Letter: Facts regarding Michels speak for themselves

By on April 4, 2013

Come April 9, my vote will go to Sean Michels for Sugar Grove village president. The facts speak for themselves.

Today, under the leadership of Sean Michels, the village of Sugar Grove is on sound financial ground despite several years of tough
economic challenges.

Under Sean Michels:

• The village proactively reduced the budget as a result of the economic downturn without significant reductions in village services. The village budgeted $6,487,934 for fiscal year 2006–07. The budget for fiscal year 2012-13 is $4,183,664. The village reduced the budget in a time when we all have to do the same.

• Disciplined, balanced budget management has led to a steady increase in surplus vs. deficit. The village had a net increase in its general fund balance of $314,000 under Sean’s leadership. The village projects another surplus in fiscal year 2012-13

• The surplus has helped drive the improvement and maintenance of infrastructure. The village transferred over $1 million of additional surplus over the same 10 years to the Infrastructure Capital Projects Fund for road maintenance projects.

• Success in acquiring grants is driving even more infrastructure improvement at no cost to village residents. Since fiscal year 2008-09, the village obtained and utilized $5.6 million in grants to complete over $10 million in road projects. This year, the village is planning to utilize over $1 million in grants. These are state and federal funds that help to build the village of Sugar Grove’s infrastructure. These improvements directly benefit residents and this community without further taxing our pocketbook.

• Under Sean, residents are shouldering less of the tax burden. Non-residential equalized assessed value (EAV) has increased from $16.8 million in fiscal year 2006-07 to $32.2 million in fiscal year 2012–13. This 100 percent increase in EAV comes from new businesses and growing businesses within the village, and provides the village with a tax source other than residential.

• Commercial tax revenue is up 636 percent in 10 years. In addition to providing new non-residential property taxes in the village, commercial development has also been the impetus to increased sales tax revenue. The village received $172,851 in state sales tax in fiscal year 2002-03, and is projecting state sales tax of over $1,100,000 in fiscal year 2012–13. This is a compounded average growth rate of almost 20 percent annually.

• Objective third-party ratings amplify the progress. The village obtained its first bond rating of an A in May 2006 from Standard & Poor’s. The rating was increased to an A+ in June 2008. This rating validates the village’s strong financial picture and provides the village with a better borrowing rate, if necessary.

This information is readily available to all interested. The village’s website is informative; the village staff helpful.

Further, as a village trustee for four years; I’ve seen much. I’ve seen Sean’s leadership and work ethic, and am living the outcomes of that leadership. At the same time, I sat next to Kevin Geary and saw him deliver little, show no leadership or even take a productive role in decision making. It was shameful to think that he was voting on behalf of the village on many issues that he hadn’t taken the time to understand, rather reaching rash judgment based on his gut. I do not want that person as the leader of our community or to give him an opportunity to undo the progress we have made as a village.

Sean has a vision of the village of responsible growth, assessing the needs of the residents today and the residents of tomorrow seriously with a strong leaning toward fiscal responsibility. This vision and his core values have served us well in both good economic times and bad, and they will continue to serve us well into the future. Just look at the facts

This is an election where voter turnout will be extremely low with no national or state selections. Every vote will count. Please cast yours for Sean Michels on Tuesday, April 9.

Mary Heineman
Sugar Grove