Though Evanston faces challenges, we are fortunate that Mayor Tisdahl and other leaders have been good stewards of our city’s finances. We do not face the same debt levels and fiscal crises that Chicago and other Illinois municipalities are struggling with. It will be a top priority of mine to use my business and management experience to preserve our financial stability. I want to ensure that we leave a strong, fiscally healthy, debt-free city to future generations of Evanstonians.
I believe my background gives me a unique and valuable perspective on municipal finance. After working for Price Waterhouse for 8 years, I started a business in 2001, Hagerty Consulting, that helps communities across the country prepare for and recover from disasters (for example: 9/11, Katrina, and Super Storm Sandy). Today the company has grown to more than 100 professionals and is regarded as one of the nation’s most respected emergency management consulting firms; managing billions of dollars in federal aid and helping major metropolitan areas better assess hazards, develop emergency procedures, and test and exercise plans.
Through this professional work, and through my service on the First Bank and Trust Board, I have developed a strong grasp of state and local finance, proper accounting principles, cash flow management and budgeting. I know that financial stewardship is not, however, just about balance sheets – it is also about people. I learned how to attract talented leaders and managers – and to inspire and lead a professional workforce that delivers results.
I will come to the role of Mayor with the financial tools necessary to craft solutions to meet our financial commitments, working to do so without further burdening our already heavily taxed residents.
I will apply my knowledge of government grants to help Evanston apply for and receive Federal grants that help us achieve our financial goals. Every year, billions of dollars are awarded to state and local governments for infrastructure projects and human needs. Much of my 24-year career has been spent applying for – and successfully receiving – billions of dollars in grant funds for communities with a range of needs. I will work collaboratively with all of Evanston’s elected officials to make our case. I will work tirelessly to position us to compete successfully for grants, in particular for those from newly established programs.
I will apply my public administration and government finance experience to make sure we operate in a fiscally responsible manner. Evanston needs to be sensible and transparent about its finances. Our City must be efficient and well functioning to thrive. We need to work to regain the highest-credit ratings possible, so we can spend more on services — and not loans. We must find a balance between providing useful services, without making Evanston too expensive for many residents.
I will ensure that Evanston meets its pension obligations, invests in critical infrastructure and human services, and is transparent in the annual budget process that seeks community input. Evanston government must always strive to serve the long-term interests its residents we are elected to serve.
Find out more about my positions on issues I believe are important to Evanston: