Tom Jacks – Page 3 of 5services may need to be completely overhauled, such as garbage and recycling collection.According to an Inspector General’s report, there could be savings in excess of $100 million if these services are privatized. Due to the state of the budget, this recommendation deserves to beconsidered.
Should Tax Increment Financing districts be eliminated? Why?
I believe that TIF reform is long overdue and should be a priority for the next administration,which will certainly involve reevaluating individual TIFs and potentially eliminating some of them. TIFs can be a great mechanism to promote economic development, but the fact thatmillions of dollars of TIF funds are spend outside their individual districts each year illustratesthe need for reform.As Alderman, I will support making TIFs more accountable by itemizing project goals, includingTIF oversight in the budget process, and examining the distribution of surpluses. In addition, amoratorium on TIFs should be considered, especially until reform is completed.Transparency and accountability is necessary for TIFs to remain an effective economicdevelopment tool. TIFs use taxpayer money and the taxpayers deserve to know how their moneyis being spent and to have a voice in spending decisions. If I am elected Alderman, I will fightfor TIF reform.
In what way can the City Council improve its oversight responsibility for government?
The City Council can increase its oversight responsibility by reading legislation and contracts before it votes to approve them. The parking lease proved that there needs to be greater transparency in the process and aldermen should reach out to their constituents when long-lastingimplications are at stake. In addition, all city contracts should have greater transparency by providing residents with information on which organizations are receiving contracts and why.Furthermore, privatization should not be viewed as a one-time income, but can be useful whenthe private sector can demonstrate efficiencies and the government can save money, withoutresidents experiencing a reduction in city services. I will consider privatization, but only under atransparent process with a clear definition of where funds generated from the contract are to beallocated.
Would you hire family members for staff or a city government job? Explain your answer.
No, I believe nepotism and the practice of anointing your successor is partially responsible for the current need for a budget overhaul and ethics reform. In the 47th Ward, Alderman Schulter istrying to anoint his own successor in Tom O’Donnell, who has colluded with the Alderman andeven circulated petitions to help him get on the ballot in the current race. I am strongly opposedto these practices, especially because aldermen have a poor track record, with roughly onealderman having been indicted every year over the past thirty years, on average.I have made the decision to not raise any campaign funds because I do not want to be beholdento the same interest groups of Chicago politics. If elected, I will continue this policy and pay for any campaigning out of my own pocket. I believe the Alderman makes more than enough moneyin salary and should not have a separate campaign fund, especially when those funds are likely todivert his attention away from what should be his only interest group: his ward.I strongly support making the aldermanic offices more transparent, particularly with respect totheir expense accounts. I feel that all expenses greater than a minimum, such as $100, should be