Full Name: Haig Haleblian
What office are you seeking? Mayor Crystal Lake
What is your political party? no partisan
What is your current age? 71
Occupation and Employer: Exceed Floor and Home Owner
What offices, if any, have you previously held? President Oceana Count Airport, Chair Lakeside Center, Crystal Lake Economic Committee 12 years 2 years as chair, McHenry County Council of Governments member, Metra Advisory Board, Crystal Lake City Council 3 years, Mayor Crystal Lake 3 years
City: Crystal Lake
Campaign Website: www.haigformayor.com
Education: Hinsdale High School Central, Southern Illinois University BS Business Administration minor Aviation Technology. Private Pilot, Multi Engine and Instrument ratings.
Community involvement: Refer back to the history question
Marital status/Immediate family: Married to Hawley McLean 25 years. I have two wonderful daughters Molly and Kate Haleblian, 2 steps Cole and Curry Barchard, 5 grand children that I’m a Stampa is step grandpa.
Why are you running for office?
To continue the positive trajectory in leadership that has made Crystal Lake a world class city that others aspire to be. The mission remains unwaivered for what is best for the 40,000 citizens of Crystal Lake. Maintaining our pursuit to be at the forefront of innovative cutting edge ideas, products, and services offered to our community.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
Strong work ethic. Starting as a little boy, I’ve worked all my life. I love to work and embrace and view challenges as a positive. Desire for collaboration and working with people on solutions. Being divisive achieves nothing but negatives.. Positive can do attitude that anything can be accomplished if everyone is pulling for the same goal. A love of life a love of community that I truly embrace every day as a gift. Even the bumpy ones. Business background really helps understanding the needs of the business community and the ability to communicate effectively on a business level.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
It is our duty to support any and all laws whether we agree on those laws or not. There is no sensible reason for a private citizen to own the guns that were recently banned. I believe the wholesale slaughtering of innocents proves that and needs to stop. However there is no sensible reason for legal guns to be banned provided the gun owners are licensed and responsible.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
Thanks to our dedicated police Chief Black and Chief DeRaedt and their well trained, well equipped police and fire departments, we are so fortunate that Crystal Lake is a very safe community to reside. I 100% support our police and fire department. We provide the necessary equipment that keeps us safe and out of harms way.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
It took a lot of phone calls and gymnastics to get a vaccination site in the largest community in McHenry County. Tenacity and perseverance prevailed.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Follow the science.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
Crystal Lake is in a great position. We are proactive on attracting business and industry to Crystal Lake. Downtown has no leasable space, we continue to develop and enhance the shopping and dining experience with more to come. Rt 14 corridor is alive and well with many new projects being developed as I type. We have a economic development department laser focused on business attraction and retention. We offer grant programs to attract new business to upgrade facades and interiors. No one even comes close to doing business like Crystal Lake.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Crystal Lake continues to be one of the lowest taxing municipalities in McHenry County. Our mantra is to provide the very best in services for the lowest cost. We do so by combining some services with McHenry County and surrounding communities, search out all available state and federal grants. Area Mayors recently spent two days in Springfield with legislators looking for new revenue available from the state. Our big ask was to restore to from 6% to the original 10% The Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). This is our money that was taken away by the state. There are also two unfunded mandates that we asked to be funded.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
Recreation marijuana is legal in Illinois. Why would I want to see the tax income go to another community when the tax benefit would help our community? Short answer? I wouldn’t and didn’t.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
We are closing on the Crystal Lake Metra Station and the parking lot to north and south. With this purchase we will have the opportunity to develop and support our downtown district in the best way possible eliminating an out of state developer. We will start on the much needed Dole Avenue renovation 8/23. There are two roundabouts scheduled. A good portion of the funding is through state and federal funding. Staff is always searching for financing through federal and state grants and funding. I’m also not opposed to public and private cooperative funding of certain projects.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
Absolutely. It’s the correct thing to do right?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
It’s the only way to operate.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
We always have and always will follow the law. There are situations where what is asked would harm an ongoing investigation. In those cases I would support the department denying the request
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
Yes. NDA’s are a part of doing business. Eventually the news is released if the negotiation is successful.