Government Affiars Committee Candidate Questionnaire

CANDIDATE: Mary Ann Smith

POSITION SOUGHT: Glen Carbon Trustee

Please provide us with some basic information. We already know your name and address. Please tell us about: a. Your family; b. How long you've lived in Glen Carbon; c. Your education; d. Your employment.
I have lived in the Village for 19 years. My husband, Charles Smith, III and I own a home in Old Town. I am employed part-time at the Sherer Law Offices in Edwardsville.

Why are you seeking this office?
To continue to serve the residents of Glen Carbon.

What education, skills and experiences have prepared you to deal with the complex financial, technical and legal issues that regularly come before village board?
I have served the Village of Glen Carbon for the past 10 years, both at the volunteer committee level and as a member of the Board of Trustees. In both capacities I have dealt with budgetary, legal and technical issues that the Village faces on a daily basis. This experience has prepared me to deal with these complex issues.

What, if anything, should the village of Glen Carbon do to retain, expand and attract ‘head of household’ jobs?
I believe that the Village has many attributes to entice new business and development to the area. We need to utilize the tools that we have, keep the lines of communication open with existing and future business ventures and work with the business community to achieve this.

Please identify and prioritize the three most important ‘large capital’ projects in the village of Glen Carbon. Please justify your prioritization. How do you propose to pay for these projects?
Drainage; Old Troy Road; 5 year Capital Improvement Plan

What are your thoughts on village finances? Are there opportunities to cut expenses? Specifically, where are those opportunities? Is there a need for new or additional revenue? Specifically, where would it come from? Are there areas where spending needs to be increased? Specifically, where does spending need to increase? Specifically, where would the money come from?
I believe there are always opportunities to cut expenses and budgeting throughout the year by departments is a good tool to get a better grasp on budgetary needs for the coming fiscal year. There will always be the need for costly capital improvements. Identifying and prioritizing the projects is paramount in determining where to look for funding. Again, identifying and prioritizing projects can determine if spending needs to increase and where to look for funding.

What do you believe is the role of a village board member in the village administrator form of government?
I believe the role of a council member is to study an issue, ask questions and educate oneself to ultimately make informed decisions that are in the best interests of all of the residents of the Village.

If you're the incumbent, what have been your significant accomplishments during your term? If you're the challenger, what do you believe have been the significant disappointments of the incumbents, and how would your term in office be different?
I believe one of the most significant accomplishments of this Board during the last 4 years has been movement on some long overdue projects which include severe drainage, infrastructure and road improvement issues within the Village. We have adopted a capital improvement plan as a tool to budget for these projects and ensure they don’t become stagnant. We have realized not only new employment opportunities and an increase in property and sales tax revenues from new businesses that have located in Glen Carbon, but have seen the redevelopment of a large site along the main business corridor within the Village that otherwise would have remained undeveloped due to costly remediation. My most significant accomplishment during the last 4 years has been that while all of the decisions I’ve made along the way have not always been easy ones to make, they have ultimately been what I believe to be in the best interests of the residents and the Village of Glen Carbon. I have stood by my convictions and have not compromised my principals to take the easier position on an issue.

If elected, what would be your top three priorities?
I look forward to working toward continued efforts in enhancing the quality of goods, services and atmosphere we all enjoy as residents of the Village of Glen Carbon. I believe that road and infrastructure projects, park and green space improvements and fiscal responsibility will always be priorities for the Village Board. I believe we have seen a lot of improvements in these areas and look forward to working to see these efforts through.

At the end of your term in office, how will you know if you've been successful?
Being an elected official is not always easy. I made a commitment to the residents of the Village when I was first elected in 2011. I have stood by that commitment, have made informed decisions, have participated in meetings to cast my vote and have not compromised my principals to take the “easier” position on an issue. Following through on that commitment has made my term in office a success.

Are there any changes you would like to see regarding: How village board functions? How committees function? How departments function?
I would like to see the Board, department heads and staff continue to strive to make Glen Carbon the very best it can be.
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce leadership know it is vital that chamber members exercise their right to vote. We also believe it is important that chamber members be informed voters, particularly when it comes to issues that directly affect the local business environment.

With that in mind, the chamber's government affairs committee (GAC) sent a questionnaire to candidates in both the Edwardsville and Glen Carbon spring 2015 municipal races.

CLICK HERE to download the letter and questionnaire that were sent to municipal candidates.

EDWARDSVILLE ALDERMAN CANDIDATE RESPONSES:
William Krause (Ward 5)
Art Risavy (Ward 7)
Janet Stack (Ward 3)
Barbara Jurgena-Stamer (Ward 1)

GLEN CARBON TRUSTEE CANDIDATE RESPONSES:
Ross Breckenridge
Douglas Dial
Luke Harris
Steven Slemer
Mary Ann Smith
Micah Summers