2015 3rd ward alderman candidate: Steve Kapitan

By Andre Phillips

Involvement: Volunteer for more than 30 years, League of Women Voters member, DeKalb County Partnership for a Substance Abuse Free Environment member and DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice founder

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

A: Because the 3rd ward is socioeconomically diverse, there isn’t one dominant issue. For some, it is the high property tax burden. For others, it is the availability of good-paying jobs. Improvements in streets and sidewalks are also an issue.

Q: What is your position on lowering taxes?

A: With the prospect of the loss of revenue from the state, the objective is to avoid raising taxes.

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

A: The city would face a loss of over $2 million and NIU is facing a 30 percent cut in state funding under Gov. [Bruce] Rauner’s budget. Those cuts could affect the local economy in the form of a loss of jobs and lower retail sales.

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: The city should continue to work with NIU to look for ways to improve relations between the student community and the permanent community. We should also develop a strategy for promoting NIU’s presence in order to foster economic development.