John Hadley, DeKalb City Council, Ward 3 election questionnaire

Election 2024

Full Name: Jonathan Hadley

What office are you seeking? Third Ward Alderman

What is your political party? Democratic

What is your current age? 51

Occupation and Employer: Aviation Maintenance Technician at Win Aviation

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

City: DeKalb

Campaign Website: Not yet, but I am in the process of setting one up.

Education: I completed a 2-year Aviation Maintenance program at Rock Valley College. This allowed me to get the Airframe & Powerplant license that is required to inspect and repair airplanes. In addition to the classes I took at Rock Valley College, I attended a program at Emory Air in Rockford that provided the extra training needed for me to earn certificates to work on large jets.

Community involvement: I have not been able to join any groups or do any volunteer work up until this point because of family issues requiring all of my time outside of work.

Marital status/Immediate family: I am married to Morgan Kathleen Giles-Hadley. We do not have any children.

Why are you running for office?

Because democracy thrives on choices and I am running to give the voters a choice about what matters to them and their community.

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

I ran my own business for 10 years and doing so taught me how to work with different personalities in a way that makes sure that each individual feels heard and respected no matter how great their differences are from each other and myself. I want to utilize this skill so that I can be there for the people and make sure that everyone is listened to so that their needs are addressed in a way that is the most satisfying to them.

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

I believe that taking the ability to defend oneself out of the hands of common citizens is not going to help our situation and that criminals are going to commit crimes with or without legislation like the Protect Illinois Communities Act.

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

Unfortunately, DeKalb has seen a rather significant increase in crime over the past few years and this saddens me. Every citizen has the right to feel safe in their community and I want to do whatever I can to make sure that this right is realized for them. I feel that there needs to be more of a police presence in the areas of DeKalb where crime is most often reported and that the police officers have every available resource they need to effectively assist in the reduction of crime. I feel that programs involving children, police, and social workers are a great start in the prevention of later criminal behavior. It is important to intervene when the first sign of a problem appears so that it doesn’t manifest into a crime that is carried out against a citizen and/or business. Prevention and an increased police presence are two solutions I feel will begin to reduce the amount of crime in DeKalb and that crime will continue to decrease the more that early prevention programs are successfully implemented in the community.

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

I thought that our response to the pandemic was handled beautifully. The vaccine process was seamless thanks to the Illinois National Guard’s involvement in it and it was clear that the members of the Illinois National Guard truly cared about each individual they dealt with while they made sure that the individual was participating in the process correctly. Local businesses had a very hard job to do when it came to enforcing mask mandates and social distancing requirements, especially when it came to dealing with citizens not willing to comply with them, and I was especially proud of the way local businesses handled this aspect of the pandemic. Despite how horrible COVID-19 is, seeing the way that our community banded together to help each other during it spoke volumes about the citizens that make up DeKalb and I was truly impressed to witness this time in our history.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

I learned that the worst of times can bring out the best in each other. People became more open to helping their fellow citizens out and many new relationships were formed that will be life-long. I also learned how much a pandemic can destroy so many things and how easily a microscopic organism can take down an entire population. Having witnessed both of these things, I can honestly say that I have become more preventative with my actions when it comes to ensuring that everyone’s health is protected by doing something as simple as wiping down a shopping cart before I use it to avoid the risk of transferring a disease to the next shopper using my cart. I think that the pandemic brought our community closer together and I am looking forward to seeing this continue as a result of my actions during my time as your alderman.

How would you spur economic development in your community?

I would like to see a mentorship program form that will utilize economically successful members of our community in a way that helps citizens develop their own small business and continue to run them successfully. Bringing together these two groups of people will both lead them to common ground that they were not previously aware they had and it will encourage the exchange of ideas that can become business models that future members of our community can use to continue DeKalb’s economic growth.

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

Yes. Our tax dollars should be used to fund what the community needs while also taking into consideration the toll that taxes take on the citizens belonging to it. I think that this is a huge opportunity for our citizens to give their input on how our tax dollars should be used and why they feel that they should be used in the ways that they propose. Feedback about what has worked and what has not worked in the past has the potential to lead to new insights about the city’s use of everyone’s tax dollars and these new insights could provide better ways to manage everyone’s tax dollars in the most economical and successful way that will reward ALL members of the community.

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

I think that there are better ways to lower this burden and that we should focus on them. We need to think of the health of our citizens and how their health outweighs the income that results from taxes.

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

My answer to this relies on the people in the third ward and what they feel they want to see done. I think that the only way that our community can be successful in this area is to start with what the citizens tell us they want before we even begin to form a plan. Without talking to the citizens first, there is a danger of focusing on a project or an infrastructure that they do not believe in and doing this will only lead to failure. Once we have come to a mutual agreement, work can begin.

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

Of course. The most important thing to me in this election is to see the community get what they feel will help them the most. If that is not me holding the position of alderman, I will respect their decision while continuing to do what I can do to serve them as a fellow citizen.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

I think that it is vital to the success of any community to have a government that functions this way. A community continually needs the input of its citizens and it is not possible for said citizens to give all of the information needed to solve problems and/or to improve conditions if they are not aware of what is going on behind closed doors. A successful community occurs when its citizens are happy and feel that they are valued. The only way that this can occur is if the government ruling them is open and transparent.

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?

No. Again, the only path to a community’s success is open, transparent communication that provides knowledge to its citizens so that they can make the most informed decisions about what is occurring around them.