2015 7th ward alderman candidate: Craig Roman

By Andre Phillips

Involvement: Elected in DK37 precinct, former treasurer for the DeKalb County Illinois Democratic Party, neighborhood watch chair and employee of two funeral homes in DeKalb and Sycamore

Q: What do you think is the most pressing issue in your ward?

A: Since it’s the 7th ward, we have a couple of different things. It’s a mixed ward, half of NIU and half of residential. It has a multitude of different things. From speaking with students, it’s more a parking issue. As far as the residents, I live in Devonaire Farms and we have a bunch of unused, undeveloped lots and we need to get those built so we can have them thrive in DeKalb.

Q: What is your position on lowering taxes?

A: The property tax for the city of DeKalb is only a minor portion of the property tax bill. I believe everything the city collects from their portion of the property tax bill go to police and fire pensions. I don’t know if there’s room in there to lower the city’s percentage.

Q: If there are any state budget cuts, how would they affect the schools, NIU, businesses, etcetera?

A: The city of DeKalb could receive a $2 million cut. I’ve heard upwards [of] $30 million for NIU. That is going to have a drastic impact about the city, NIU — the staff, the residents, businesses and it’s going to be a whole trickle-down effect of what happens when you lose $30 million.

Q: What concerns would you focus on between NIU and the community and how do you think that can help better shape the community?

A: My whole thing is communication. If I win, we’re going to have a meet and greet sometime after April 7. At this point, I will get people’s phone numbers and email addresses and will send out either text or email messages when we want to have the meeting. I want to have them, business, in [the] 7th ward, but after looking at the map there aren’t many businesses in the 7th ward. … I plan to have quarterly meetings with the residents — last time I checked are students — so they can come to the meetings [and] we can discuss [and] they can learn what’s going on in city.

I’ve said I don’t expect the residents to pay attention to what’s going on in the city 24/7, I just ask that they give me a hour or two a every couple of months to give them an idea of what’s going on, let them know what the city is doing, bring back reports of what we’ve done and get an idea of what they want us to go forward [with], what were thinking about, what businesses are coming, what plant developments are coming. DeKalb, we’ve lost retail, we’ve lost industrial, but we need better-paying jobs.

The only way to bring in the better paying jobs is, the other aldermen have talked about this, the high speed cable. If we can get businesses that are attracted to that, it’s going to bring the jobs, it’s going to bring the need for the students, the need for Kishwaukee. Its just going to incorporate everything we have to offer into those business.