Full Name: Chuck Stowe
What office are you seeking? Sycamore 2nd Ward Alderman
What is your political party? Independant
What is your current age? 71
Occupation and Employer: Retired
What offices, if any, have you previously held? 2nd Ward Alderman, Sycamore
6th Ward Alderman, Dekalb
Campaign Website: None
Education: BS Electrical Engineering Technology , NIU
Community involvement: None
Marital status/Immediate family: Married, two grown children
Why are you running for office?
I have been privileged to serve as a Sycamore Alderman since 1985. I have seen controlled growth during that time and increased citizen services. I would like to continue to guide Sycamore in a publicly responsive manner.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I have served over thirty years as alderman. I have helped transition the city from a Mayoral to a City Manager form of government. I have striven to reduce the property tax burden on our citizens while diversifying the tax base. I have also served as the City Council’s representative to both the Sycamore Library Board and the Planning and Zoning Committee. On the Library board I helped oversee the expansion of the old Carnegie building. I feel I can use my experience and institutional memory to guide the city to the future
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
It is a good step forward in making our citizens safer.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
Although every community has some crime, Sycamore has been blessed with a low crime rate. Supporting the Police Department’s certifications and public outreach is very important.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
The community was very supportive in the efforts to reduce the contagion.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
I learned the importance of communication and better attention to hygiene.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
I have been supportive of facade grants to community businesses. We have worked with Discover Sycamore to increase tourism. We should continue to support the DeKalb Economic commission. In the future, I would like to see an Economic Development position become part of Sycamore’s budget.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
We should be sure we continue to provide the services the citizen’s need at a price they can afford. We need some reliance on property tax as a baseline, but continuing to use sales tax as a major source of revenue will spread the burden to visitors from other areas. Increasing retail and industrial development will also relieve the homeowner.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
As it is legal in Illinois, I have no objection to Sycamore reaping some of the benefits of its sale.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
We have already committed over the last several years to improving the water system. This will continue. We need to continue this work. We have set up funding, through a gas tax, for road improvement and repair. Both the water and sewer systems have a funding source included for continuous maintenance.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I believe in it. When I was first elected I initiated a change in the City Council agenda that specified a time at the beginning of each meeting for public comment. All decisions and deliberation by the city government should be open for public view.
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. Never heard of such a thing.