Mike Turk: Candidate for At-Large Joliet City Council Seat
3/10/2017, 2:32 p.m.
1.) 1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up, go to school, describe your family life, what are your hobbies, how do you make a living?
My Name Is Michael F. Turk. Born in Joliet. Graduate of Joliet Catholic High School and Lewis University with a degree in Accounting. Married to Kathy(Gawenda) Turk for 27 years. Employed for 31 years as an auditor for the Illinois State Board of Education. Currently employed as a bookkeeper for the Southern Will County Co-op for Special Education for the past 10 years. Serves on the board of the Will County Old Timers Baseball Association. Active member of the Cathedral of St. Raymond Parish.
2.) Why are you running for an at-large council seat?
I am running for re-election to the Joliet City Council because I care deeply about this city and its residents. It is a very rewarding experience to be able to help citizens with their various problems and issues and be able to work first hand to manage and promote this great city.
I have served with a high degree of honesty, integrity, and accountability. I vote on issues after doing all the necessary research and seeking public opinion in order to make the decisions in the best interest of the whole City.
I have the ability to make the tough decisions that are sometimes not “politically popular” but are necessary to provide essential services to the citizens they expect and deserve.
I believe that to be an effective City Council Member, a person needs to make the job of City Council Person a priority by investing the time and energy it takes to return phone calls, answer letters and emails, as well as attend as many neighborhood meetings and community events as possible. I have demonstrated that I can do just that.
There are many projects that will be happing in the City and I would like to continue serving its citizens.
3.) Gambling revenue is on a downward trend from a high in 2007 of just over $36 million to just over $18 million in 2015. What are some other funding streams you see as potential options for the city to replace those shrinking funds?
At one time gaming revenue was the largest source of revenue for the City of Joliet. Currently the largest source of revenue is sales tax. It is essential the City actively attract more retail and commercial development to maximize sales tax revenue. The proposed development at I-80 and I-55 will do just that. This will allow the City to maintain Real Estate taxes at the current rate of 19% of the total Tax Bill.
4.) Mayor O’Dekirk had discussed re-instating a five-year budget plan that had been discontinued under the previous mayor as part of his transition in to office. Do you see that as a useful tool for the city and if so will you push for a 5-year budget forecast and how will you make sure it’s implemented?
The 5 year budget plan was discontinued when the Economy took a down turn