Attorney, Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C.
Married, Nanette Andersson
View larger video »
On The Record
Why are you running to represent the 65th Representative District?
I am running for state representative because I want to serve the people of the community that I live in. My dedication to local activism has led me to serve on the Geneva Library Board and multiple boards and commissions in our community. I believe the people of the 65th District are fed up with their tax dollars being wasted and seeing no return on their investment to their state government. I want to protect those tax dollars and ensure that money is reinvested here at home and not lost in the fiscal nightmare that is Springfield. I want to make Illinois great again. With the people that make up our state, we should not be near the bottom in so many categories, personal income, job creation, and education. With our resources and infrastructure, Illinois should be the capitol of the Midwest. Wasteful government spending, massive tax increases, and un-affordable programs have hurt our state. However, I do not believe all hope is lost. I believe we can get back on the right track by making the courageous and common sense solutions. We can make Illinois great again and that is why I decided to run for state representative.
Illinois faces a $100 billion unfunded pension liability, and in December the state legislature passed a bill to address the issue. What are your views on the passed pension reform measures? And what else – if anything – needs to be done to address this issue?
I believe we need to keep the promises we made to our employees. As such, I would have had difficulty voting for the bill. However, if we did nothing, we may have been in a position of not providing any pensions when the system collapses (which would have been much worse). While certainly not fair and not perfect, this may have been a better of the options available to us at this time. Sometimes the choices we are forced to make are not between a good option and a bad option, but between two bad options. I believe this was probably one of those cases of two bad options. When faced with such a choice we must pick the “least bad” of the options. As to the future, we need to move, for future employees, away from a defined benefit system (i.e. a pension) to a defined contribution system (I.e. 401K).
Would you allow the "temporary" state income tax increase to drop down to 3.75 percent in 2015? Explain your answer.
I would not allow the tax hike to become permanent; in fact, if I were in office I would be actively working to repeal it. When times are tough, you do not raise taxes. In the middle of the biggest recession since the Great Depression, the people of this great state cannot afford to give the government more money to be needlessly wasted. Instead of flooding the state coffers with more money, we should have started with a forensic audit of state finances, identify needless spending, waste, and redundancy and eliminate it. Each agency should prepare for a budget cut in order to “share the load” until our finances are under control.
Where do you stand on proposed plans for a progressive income tax in Illinois?
I oppose it. As noted in a recent editorial in a recent newspaper article, the progressive tax is not aimed at making the tax system more “fair,” for Illinois but simply to raise more revenues rather than make required cuts. It is a blatant money grab and must be opposed.
If elected, what transportation projects in the 65th Representative District would be a priority for you?
There are always more transportation projects than there is money to fund them. In order to determine priorities for funding I would meet with the elected officials and engineers for the County and the local municipalities to determine which projects are most needed and would produce the most benefit for the region. I also would look for solutions to resolve the ongoing issues between Grafton and Rutland Townships regarding public transportation for seniors and the disabled in their townships. Specific projects that should be considered are intersection improvements north and south of the railroad under-pass at the intersection of US Route 20, Il Route 47 and Il Route 72 (Starks Corner) and the Long Meadow Parkway project (technically out of district but would benefit district residents).
Besides pension reform and taxes, what one or two other issues or projects would be most important for you, if elected?
1) We need to balance our state budget. A stronger constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget would be important to this effort. The current clause in the constitution has little to no teeth to require the budget be balanced. Balancing the budget will involve tough decisions and a re-evaluation of existing programs of the state. While perhaps most state programs have a beneficial purpose, we simply cannot afford to fund everything we would like to do. In deciding which programs to reduce we should have an economic analysis of the cost versus benefit conducted, to see where the State gets the most “bang for its buck.” Programs which yield high value results with low costs should be prioritized over programs with high expense and low value returns on the investment. 2) Term Limits. We need to implement term limits for our elected leaders at all levels of state government. I believe in term limits on all elected state officials. This way, no one can spend over six decades in power and allow the state to get into the situation that we are currently in.
How are you different from your primary opponents in this race?
I am the only candidate with experience in lowering taxes and creating jobs. In the City of Geneva, the Library Board is the only governmental entity that actually lowered their tax levy last year. As the Treasurer of the library board, I advocated for this tax cut, helped oversee the cut and balanced the budget to ensure we could afford it. We did it in Geneva; we can do it in Springfield. In my professional career, I have had the pleasure of working with many dedicated and talented individuals to help bring homes, services, and jobs to our community. One of these individuals is Greg Marston, the Mayor of Pingree Grove. Working with the Village, we were able to reach out to many developers and recruit them to come and invest in our community. This is exactly what the State of Illinois needs. Tax hikes, red tape, and overall poor economic outlook have chased employers away. With this type of recruitment, we can bring well-paying jobs into our community.