Mar 11, 2019

David S. Olsen: Candidate profile

Issue questions

* What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?

Downers Grove faces its fair share of challenges, but it is in a great position to succeed due to the productive ideas and commitment to service from its residents. It is my intention to tap into this resource, promote productive dialogue, and work collaboratively to improve our village.

One of the top issues we must address is keeping taxes and fees low for residents and businesses. To that end we need to continue to encourage economic development, for example at the sales tax-producing commercial properties at 75th Street & Lemont Road, 63rd Street & Woodward Avenue, and along the Butterfield Road Corridor. Especially with the dysfunction at the state and federal level, we should take the lead locally and directly encourage businesses to move to and reinvest in Downers Grove.

Infrastructure improvements, particularly enhancing stormwater management, must also be a top priority. We must work to find a balance to ensure new development does not negatively impact existing homes or businesses. Combining the knowledge of experts with the voices of all residents — whether they have lived in Downers Grove for 1 year or 100 years — will help us find appropriate solutions.

* What makes you the best candidate for the job?

As a former village council member, community college trustee, and most recently state representative, I bring an informed perspective and commitment to service to the role of mayor. I know how to work collaboratively to enact needed reforms for our village and understand the resources available. Yet, I still have a fresh perspective as a young leader in the community. Downers Grove needs a leader who can provide both of these important qualities.

The village also needs a mayor who is accessible. I make every effort to be present in the life of our community. My cellphone number and email address are widely available and I’m happy to meet with residents and other stakeholders to address their concerns. The mayor should be the most reachable and accountable person at village hall, and I strongly believe that my record proves I can provide this kind of hands-on leadership.

Read more: Daily Herald