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Bob Dunn: Priorities are Fiscal Accountability and Civic Responsibility

Dunn is running unopposed in the 2nd Ward.

  • 2nd Ward candidate: Bob Dunn (Unopposed)
  • E-mail: rmdunn5@comcast.net
  • Family: married to Beth; children, Caley, 18, Bobby, 13, and Danny, 10
  • Education:  bachelor of science in aerospace engineering with a math minor from Penn State; master of science, industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech; PE license in mechanical engineering from the state of Maryland; numerous management certifications
  • Occupation: director of procurement for Echo Inc., adjunct professor at Elmhurst College in the College of Business and Economics
  • Previous elected offices: president of homeowner’s association in Wexford, Penn.; neighborhood coordinator for town watch organization in Philadelphia
  • Applicable experience: I most recently was chairman of the Public Works Subcommittee for the mayor’s Financial Task Force, where our group identified over $1 million in cost reductions, almost all of which were adopted by the council. I have been a leader in our block party organization for Belden Avenue. I am a procurement executive, successfully implementing high-value sourcing decisions, along with leading strategic planning and capital investment teams. I volunteer at the PADS shelter as a representative of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish, and I coach for Elmhurst Youth Baseball and YMCA basketball. I have held offices in several professional organizations. I am highly collaborative and have demonstrated the ability to continually drive positive results. I was vice chairman of a student organization’s budget committee during college.

What is the primary reason you decided to run for this office? 

I really care about our community and want to help make the city even better.  I have the ability to connect with the community to best represent their legitimate preferences and concerns on council.

What will be your priority on City Council? 

My focus is fiscal accountability and civic responsibility.  I will target eliminating the budget gap and promoting growth, and involving the citizens of Ward 2 in the solution.

How long have you lived in Elmhurst? 

My family has lived here for four years, which has been enough time for us to become highly vested in the city’s well being and allows me to leverage other community leadership roles that I had.

What's your favorite thing about Elmhurst? 

A highly energized and involved community, a good leadership team and excellent schools.

What is the biggest problem in Elmhurst? 

The budget deficit and the pension burden concern me most at this point.

Are there any challenges or problems in your ward? If so, what needs to be done? 

It has been voiced by those in the 2nd Ward that the roads and infrastructure tend to be maintained to a lesser standard than other parts of the city.  I will address this concern.

With the retirement of Tom Borchert, what do you think are the most important attributes for a new city manager? 

The new manager must have demonstrated experience in creating and implementing growth strategies and improved quality of life initiatives, along with showing consistent balanced budgets.

Do you think the city is spending taxpayer money in the most efficient and effective way? What, if anything, would you change with regard to budgeting and spending? 

We should not drain the capital fund to cover for a deficit.  I think we have an option to outsource more service to give the city more flexibility during downturns.

We’ve heard residents of all ages, but especially seniors, say that it’s getting too expensive to live in Elmhurst. What can be done to make Elmhurst more affordable for all residents? Do you think the city will need to raise taxes again in the near future? 

There is a paradox because we all want our housing values to appreciate, but this has a tendency to cause higher taxes.  We do not want people to move because they cannot afford to live here anymore and the city needs to provide value to the community without raising taxes.

Do you agree with other aldermen who are proposing several new TIF districts in town? Why or why not? 

TIFs are basically borrowing against expected higher future revenues to develop areas that would not have otherwise been developed.  If development would not occur without this incentive then this is normally a productive tool.

What is working and not working in terms of economic development in Elmhurst? What, specifically, would you do to encourage businesses to come here? 

The city has done a great job of redeveloping the City Center and facilitating the new hospital.  Elmhurst is a very “sellable” city for development due to its proximity to the Loop and O’Hare and its vibrant community.

Spring rains are right around the corner, and a flooding mitigation plan could take years to implement. In the short term, do you think the city is doing everything it can to assists residents who experienced the bulk of the flooding problems last year? Will you be nervous when the rains start? 

The current approach of bringing experts in to analyze the extent of our flooding problems and identify cost effective solutions is the right way to confront this issue.  It will take many years to significantly improve the flooding but we will have focused highly visible approach as a result.

Nearly a dozen water mains broke within a one-week period this winter and, separately, failing infrastructure is listed as one of the reasons for flooding in Elmhurst. What needs to be done with infrastructure and how is the city going to pay for it? 

It is very expensive and disruptive to repair failed infrastructure such as water mains.  The city needs to take a proactive approach to expand preventative maintenance efforts.  We should leverage state and federal dollars in doing so.

Do you think city officials and aldermen have a good relationship with citizens of Elmhurst with regard to trust and transparency? Is there anything you would do to improve that? 

Aldermen should stay connected with their constituents through regular contact with representatives in their ward and keep them informed on all issues impacting their livelihood here in Elmhurst.

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