Full Name: Dean Kilburg
What office are you seeking? Alderman - 3rd Ward in Geneva
What is your political party? Independent
What is your current age? 73
Occupation and Employer: Retired from a career in agri-business
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Geneva Unit School District 304 - Board Member from 1995-2007 (Served as Board President from 2001-2007)
Alderman - 3rd Ward in Geneva from 2011-2023
City: Geneva, Illinois
Education: B.A. - History from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa - Graduated 1971
Master Degree Studies - LuVerne College, California
Community involvement: Geneva All Sports Booster Member from 1987-2001 (President 1993-1994)
Geneva Community Chest Director from 2010-2023
Fermi Lab - Citizen Advisory Committee from 2011-2023
District 304 Senior Citizen Program from 2007-2015
Northern Illinois Food Bank Volunteer from 2015-2022
Marital status/Immediate family: Married - Linda Felderman Kilburg 1971-Present
4 Children - Aaron Kilburg
Why are you running for office?
Community service is a responsibility of every citizen. Serving the city and my neighborhood in the 3rd Ward is a way that I can give back to the community and help make a difference.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
My prior service to the community as a school board member. Ongoing and active engagement with the community.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
Assault weapons are taking a tragic toll in our nation. Studies show that when a federal ban was enacted in the 1990′s until it sunset the law had positive impact. It will be interesting to see how the courts address this legislation. I support all laws that are currently in place in Illinois.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
Crime is well controlled and not a major problem in Geneva. However, the issues surrounding the introduction of new and more dangerous drugs into our county and community raises concerns. Our local police are well trained and actively engaged with the community. Education and citizen involvement are tools to help curb crime.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
The city did an excellent job of maintaining essential services while keeping the community informed on local projects and the day-to-day operations of our local government. Meetings were televised and an access line at meetings provided viewers the chance to participate and raise questions.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Government plays an important role in finding ways to modify and provide basic services for the community in a pandemic. The city met the challenge and supported our residents and businesses as we all worked through a difficult time.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
We need to complete the Southeast Industrial Park that is currently in development to create jobs and provide for a more balanced tax base for the community. The city needs to work with our Chamber of Commerce to support our businesses and drive a return to prior pandemic levels of tourism. Work to keep or utility costs at competitive levels for our residents and businesses. Support creative proposals that bring development and new businesses to our community.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Continue to effectively manage our budgeting and expenditures. Continue to pursue group purchasing with other Illinois communities. Complete the Southeast Industrial Park to attract industry and level our tax base. Carefully manage TIFs so they simply aren’t a transfer of taxation back onto our residents. These are a few examples of ways to minimize the impact of residential taxation. We can only do so much since only 6% of any Geneva residential property tax bill goes to the support of the city.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
I have previously voted against bringing the retail sale of marijuana to our city. The tax benefits I feel are outweighed by the challenges it would present for our community. Although availability exists in neighboring communities that doesn’t necessarily justify our participation at this time.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
We are in need of a new police station in Geneva. Our current facility has failed to keep pace with population growth and new laws we are no longer able to fully comply with. With the recent purchase of the old downtown library the council needs to address future plans and re-development of the site and how best it can serve the community. The council needs to move forward with supporting the timely redevelopment of the Mill Race site. The eastern entry to Geneva will undergo a major reconstruction of East State Street during 2023-2025. This will create challenges moving traffic through the community. Plans to minimize the impact for our residents and businesses should be a priority.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I fully support open and transparent government.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
As companies explore development in our community there could well exist the need for some level of confidentiality early in the process. Once a proposed project reaches our Plan Commission then transparency is much more critical so residents are fully informed and can intelligently question. In Geneva it would be the mayor and staff that are involved with signing nondisclosure agreements. It normally would not apply at the council level since we aren’t involved or even informed in the early stages of such discussions.