Candidate’s Name: Misty Haji-Sheikh
Office you are seeking: Mayor of DeKalb
Unit of Government: City of DeKalb
Candidate’s website address:
Q2: Response to the budget crunch
- Unfortunately, taxes and fees must be increased to meet expenditures. Disagree
- Expenditures must be reduced to meet the revenue. It’s that simple. Agree
- Taxes are high enough so let’s raise fees. Disagree
- This is a time to lean on staff for their recommendations. Disagree
- It’s time to hire a consultant and get a report that will guide us through these tough times. Strongly Disagree
- Hold the line on taxes. Use the rainy day fund to cover expenses. Things have got to get better. Disagree
Comment: 1) Taxes and fees do not need to be raised to meet expenditures. I have worked to make cuts at the County to stay within the budget. 2)The cuts made to the County budget had minimal impact on services.3) You can not tax your way out 4) The Mayor and the Council need to set a dollar amount for the budget, then cuts should be made with the help of the staff. With the Mayor and Council having the final vote. 5)The City has hired consultants, but without showing that the money spent was justified. 6) The Council recently voted to follow the advice of the auditors and maintain a 25% reserve (this helps our bond rating). This is not a rainy day fund. The bottom line is the citizens want value for their hard-earned tax dollars.
Q3: What services would you seek to enhance or expand during your term?
I would like to improve the amount money being spent on roads. Our expenses do not meet our income so to fix that we need good paying jobs. With good paying jobs comes more people buying houses and more people living in apartments. Crime is another issue that needs to be addressed in a multi-level fashion, including but no limited to increasing neighborhood watches, working with other municipalities on what they are doing, and innovative policing practices.
Q4: What services would you cut or reduce to balance the budget?
We need to stay within our budget. This year on the County Board I voted to cut $400,000 to stay within our budget. This $400,000 was determined by the County staff and went through a vetting process. These cuts included looking at all aspects of the budget including staffing, but with minimal impact on services.
Q5: What makes you uniquely qualified for the position you are seeking?
I am a proven leader with fresh ideas. I am serving my second term on the County Board. I Chaired the Health and Human Services committee, served on the Finance committee, and I am currently on the Forest Preserve committees and I am the Vice-Chair of Economic Development. I have worked on starting the Business Incubator, rewriting the County code to allow more types of businesses, and have worked to create a new Forest preserve. I am on the DeKalb County Regional Nursing Home (DCRNC) Board of Directors. Since I have been on the DCRNC board we have gone from a 4-star rating to a 5-star rating- the only 5-star facility in a 25-mile range.I am working on DCRNC’s expansion which will make the facility better and add single rooms.
Q6: What does open, transparent government mean to you?
The government works for the people. Open, transparent government is one that follows the laws.and is responsive to citizens requests. I have worked to make the County more transparent and I want to do the same for the City.
Q7: What changes to your community are needed?
DeKalb needs a vision and a direction. There are many challenges that face us.I want to hear from you. I can be reached at CitizensforMisty@gmail.com We need to be proactive and take action. DeKalb can do better.