Bob Porada: Candidate Profile
Des Plaines City Council Ward 7
Back to Des Plaines City Council Ward 7
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.
City: Des Plaines
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Des Plaines City Council Ward 7
Family: Wife, Kathleen, 30 years
Son, Robert, 25, Proud Member IBEW 134
Son, Stephen, 19, United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 2019
Grandson, 13 months
Occupation: Trial Attorney and President, Porada Law Offices, Ltd.
Education: Admitted to practice in Illinois - 05/10/1984
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - 06/28/1984
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - Trial Bar Certification - 11/03/1987
Juris Doctor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law - 01/1984
B.A., Loyola University Chicago - 05/1981
Holy Cross High School - 05/1977
Civic involvement: Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce - 2014 - present
Des Plaines Zoning Board of Appeals - 12/06 - 01/15
Des Plaines Consumer Protection Commission - 05/05 - 12/06
Numerous social, charitable, and philanthropic - 1980 - present
Elected offices held: None elected
Questions & Answers
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My aggressive "can-do" and "won't take no for an answer" attitude have made me an American success story for 40+ years and makes me the only qualified candidate.
From a young age I was taught the importance of thrift, self-reliance, and perseverance. I earned 100% of my seven years of undergraduate and law school tuition without asking for a government handout and without a penny of debt, completing both degrees early.
Before I reached 30 years old I had created the first of many successful law practices, each serving a diverse nationwide clientele, with a separate real estate management portfolio.
For 30 years I've had to eliminate wasteful expenses, trim unnecessary staff, and keep spending in line with revenues.
As alderman, I will treat your hard-earned tax dollars as would a successful businessman, not a 20-year career politician. I will cut DesPlaines' budget, not increase your taxes and fees. I will hire more police to keep us safe and keep more money in our 7th Ward to fix flooding and streets. Under no circumstances will I waste your money on pet projects, consultants' studies, or spending that does not benefit DesPlaines' 7th Ward. City management and staff will work for you and answer to you, their bosses, and deliver quality results. We need a strong leader, not a weak follower. A hands-on manager, not a hand-wringer. Decisive, not wishy-washy. Responding to you, not ignoring you. Change for the 21st Century, not stale ideas from the last millenium. Real, honest-to-goodness change.
What is your opinion of your community's present level of local sales and property taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.
Our hardworking DesPlaines families pay too much in taxes, too much in fees, and too much to live in DesPlaines. Why? DesPlaines spends too much money.
Every fall I pore over the budget and every two weeks I scrutinize the city's warrant register (bill payments) and am angered by the wasteful spending for the bloated bureaucracy, expanding staff, and frivolous expenses. Unlike my opponent I will say "NO" to all new tax/fee increases and non-public safety hiring.
Because of chronic mismanagement, DesPlaines fails to enforce its own laws to collect the taxes, fees, and fines it is owed. The majority of us law abiding folks pay our fair share and play by the rules. When others aren't expected to pay what they owe, we must make up the difference and are forced to play the fools.
My opponent is the prime example of DesPlaines' financial mismanagement and corruption. He broke the law and didn't buy vehicle stickers for years. He bragged that he did not have to obey the law because "the car was out-of-town" where it would not get a ticket. Then, he intimidated city staff to write a phony-baloney letter saying that he did not owe the money. As alderman I will lead by example and not abuse the public's trust.
When elected I will fight this corruption, demand a full accounting to determine the extent of this wasteful mismanagement, move to cancel/renegotiate all no-bid contracts, implement meaningful cost reductions, and require justification for all post-2014 non-police/fire positions.
Should city elected officials receive city-funded health insurance benefits? Do you receive the benefits now? Would you accept them if elected?
Previously, my opponent denied receiving the city's health/dental insurance while 7th Ward Alderman from 1997-2009. Although city records conclusively prove that he received this expensive taxpayer-funded benefit for many, many years, he was evasive, stating that he took the city insurance because "they gave me some forms to sign and I really didn't know what I was signing so I signed them".
If elected I will decline these expensive taxpayer-funded benefits. Period. No means no.
Unlike my opponent, I believe that public service is a noble endeavor worthy of sacrifice and not something pursued solely for personal gain. In addition to the expensive taxpayer funded health/dental insurance, over the past 20 years my opponent has been alderman, adjusted for inflation, he has pocketed over $100,000 in salary and expenses. I pledge that whatever monies the city requires me to accept will be reinvested into our 7th Ward for safety, beautification, and infrastructure improvements.
Since fall 2014 I have been on record as supporting the elimination of this expensive city subsidized benefit. However, I am fully aware of the extensive commitment of time, energy and money made by most of our alderman. While my plan would eliminate the 88% city subsidy, in the interest of fair play my plan allows our 10 elected officials to participate in the city insurance plan so long as they paid 100% of the premiums plus a small administrative fee. My plan is "revenue neutral" to the city without unfairly penalizing those who require this coverage.
Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?
I've made it clear that when elected I will spend DesPlaines' taxpayer dollars as if they were my own.
No doubt my opponent supports the Mayor's plan to replace DesPlaines' vehicle sticker program by forcefully eliminating the health/dental insurance we are legally and morally obligated to provide to our loyal unionized work force for which they bargained in good faith. I've stated "promises made will be promises kept".
I'm committed to public safety and law enforcement and will fight to keep you safe. Comparing 2015 vs. 2014, although DesPlaines police incidents were up 10%, arrests were down 25%, DUI's down 35%, and violations down 35%. Compared with our neighbors, is it any wonder why DesPlaines is #1 in crime and dead last in safety? Worried? You should be. So am I. Details below.
I can't wait to take a big red marker to extravagant spending, the ballooning payroll and outrageous budget requests. $750 to an outside portrait studio to re-do my opponent's photo initially taken free of charge by our city's media department. $250,000+ on logo design, slogans, and "branding". $630 for 21 city employees to attend a political speech. $45,000 for a luxurious City Hall executive suite. $90,000 to remodel the Council chambers. $30,000 for a new car that's seldom used. $30,000 for Christmas decorations.
No more wasting money on downtown paver bricks when our 7th Ward streets are broken and filthy or spending money for downtown tax incentives when our Cumberland train station is a civic embarrassment.
Do you support a plan to commit city dollars, along with Rivers Casino, to acquire and renovate the shuttered Des Plaines Theatre, then hire an event planner to book concerts and shows?
I don't have all the facts necessary to intelligently respond. The Mayor met privately with Rivers. The Council met secretly. The City denied my FOIA requests.
The theatre is privately owned. I refuse to invest one penny of your money in someone else's property. My opponent insists "we don't spend enough" on things DesPlaines has no business spending money on.
Arlington Heights' Metropolis Theatre requires substantial yearly financial subsidies. I refuse to spend one penny of your money unless an established, proven outside promoter is willing to assume 100% of the risk. My opponent wants to pay $100,000/year to the "event planner" who ruined our summer festival.
When government is hiding something, they are up to no good. I refuse to spend one penny of your money on yet another back room deal. My opponent "rubber stamps" everything he's told is a "good move".
DesPlaines has a long history of unsuccessful redevelopment. I refuse to spend one penny of your money on yet another hare brained real estate scheme. My opponent supported the development which litters our downtown retail with nail salons, dry cleaners, banks and doctor's offices.
Des Plaines is incapable of managing large projects like this which come with cost overruns, hidden expenses and, yes, rampant corruption. I will not spend one penny of your money unless every contract for this project is competitively bid for a "not to exceed" amount. My opponent's friend's company has a multi-million dollar no-bid city contract and can't wait to cash in.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
DesPlaines is a great place to live and we're all disappointed that my opponent brags that there are a lot of other great places to live.
But, DesPlaines must improve when it comes to public safety. This change will come from my innovative ideas and not from a 20-year career politician who's told what he wants to hear and is happy with the same old failed policies and outdated programs from the last millenium.
Like you I want DesPlaines to be #1 and our first responders are truly the finest anywhere.
My opponent denies but recent FBI statistics confirm that compared with our neighbors in Mt.Prospect, ArlingtonHeights, ParkRidge, Palatine and elsewhere DesPlaines is #1 in crime and dead last in safety. DesPlaines has the most violent crime, the most property crime, and the most total crime. Someone in DesPlaines is almost three times as likely to be a victim of violent crime than someone in ParkRidge. This is personal to me. On my block two neighbors' homes have been violently burglarized.
My simple plan? More police, better deployed, always pro-active. I think $100,000/year for a police officer is money well spent. My opponent demanded a $100,000/year event planner. I'm convinced that community policing is a successful crime fighting strategy. My opponent thinks resident outreach is a bother. I'll demand police transparency and accountability so you know what's happening. My opponent thinks it's OK that our police department hides crime reports.
On my watch I will work to keep you safe.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Ronald Wilson Reagan
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Live each day as if it was your last
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Pursuing a degree in architecture
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Loyola Law School Trial Practice - taught me passion for my craft
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make the most of what you have to achieve the most of what you want