September 29, 2023


Benjamin Bumpus, Sycamore City Council, Ward 4 election questionnaire

Full Name: Ben Bumpus

What office are you seeking? Alderperson for the City of Sycamore, Illinois

What is your political party? Democratic Party

What is your current age? 48

Occupation and Employer: SVP, Operations Director in the Retail Division of PNC Financial Services.

What offices, if any, have you previously held? I have not held any prior public offices.

City: I currently live in Sycamore, Illinois.

Campaign Website: I do not currently have a campaign website.

Education: I have a Bachelors Degree in Business from St. Bonaventure University.

I also graduated with honors from CBA’s Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.

Community involvement: I have volunteered as a youth soccer, hockey and basketball coach.

Marital status/Immediate family: I am married with three children (20, 18, 15).

Why are you running for office?

Sycamore’s charm is matched only by its potential. I am seeking the Ward 4 Alderperson position to lead change that helps our City realize that potential. It’s an unbelievably exciting opportunity to be an integral part of Sycamore’s community and future. As a person who grew up and lived in multiple cities in and out of Illinois, I believe I can offer Sycamore valuable outside perspective.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

My corporate career has given me the opportunity to become adept at many leadership qualities, but some that stand out are: listening, collaborating, and taking action. My family and I also own our own business which has given me an understanding of the challenges that small business owners face every day. These experiences, combined with my decade in Sycamore, that will help me serve the needs of the Sycamore community and pursue opportunities for our City to thrive in years to come.

What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?

It’s a step in the right direction, but we have a long road ahead finding common ground on gun reform. Although I strongly support the steps our state has taken to limit the dangers of assault weapons, our country remains remarkably divided on this topic so bringing all parties together on sensible solutions is vital.

Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?

No, both violent and property crime rates remain low when comparing Sycamore to other nearby communities and the United States overall.

What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?

Overall the COVID-19 pandemic was handled well in the Sycamore/DeKalb region, with area medical professionals and community leaders responding effectively to help limit COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths. Opportunities revolve mostly around communication, especially knowing the sensitivity on use of masks, social distancing and vaccinations. Our City and County need to expand their use of mediums for informing the public about key activities ranging from economic, weather, and health-related events.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

That even with incredible advancements in medicine and technology, how susceptible we are for a health event that can create a “pandemic” on multiple layers of our society’s psychology and economy. But equally important is the criticality of our ability to communicate, discuss conflicting opinions, and work together with intense urgency toward solutions that minimize health complications.

How would you spur economic development in your community?

I would focus on three main opportunities: 1) Enhance our identity by elaborating on and marketing the “Life offers more in Sycamore” branding, thus creating more awareness for prospective residents and companies; 2) Be bold when entertaining creative business proposals, changes in land use, and partnering with neighboring communities; 3) Increase focus on education by pushing investments in our school district, libraries, and other community development initiatives.

Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?

Local governments should manage their finances with the same vigor deployed by private sector businesses – with intense scrutiny on expenses and transparency to all stakeholders.

Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?

Yes, a dispensary operating under the right controls and conditions could provide our community with a tax revenue opportunity.

What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?

In addition to fierce accountability in executing the City’s Comprehensive Plan, other noteworthy projects include ensuring Sycamore’s water system is safe, enhancing the quality and aesthetics of our primary arterial roadways, and investing in our school district.

Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?


What is your position on open, transparent government?

Having an open, transparent government is critical. From financials to resource changes, or from public concerns to progress against our Comprehensive Plan, we have an obligation to leverage a variety of mediums more effectively to proactively engage our community members.

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?


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