Name: James Walsh
Office sought: Alderman, Ward 2
Occupation: Supplier Management
Education: High School
Elected offices held: None
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/jim.walsh.7921975
1. What is your largest priority for McHenry if elected?
Along with city staff, we should continue down the path of economic growth. We have great momentum right now an I look forward to being part of this team that has the best interest in our community. Along with that I would like to see more progress in cleaning up or demolishing buildings in disarray and replacing them with new businesses that our community will benefit from.
2. What changes should McHenry make in the future?
McHenry had $20M in new construction for 2018 and we should build upon that wave going into 2019. I would like to see more variety of businesses in our downtown and outlying areas and capitalize our space along our beautiful riverfront.
3. How do you feel about the city’s potential moratorium on additional vape shops and video gambling?
Regarding vape shops, I believe we have plenty in town where we have over-saturated the marketplace in this segment. For video gambling, there needs to be some classifications built for future businesses looking to add gaming machines and tighten up the regulations regarding the placement of those gaming machines. We must be mindful not to impact our continued development and revenue as well. We need to gather as much input and information from all involved, educate ourselves about the proposed businesses, and make a decision that would be best for the city going forward. This is a real concern for our citizens and city staff recognizes this.
4. How do you feel about the city’s handling of its gambling ordinance related to the VFW’s Queen of Hearts game?
The city and staff handled this issue with thoughtfulness and professionalism. Given the enormous publicity due to the amount of the jackpot, I would give city staff and the people of the VFW an A-plus. A lot of learnings came from this and will only make our city and staff better in the long run.
5. How do you feel about the mayor’s involvement in this race?
I feel the mayor always has the best intentions in what is best for the city. For the short time I have known him, I can tell you he is filled with pride, determination and passion. Outside of being mayor, he is a successful businessman in several different markets. I for one am grateful that he has these gifts and appreciate his enthusiasm regarding my opportunity to serve. I am happy to have his support but want to make it clear that any decisions I make will only be for what is best for our city.
6. What else should voters know about you?
I have lived in McHenry with my wife and three kids since 1999. I have also served as one of your Planning and Zoning Commissioners for the past four years. I have learned a lot on the P&Z team and have had a chance to work and learn from many city staff members and citizens. I can tell you that I am a fair and honest person who believes in listening to all sides of a discussion before making an opinion. I will also work with city staff, not against, to help make decisions for the greater good of McHenry. I will treat all people with the respect they deserve. Our ward not only needs representation like this for McHenry, but they deserve it.