WTTW’s 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the March 20 election.
Candidates were given two minutes to tell voters where they stand on the issues, why they feel they are best qualified and what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year’s Candidate Free Time is produced with and underwritten in part by the League of Women Voters of Cook County.
About this office: Cook County Commissioner
Seventeen elected Commissioners constitute the Cook County Board, the governing policy board and legislative body of Cook County. The Board sets policy and laws for the county regarding public health and public safety and oversees safety and maintenance of county highways. The Board approves the annual budget and oversees financial integrity of the County.
About this candidate:
Name: Lou Presta
Residence: Crestwoood, Illinois
Family: Wife - Janine, 3 children and 2 grandchildren
Occupation: Owner, media distribution company, Mayor, Village of Crestwood
Political Experience: 19 years as Trustee in Crestwood, elected Mayor in 2013.
What is your vision for this office?
I assumed my current role as Mayor of Crestwood at a time when it faced financial ruin. In less than 3 years and without raising taxes on citizens or businesses, I managed to turn the financial condition of Crestwood around. My vision for the office of Commissioner of the 6th District is to assist the 31 municipalities within that district to grow their tax base through new development and commercial expansion in the same way I did in Crestwood. By expanding our tax base, we expand revenue that, along with cutting waste and modernizing the way services are delivered to citizens, will help to resolve the current economic crisis faced by our County.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
Taxes, Jobs, Health Care and Public Safety.
The most pressing issue facing constituents is economic mismanagement at both the state and county level and the associated increase in taxes and fees being levied as stopgap measures to band aid over bad economic policy.
People in the 6th district are losing their homes due to ever increasing property taxes. We are also witnessing both retirees and young families leaving Illinois for other states that offer lower taxes, economic stability and better prospects for both budding entrepreneurs and career seekers.
Our county has failed to modernize the delivery of services to citizens that would not only increase convenience to taxpayers, it would also cut the cost of delivery. It is ludicrous that currently, mailing or appearing in person remain the only choices citizens have in doing a wide variety of business with the county. Modernizing the method of service delivery to taxpayers and eliminating waste is a vital step in returning fiscal responsibility to Cook County. The second step in resolving the economic crisis is not to raise taxes, but to lower them and incentivize commercial and industrial development throughout the County that will broaden our tax base, increase the number of good, high-paying jobs for our citizens and ultimately provide the County with sufficient revenue to fully fund its obligations to both its employees and the citizens of Cook County.
I believe that we can work with county employees and their union representatives to find a solution to the problems we face. I believe that we can restore the promise of prosperity that will come from investment and hard work here in Cook County. I believe that the best of times for our citizens lay ahead of us and not behind us. And I know, above all else, that I can help to bring about the change we need to steer our county toward a path that will restore its economic health.
Hello, my name is Lou Presta. I am the current Mayor of Crestwood, Illinois and a candidate for Cook County Commissioner of the 6th District which is comprised of 31 municipalities throughout the southwest and southeast sides of our County.
I chose to run for Commissioner of Cook County in order to put an end to unfair property tax assessments that are impacting homeowners and business owners in the southland and threatening seniors with the loss of their homes and forcing businesses to close or to abandon our county and state.
I am also alarmed at the growing amount of crime migrating from Chicago’s Southside into our south suburban communities. I intend to ensure that our local suburban police departments have the equipment and training necessary to aggressively confront gang violence and keep our suburban communities safe and secure.
I am the only candidate for Commissioner of the 6th District with past experience as both a business owner and elected official. Based upon my record of service and accomplishments, I have been endorsed in my candidacy for Cook County Commissioner by the Chicago Federation of Labor, 25 of the 31 Mayors representing municipalities in the 6th District, 9 of the Democratic Committeeman represented in the 6th District and thousands of residents and business owners who support me and my candidacy to become their Commissioner. I am also proud to have recently been named the 2018 Municipal Leader of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission because of my work to modernize suburban police department and improve the training of first responders throughout Chicago’s southern suburbs.
I hope you may take the time to visit my campaign website at www.FriendsofLou.com to learn more about me and my plans to return Cook County to the people and out of the hands of elitist politicians. Thank you, WTTW, for this opportunity to introduce myself to the citizens of Cook County and thank you, Cook County Citizens, for welcoming me into your homes.
See more candidates for Cook County commissioner, 6th County Board District.
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