As Mayor, Steve has worked closely with community leaders and residents to protect Naperville's rich history while helping to shape the next generation of prosperity. Through strategic initiatives focused on strong business policies and an emphasis on neighborhood safety and quality schools, Steve believes we can continue to work together to achieve and maintain a vibrant, well-balanced community.
Pro Economic Development
Over the last four years, Steve has focused on filling vacant buildings (dropping the vacancy rate from more than 14 percent to just 10 percent) and bringing new investment into Naperville, the largest local economy outside of Chicago in Illinois.
With Steve as mayor, there has been a steady flow of businesses that have moved to, or expanded in Naperville including Aldi headquarters, Nalco’s Water University (an international educational facility), Patel Brothers Grocery and Gerald Auto on Ogden Ave.
Steve believes that a community that is well balanced by business provides residents with essential amenities like quality schools and safe neighborhoods while maintaining property values as taxes are kept in check. In his second term, Steve looks forward to seeing that projects like the Polo Fields, Old Nichols Library, Wagner Farm and 5th Avenue move forward in an inclusive and impactful way. The implications of these projects on our community are great - from increased commuter parking spaces and improved commuter experience to varied housing options, neighborhood improvements and business development opportunities. Steve is encouraged by the level of community engagement on the planning and development process that is so vital to our city, and looks forward to continued progress.
Responsible Fiscal Policy
Like many residents, Steve is concerned about Naperville’s debt. As Mayor, Steve led the development of a sustainable plan that reduced the debt that had increased over the the ten years prior to his tenure. Under his leadership:
There has been a 15% reduction in municipal property taxes since 2015 which marks the lowest municipal property tax rate in 50 years
The city's debt was reduced by 23% and cash reserves were increased
Naperville now has a sustainable pension plan which helps keep the city’s budget in check
Naperville has maintained AAA bond rating
Investment in the city's infrastructure has increased back to pre-recession levels
A structurally balanced budget has been passed every year since 2015
The city's government has the lowest number of employees per 1,000 residents in 45 years
Water and electric utilities are charged at rates below market and have been stabilized by increasing infrastructure investment back to appropriate levels
In a second term, Steve will continue to drive a plan to achieve a balanced city budget and broaden the tax base so Naperville can continue to fund its great schools, wonderful parks and safe neighborhoods.
Public safety remains one of Steve's top priorities. Recognizing how mental illness and drug addiction affects our city, Steve has worked to implement and maintain several programs that provide assistance and resources to residents who need help. Because of programs and services like Connect for Life, Naper Notify and PulsePoint Respond, Naperville has been named one of the safest cities in America for four years in a row.
As mayor and liquor commissioner Steve feels that strong and fair liquor laws are key to keeping residents and visitors safe. In fact, while restaurants and liquor establishments have increased, crime calls and arrests from liquor establishments have continued to drop over the past three years. As liquor commissioner, Steve has ensured that all licensees are compliant with our laws and that operators are responsible.
Pro Environmental Sustainability
Under Steve's leadership, Naperville has led Illinois by investing in cleaner energy and more environmentally friendly services. Shrinking Naperville’s carbon footprint is not just the right thing to do, it also makes good financial sense. The following initiatives are not only investments in mother nature, but also help taxpayers. These initiatives include:
Established the first municipal solar power plant
Converted street light and traffic signals to LED
Formed a joint partnership to build a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel plant in the city
Approved a new contract that will convert waste collection trucks to CNG
Approved the addition of electric vehicles to the city fleet
Established a pollination garden that provides a critical habitat for pollinators which are essential for a healthy ecosystem