Full Name: Tony Speciale
What office are you seeking? Village of Sugar Grove Trustee
What is your political party? Independent
What is your current age? 61
Occupation and Employer: Retired
What offices, if any, have you previously held? I served as a Director on the Meadowridge Villas HOA Board for two terms. I worked with the Board to balance our budget and freeze our HOA Fees.
City: Village of Sugar Grove
Campaign Website: www.ittakesavillagesg.com
Education: Associate of Science degree, Chemistry
Community involvement: Lions Club, Village of Sugar Grove Appointee to the Aurora Airport Advisory Commission, Village of Sugar Grove Town Center Committee
Marital status/Immediate family: Married to Rita for 32 Years, 3 Step Children, 4 Grandchildren, 2 Great Grandchildren.
Why are you running for office?
I have dedicated much of my life to Sugar Grove – both as a long-time resident and working as the Public Works Director for nearly 20 years. I see fantastic opportunities here and I know that I can contribute my 40+ years of Municipal Government Experience and perspective to be an effective Village Trustee.
I am passionate about smart development for our community, including creating spaces for our residents and patrons to live, work, dine, and enjoy. For the past 18 months, I have worked with Village Trustees and other residents on the Town Center Committee. I believe that together, we have created a fantastic framework for the Town Center concept. Now, I would like to continue to work as a Village Trustee to bring that vision to life.
I also want to look at how we can create a more livable community for our aging residents. In the past 10 years, we have added 2 age restricted senior apartment homes and 1 assisted living facility in Sugar Grove. I want to proactively work within our community to advocate for our senior residents for better resources, such as transportation, shopping options, and other services.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
As stated above, I have over 40 years of Municipal Government experience, including nearly 20 years of being the Sugar Grove Public Works Director. I have a strong working knowledge of multiple departments of the Village – including streets, water, utilities, and maintenance. I have experience in project management, working with the community, and overseeing budgets.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
I oppose the ban in its current format.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
Sugar Grove does not have a crime problem and I believe we have an Excellent Police Department. While crime can be a problem everywhere, we would need to work with our residents and Police Department to help keep our Village Safe.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I believe that our Village did a great job with its COVID-19 response.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
We learned that you can never be over-prepared, providing proactive and reliable communication that is easily accessible to all residents is key, and that community will always be very important – even during a pandemic.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
I support the current Village Board with the hiring of an Economic Development Director. I will work with the Board to create a vision, meet with the residents, articulate and bring back comments.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Local Government should use Economic Development to Diversify the Tax Base to reduce property taxes.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
I do not believe Sugar Grove has a demand for this type of facility. I plan to keep an open mind a consider all the facts that might be presented in the future.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
My primary goal is to continue improving our trail network and work towards a full build-out of a community wide trail network. Continue to pursue Grants and work with our Government Partners.
An example; Blackberry Creek Pedestrian Path and Bridge Project. Before I retired – with the assistance of the current Village Board – I was able to complete all of our Intergovernmental Agreements with the Village, Sugar Grove Park District, Sugar Grove Township, and Kane County Forest Preserve District to formally establish the Blackberry Creek Pedestrian Path and Bridge Project. With an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Grant in place, we can move forward with Design Engineering and construction.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I fully support an open, transparent government.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Yes, I fully support an open, transparent government.
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?