Full Name: Michael Wirtz
What office are you seeking? Oswego village trustee
What is your political party? Republican
What is your current age? 48
Occupation and Employer: Director of Quality for a publicly traded company
What offices, if any, have you previously held? None
Campaign Website: None at this time
Education: Bachelors Degree in Engineering
Community involvement: I volunteer at my church’s charity organization
Previously volunteered as a children’s baseball coach for several seasons
Marital status/Immediate family: I am married and we have 2 children
Why are you running for office?
I moved to Oswego over 9 years ago and really love our town. However, I am concerned about some of the decisions made on the planning and growth of the village. My views are different than those made on several issues and I believe I can provide a better vision for the community that would make Oswego a destination for people to raise their families.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I have many years of experience helping organizations minimize costs, serve their customers, prioritize what is important, and find the best solutions. As someone outside of construction, politics, and other businesses that lobby local governments; I bring to the table the perspective of an outsider and the interests of the entire community.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
The law passed in January violates the Illinois and US constitutions on many levels; from procedural violations of passing laws to violations of individual constitutional rights. Ultimately, these laws shift blame so that politicians don’t have to solve the real problems that are at the root cause of violent crime.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
While Oswego crime is not as high as some of the surrounding towns, I believe it is important for the village board and our police chief to have a cooperative relationship with the tri-county task force on crime and the State’s Attorney for our area; to ensure we actively fight gang activity, human trafficking, and organized crime.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I have no issue with how the pandemic was handled locally.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Supporting small and local businesses is very important to our economy and our community. We know a lot of people struggled during the pandemic to make ends meet and I am glad my wife and I always focused on local business first, to keep them afloat.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
Provide the full support of the village to support and promote existing businesses and provide support for business looking to move to this area so Oswego government is easy to do business with and provides optimal growth for business owners.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Provide slow sustainable growth. Any future growth needs to be supported by infrastructure first to prevent higher costs to tax payers at a later date for doing the work that should have been done years ago at a lower cost.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
The real question is: should we be making decisions to bring in businesses to our community based on how much money we can take from them through taxes? The state determines how those tax dollars can be used from marijuana sales, not the localities. It cannot be used to off-set property taxes according to Illinois state law.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
Widen roads prior to building developments on both sides of the road, so that congestion and construction are minimized from the beginning.
Insure all infrastructure is on-time and on-budget prior to expansion plan implementation.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
Yes. I will accept the decision of the voters.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I support Adam Andrzejewski’s proposal for open government finances.
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?