Matt Harrington: Candidate Profile

Aurora City Council Ward 9 (4-year Term) (Republican)

  • Matt Harrington, running for Aurora City Council Ward 9 (4-year Term)

    Matt Harrington, running for Aurora City Council Ward 9 (4-year Term)

 
Updated 2/22/2013 6:29 PM

 

 

 

Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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Bio

City: Aurora

Website: http://www.aurora9thward.blogspot.com

Office sought: Aurora City Council Ward 9 (4-year Term)

Age: 50

Family: Candidate did not respond.

Occupation: Director of Community & Corporate Development for the Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore, in Aurora Illinois

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Education: Suffield University, Political Sciences and Business Administration, North Eastern Illinois University, Communication & Marketing Triton College, General Education and Certification courses.

Civic involvement: Vice President for Illinois Cook County Board Ancient Order of Hibernians, The A.O.H. is one of the largest Irish Catholic Non-Profit organizations in the United States. Originally founded in Ireland in the early 1600?s, its primary efforts are to raise money for national and local organizations, such as Misericordia, the Special Olympics, as well as local food pantries and homeless shelters Uptown Community Executive Director for the Chicago Mayor's Office Safe Night Event: The Mayor's Safe Night set in motion a campaign soliciting local business and large area corporation for products and/or funds for an alternative for families and their communities to celebrate the Holiday session without the danger of drugs, alcohol and the fear of violence and interference from gangs Vice Chairman for the 23rd Police District's Officer Appreciation Day. This is a local community and business base event sets aside a day for the local police district and their Officers to show the neighborhood great appreciation for their hard work and dedication that officers provide every day in their community. Co-Host and Producer of Community Matters for CAN-TV. A live weekly Television show promoting the community mined leaders of Business, Politics, and Sports Celebrities to inform, educate and entertain a weekly audience of 68,000. CAN-TV channels are shown in 2.5 millions+ Chicago land households daily.

Elected offices held: Naperville Township 34th precinct Republican Committeeman.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Jobs & Economic Development: I will work hard, for our city to bring in new big and small businesses and encourage growth in our downtown, business and Metra corridor districts. I believe we must target and assist small to medium size businesses to open and relocate to our city in order to create new opportunities and jobs as well as increased revenues. Along with utilizing existing state and federal grants, we can develop and improve Aurora's infrastructure. In addition, I will encourage our city, township, and chamber of commerce to find better ways to work in partnership with the community and the Development Corporation so that we can revitalize our Riverfront area to bring about an exciting and vibrant show place for our great city. I will help bring in Expert Services, and will work on obtaining more proficient and skillful services of professional grant writers to help increase the amount of state and federal dollars we can receive though the many government grants programs that are available, so we may elevate services to all of our community, upgrades equipment, and rebuild our city infrastructure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Key Issue 2

Better ways of registering and tracking, Convicted Child Sex Offenders: I will work, with the county and state authorities for the funding to upgrade our efforts in additional infrastructure. To allow our police department to have the technical ability to install Electronic Monitoring of convicted Child Sex offenders. This will help in tracking the whereabouts of these felons 24/7. In addition, over time lead to better control of the registration of sex offenders, lower the threat to our children, and keep the cost at zero for the police department. If we can do this for DUI?s, why not to these guys, some of the most horrific criminals, that walks among us, and who are still looking for an opportunity to prey and harm our children.

Key Issue 3

Help Bring about Better Securities at all Our Schools: As a community we must work, to increase the safety for children. By implementing a bold proactive plan of the distribution of our police and security officers while patrolling the school, playgrounds and park so that a tragedy dose not befall us like the other cities, that have had a unstable individual who only want is to create harm, havoc and sorrow. These efforts will lower the chances of an unstable individual who only mission is to harm our children. This will allow us to have the added benefit of lowing the possibilities of gang and gun violence while also creating deterrence to sexual predator that will help ensure our children safety. But most important, I won't forget who I work for, Too often it seems that our; political leaders put their party or re-election needs ahead of the citizens they represent. I have always been an independent thinker, and, if elected, I will never forget that I work for you.

Questions & Answers

Downtown Aurora is undergoing a revival, but there are still a number of vacant storefronts. What should be done to spur more business development?

I will work hard, for our city to bring in new big and small businesses and encourage growth in our downtown, business and Metra corridor districts. I believe we must target and assist small to medium size businesses to open and relocate to our city in order to create new opportunities and jobs as well as increased revenues. along with utilizing existing state and federal grants, we can develop and improve Aurora's infrastructure. In addition, I will encourage our city, township, and chamber of commerce to find better ways to work in partnership with the community and the Development Corporation so that we can revitalize and straighten our Riverfront area to bring about an exciting and vibrant show place to our great city. I will help bring in Expert Services, and will work on obtaining more proficient and skillful services of professional grant writers to help increase the amount of state and federal dollars we can receive though the many government grants programs that are available, so we may elevate services to all of our community, upgrades equipment, and rebuild our city infrastructure. 1) Eliminate the Parking Meters from Aurora's downtown and revamp the layout of the downtown street parking to be angled in order to increase the number of spaces. This convenience from the increased parking spaces will entice visitors to visit Aurora's downtown business districts and help promote our local establishments. 2) I will work with the business owners along the Riverfront, so that the docks can be placed at their businesses to allow and promote small motorized and non-motorized water-crafts to dock along the river and increase patronages to these businesses. This will also generate more interests to the area, which will re-energize our downtown economy and create more jobs. These docks should be paid in partnership by the business owners, advertisement sponsors, and city, state and county business development grants. 3) I will Work with our State elected leaders and gaming commission to bring about a real change in gaming revenues - I believe Illinois does not need more casinos, but there will be a few more granted within Chicago-Cook County boarders that will further take away from our gaming revenues that we need to have in-order to pay our bonds holders. We need to be bold, and bring about a new plan to introduce a new market to our state. We should look at allowing a sport booking license which will be owned by the cities. This license can be leased out for an upfront payment and with an ongoing percentage from the revenues. This can bring in multi-millions of dollars, not just to the state, but to our city. Overall, it will increase jobs in the local community and help with lowering taxes and adding funding for Schools, Police & Fire as well as other civic and senior programs.

The city recently celebrated an entire calendar year without a murder for the first time since the 1940s. What are your top two ideas for making Aurora a safer place?

1) Implement a better way of registering and monitoring, Convicted Child Sex Offenders. I will work, with the county and state authorities for the funding to upgrade our efforts in additional infrastructure. To allow our police department to have the technical ability to install electronic monitoring of released convicted Child Sex offenders. This will help in monitoring the whereabouts of these felons 24/7. In addition, over time lead to better control of the registration of sex offenders, lower the threat to our children, and keep the cost at zero for the police department. If we can do this for DUI?s, why not to these guys, some of the most horrific criminals, that walks among us, and who are still looking for an opportunity to prey and harm our children. 2) As a community we must work, to increase the safety for children. By implementing a bold proactive plan of the distribution of our police and security officers while patrolling the school, playgrounds and park so that a tragedy dose not befall us like other cities, that have now known about an unstable individual who only wanted to create havoc and sorrow. These efforts will help lower the chances of an unstable individual effort, who's only wanted is-to harm our children. By doing this we will have added benefit of lowing the possibilities of gang and gun violence, while also creating deterrence to sexual predators, this will help ensure our children safety.

Residents will be paying more property taxes for the next 30 years to pay for the new library and library technology improvements. What can be done to keep property taxes in check? What are your ideas for streamlining city services or reducing its budget?

I will work, to fix the mismanagement of our resources and cut out the fat and inter-department waste of voter's funds from our city's budget. The answer to our city's budget crisis is not just smaller government. We need smaller more efficient government. I will be a tireless advocate, and work for the revamping of mismanaged and bloated city departments. I believe this is a necessary first step towards lowering property taxes, increasing programs and improving services for the citizens. We need not add to the hardships that higher property taxes would create for people already struggling to make ends meet. I will bring about the change that we need from our city and reduce the redundancy of a bureaucratic and inefficient city government, in order to bring forth a better way to provide youth and senior service programs to the people of Aurora.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I have and will continue to be open, honest and willing to server my community. As Alderman, I will partner with the elected schools boards, because the people on these boards know what their needs are and how best to utilize the funds for their district. Children learn best when there is a close collaboration between school districts, parents and cities. I will always make sure the lines of communication are open and that our children's education and safety are always a priority. I will help bring back federal grip funds; We need to work on getting more back in regards to the 1505 Federal drug forfeiture Funds we will regain The hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars lost to our city these past few years. Moreover, bring back these key funds to our community schools; help add other new programs for our youths and seniors, these funds will also help keep our taxes from rising. I won't forget who I work for. We need to do better; more efficient governance requires our elected officials to spend more time out of every day working for the people who elected them. Even though our aldermen are elected to part time positions, the privilege of serving the citizens of Aurora is a 24/7 job. Aurora's future needs to be addressed with a thorough knowledge of the ramifications of our every action. We should never rush through a vote that we barely understand because of other jobs and commitments this type of action leads to mistakes that become hard to correct. But yet, too often it seems that our political leaders put their party or reelection needs ahead of the citizens they represent. I have always been an independent thinker, and if elected I will never forget that I work for you.

What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

As Alderman, I will provide an open line of communication for our community by holding what we can call, "City Council on Your Block". This will be an open weekly meeting held in our Parks and Back Yards, so we can establish an open free forum for the community, so we can exchange ideas and share information. Together we can make our community better.