, while other people spent time talking with me. The main single issue that most people wanted to discuss with me is the high property taxes in the area and how the property tax bill is forcing people to consider leaving Long Grove. The average property tax bill in Long Grove is about $19,000 per year. Long Grove itself does not tax the residents. The tax burden (Schools, County, Fire, Library, Township taxes) continues to depress home resale prices, which further concerns residents. With few buyers able or willing to afford the taxes, fewer people are finding Long Grove attractive. It's clear that the Village Board needs to recognize the tax burden on the residents as a significant problem affecting the entire community. We need to consider every decision and keep in mind our actions may impact property values. We should reduce any fees we charge residents. We need to have focused efforts to work with the taxing bodies to try to reduce the tax burden placed on our residents. Stable residents with rising home values in a tax friendly environment must be a part of the success template in rebuilding Long Grove for the future.