1) City Pensions
Q: Chicago's fire and police pensions are greatly underfunded, and the city is required by the state to make a $550 million payment into the pension funds by the end of 2015. Do you support restructuring the pension systems, inevitably reducing benefits, to put the funds on sound financial footing?
Yes or No:
Please Explain: I would like to do what is necessary to put the funding on a sound financial footing but without knowing all the facts and the possible other options, I wouldn’t be justified in my answer Chicago's pension systems for municipal workers and laborers already have been restructured, reducing benefits, but the city has yet to identify where it will find the revenue to sufficiently fund those systems. Under what circumstances would you support a property tax increase to raise the needed revenue for the fire and police pensions and/or the municipal workers and laborers pensions? Again, without having the facts about the budget and it’s allocations to comment would be guessing. Options are available but facts will explain any selection or choice.
2) Chicago Public Schools pensions
Q: Large and growing payments required to keep the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund solvent are squeezing CPS' budget, forcing cuts elsewhere and limiting investment. The Chicago Board of Education has increased property taxes, but it is not enough to keep up with the high annual costs. What measures do you support to ensure a solvent retirement system and to improve the district's finances? Again, I haven’t been exposed to any proposals or options by the city that would lead me to provide a possible solution, to an on going problem. Teacher’s have taken steps back trying to help in their own cause and I believe the Council should step up.
Q: In light of the financial issues discussed above, do you support any or all of the following measures, each of which would require, at a minimum, approval by the Illinois Legislature?
* A statewide expansion of the sales tax base to include more consumer services
Yes or No: Don’t know at this time.
* A tax on non-Chicago residents who work in the city
Yes or No:Yes
* A tax on electronic financial transactions on Chicago’s trading exchanges, known as the “LaSalle Street tax”
Yes or No: Yes
Please explain your views, if you wish, on any of these three revenue-generating measures. At the end of the day it is about generating revenue and the city need help from everyone outside and inside the city.
Q: Do you support hiring more police officers to combat crime and gun violence in Chicago? I believe hiring is not necessary if we use or deploy officers where needed. This method can be just as effective as hiring.
Yes or No:
Q: What legislation in Springfield would you support to try to stem the flow of illegal guns into Chicago? Accountability that stem from the order, payment, travel and delivery.
Total tracking at state and federal level.
5) Elected school board
Q: An advisory referendum on switching Chicago to an elected school board, rather than an appointed board, is expected to be on the ballot in more than 30 wards on Feb. 24. Currently, the mayor appoints all seven board members and the Schools CEO. Do you support a change to an elected school board?
Yes or No:Yes
Please explain: The people of Chicago elect officials all the time and if you don’t make good decision without justification they hold “YOU” accountable
6) Tax-increment financing districts
Q: TIFs are the primary economic development tool of the city. In a TIF district, taxes from the growth in property values are set aside for 23 years to be used for public projects and private development. Do you support increasing the annual TIF surplus that the mayor and the City Council have declared in each of the last few years, money that goes to the schools and other city agencies?
Yes or No: Every elected Alderman must provide economic development to their Ward to help their residents see true leadership and forward progress. I believe our schools must be funded to get the best for our future.
Q: What reforms would you propose for the city's TIF program?
A: The budget and the ward must be reviewed before I could provide any proposal changes to the TIF program.
7) Neighborhood economic development
Q: What would you do as alderman to boost economic development in your ward, and bring jobs to your community?
A: I would like to investigate any schools that were closed in the Ward and check their status ( up for sale). This could be a possible opportunity to turn a foreclosure to a training center. I would like to investigate mini malls in the area and a Supermarket. To put money into what people invest in.
8) Size of the Chicago City Council
Q: The City Council has 50 members, but civic groups and other regularly argue for reducing the size of the Council. What should the size of the Council be? Please provide a specific number. And why? 50, Council members are there to be the voice for the residents and to ensure the residents get their city services.
9) A Chicago casino
Q: Do you support, in general concept, establishing a gambling casino in Chicago?
Yes or No: Yes
Please explain: Responsible adults will always find a way to enjoy and entertain themselves. A casino will only provide another option to those adults and city revenue
10) Red light and speed cameras
Q: Does the city have an acceptable number of red light and speed cameras currently, and are they properly employed?
Yes or No: The city has too many Red light and speed cameras. Some of the speed camera can be replaced and put in areas where school crossing is an actual concern. I believe the hours could be adjusted too.
11) Ward issues
Q: What are the top three issues in your ward — the ones you talk about most on the campaign trail?
Crime - Senseless shooting/Gangs, City Services provided and slow
response times and lack of economic development
Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board questionnaire responses
Eddie L. Daniels
Office running for: Alderman, 15th Ward
Political/civic background: 6500 S. Artesian Block Club President,
Occupation: Building engineer
Education: B.S. Mechanical engineer
Campaign website: eddie4alderman.com