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Oswego Election 2015: Diane Selmer, Candidate for Village Trustee

Mar 17, 2015 08:41AM ● By Steven Jack
Name: Diane Selmer

Employment:  Retired, Executive Secretary/Benefits Analyst reporting to Human Resources/Labor Relations V.P. Pechiney Services America  (originally National Can Company)

Family: 1 brother in Tucson----1 sister (breast cancer survivor) in Oak Lawn, IL, 5 nephews and nieces

Education: Roosevelt University, 2 year equivalent---- employee benefits certification/legal research

Previously elected office: None

Relevant community service:  Volunteered at the Oswego Senior Social Center, and PrarieFest, was appointed to the Legislative, Policy, H.R. Committee by President LeClercq.

What makes you qualified to be a Village trustee?  

I am an honest, fiscal conservative, a homeowner and taxpayer for 10 years tired of taxation. I have a background of 30 years working in upper level corporate office where decisions were made regarding locating new facilities, acted as a meeting planner with budget; responsible for compilation of data for federal government reporting requirements.

What do you believe is the role of a Village trustee?

Trustee is to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars,  live within a common sense budget,while providing expected services to residents, implementing cutbacks as necessary, as every homeowner must do, rather than taxing our residents.

What should be the No. 1 priority for the next Village Board?

Stabilizing taxes and fees through controlled spending.

What is your vision for the old Alexander Lumber Co. lot and the parcel of land that includes the old Village Hall and the former Oswego Chamber office?

Village properties, if in disrepair, should be torn down, if not, either way--- the property aggressively pursued for sale--Village is sitting on $$. It is my understanding that the Alexander property is already under contract for mixed use, office and retail.

What is your long-term vision for Main Street?

{Vision?) ------In reality---the buildings along Main Street are owned by individuals which are rented to the individual small businesses at the owner's discretion. I am quite pleased with the make up of the businesses already there, i.e. Oswego family diner (great food), Floral Expressions, Marmalade Tree,  prom shop, Village Grind, etc. etc. I am also pleased with the
announcement that the long vacant fire station has finally been sold to a local small business owner who it appears has great plans for that location. It may be advantageous for the Chamber of Commerce, using their expertise, to help the landlords with locating small businesses to the Main Street area when vacancies occur.. I  personally would like to see the return of a jewelry store and a mom n pop style bakery.

How can Oswego maintain the hometown feel while at same time encouraging development?

The park district in conjunction with the Village does a wonderful job with our various festivals, I.e PrairieFest, Wine on the Fox, art show, Movies in the park, July 4th fireworks, along with numerous bike/walking paths, etc. and continuation of those activities is a must. Care needs to be taken not to approve future high density subdivisions without indepth studies as to the strain which would be put on infrastructure, nearby subdivisions, and schools, and consideration for the concerns of adjacent subdivisions.  Several long time homeowners have expressed that with all the subdivisions built the last 18 years. that the "hometown" feel is rapidly disappearing.

How do you propose the village fund its long-term needs for infrastructure improvement?

The Meijer incentive of nearly $500,000 is expiring, that is one source, current sales tax revenues, and continued business growth brings with it more revenue. Public works saved $300,000 alone on water tower painting and may be able to eliminate fleet vehicles, these types of savings should be continued and staff is to be complimented on a job well done thus far, and encouraged to continue with cost savings for taxpayers. Over 91% of our roads are rated good to excellent, estimates are that it would be 8 years. before they are classified less than good. Cutting back the number of roads to resurface each year is just another way of implementing savings, not taxing homeowners.

How can the village better use natural resources like the Fox River for 
its economic and cultural benefit?

This may be something the park district oversees rather than the Village. Some mention has been made of utilizing the islands for picnics, etc., building a bridge to the islands--- which I do not agree with and with heavy rains,the islands are underwater, and my concern would be this would affect the ecology and aesthetic beauty as well as bird nesting areas.There already are bike paths and walking paths, benches in the  Hudson Crossing Park, from which everyone can enjoy the various types of fowl on the river, and I would not want to see this disrupted.

What role should economic incentives play in attracting new desirable businesses to Oswego?

Economic incentives are unnecessary--- "big business" follows a 
criteria for locating to a community. Those criteria fit the bill for Oswego due to the number of households and the median income being key factors. I believe growth should pay for itself.  At this point, Oswego is a very desirable community for businesses to locate based on the various businesses which have already located here, Hobby Lobby, Pier I, Lou Malnati's, Sam's Club Transportation, etc. ----- all without incentives.  Small businesses do not receive incentives, why should anyone else?

How do you plan to work with fellow trustees to build consensus and arrive at decisions that benefit our entire community? If possible, please provide an example in your personal or professional life of building consensus in a group setting.

My job as a Trustee is to represent those who voted for me based on my platform of fiscal responsibility, common sense budgeting, stabilizing taxes and fees along with responsible development, not supporting incentives nor TIFs for special interests. My votes would be for the benefit of the entire community, not benefitting a few, representing my values and those of my constituents without compromising those values. In other words, it is up to the VOTERS to choose. I plan to thoroughly read, understand, question, and as needed, research
everything presented prior to a vote.