Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board questionnaire responses

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: No

  Please Explain:
  A: Charles Hughes will bring advisements to fix the pension debt.
  Q: 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? 
A: Charles Hughes wouldn’t. I will bring new revenue into the city. Example- Bring a casino by Midway Airport.

  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?
  A: Bring natural gas vehicles to Chicago and build fueling stations across Chicago. The natural gas fuel gas will solve the CPS budget and pension debt. As alderman, Charles Hughes will enforce the Belt railroad to install a 5 million escrow in the first year and 1 million each year for 30 years for all the train traffic in the 23rd ward, the money will go to stop crime, fix education system, and fix the pension system and infrastructure.

  3) Revenue
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: No
  * A tax on non-Chicago residents who work in the city
Yes or No: No
  * A tax on electronic financial transactions on Chicago’s trading exchanges, known as the “LaSalle Street tax”
  Yes or No: No
    Please explain your views, if you wish, on any of these three revenue-generating measures.

      4) Crime
  Q: Do you support hiring more police officers to combat crime and gun violence in Chicago?
  Yes or No: Yes
  Please explain:
  A: Build a new police station on the west end of the ward (Archer and Mulligan and Archer Ave) and hire new police.
  Q: What legislation in Springfield would you support to try to stem the flow of illegal guns into Chicago?
  A: I’m an Alderman not a legislator.            
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: No
  Please explain: Let the mayor hire the board.
    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: Yes
  Q: What reforms would you propose for the city's TIF program?
A: Charles Hughes wants a 5 panel tiff board to review tiff funds, before the funds can be released and a posting in the Sun Times for all Chicago to see the results of the tiff funds.
7) Neighborhood economic development

  Q: What would you do as alderman to boost economic development in your ward, and bring jobs to your community?
  Redevelopment Archer Ave:
Build a bridge 63rd and Central to 79th and Central
Build a casino in the 23rd ward
            Build a new police station
Build shopping mall in the 23rd ward

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?

9) A Chicago casino
  Do you support, in general concept, establishing a gambling casino in Chicago?
  Yes or No:
  Please explain:

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:
  Please explain:

  11) Ward issues
  Q: What are the top three issues in your ward — the ones you talk about most on the campaign trail?

Charles M. Hughes

Office running for: Alderman, 23rd Ward

Political/civic background:Worked for Congressman Bill Lipinski, The Chicago Water Department, Fleet Management, Service Writer Billing/ handled outside billing for venders (1.6 million dollar budget)

Education: Grammar school, High school, Lincoln Tec, Auto-diesel, Community College, World travel, Best Way Truck Training, Carpenter Apprentice School

Occupation: Nicor Gas/Utility company   

Campaign website: