Name: Michael J. Carpanzano
Office sought: Village of Bolingbrook trustee
Political Party: First Party for Bolingbrook (non-partisan)
Town where you currently reside: Bolingbrook
Occupation (employer): Regional director of sales (PT Solutions Physical Therapy)
Spouse/Children: Married (Nadia) with a 1-year-old son (Luca)
Education: Masters of Business Administration (University of St. Francis), Bachelor of Business Administration (University of St. Francis)
Why are you running for the elected office you're seeking?
To say it in three words, I love Bolingbrook. I want this community to be as exciting as it is today for my child’s future and for all our children’s/grandchildren’s futures. I am so proud of how well the Village of Bolingbrook collaborates with our local governmental entities, business community, and our nonprofit organizations. That just does not happen everywhere. We all moved to Bolingbrook for our own reasons. For me it was our safety, diversity, broad range of housing options, schools, parks, library, hospital and even our outdoor shopping mall. We must absolutely respect where the Village came from to know how incredibly hard our community worked to bring us all these great amenities. I want to protect this infrastructure and be a role model and motivator for people to be involved and engaged in what our Village is doing.
I want to bring a fresh perspective to local government. I am committed to utilizing advanced technology to improve communications, response times, and public safety. The added benefits of effective technology implementation are cost-savings, greater communication, greater access to village services and continued transparency for our residents.
Finally, I want to continue to keep our community safe and beautiful. We need to hold property owners and homeowners accountable for the looks and safety of their property. We need to continue to put resources and technology into code enforcement and public safety. The Village of Bolingbrook is currently in the process of rolling out a new optional covered recycling receptacle program, with many expanded options for residents. As we know, this wasn’t a “one solution fits all” kind of situation. We are proud to live here, and we want to reflect that to our guests, business partners, family and any passerby who comes through our great Village of Bolingbrook.
What skills, qualities or experience do you have that separate you from your opponents?
I have been visible and engaged for years (actually more than a decade now), well before the thought of public office. Our First Party For Bolingbrook team doesn’t just show up around election time; we are committed to our community because we care, always. Furthermore, I wake up every morning proud of our community and work to celebrate our successes. My family builds our social calendar around community and nonprofit events. I volunteer my time on several local nonprofit organizations focused on youth mentoring, education and crime prevention. I am currently treasurer of the Board of Crime Stoppers of Bolingbrook, treasurer of the Board of Heart Haven OutReach and president of the Board of Midwest Christian Montessori Academy.
I care about Bolingbrook, and I have worked tirelessly to give a larger (and louder) voice to amazing nonprofit organizations serving our community. As previous executive director of the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, I fought hard for small and home-based businesses and to this day I encourage everyone to shop at our local businesses. Keeping a strong, diverse tax base that is hiring local talent is one of my passions, as it benefits each and every resident.
I also serve as the volunteer content creator of our Bolingbrook Events Facebook Page, as I completely believe in sharing community events, nonprofit fundraisers and other exciting local happenings with our community. I hate hearing, “I didn’t know we did that” or “I wish I would have known about that event.” Communication and information dissemination is absolutely one of my passions and will continue to be while serving as your next Village of Bolingbrook trustee.
What are the greatest challenges Bolingbrook is facing in the coming years?
Bolingbrook, like every municipality in the state of Illinois, has seen taxes become one of the largest burdens. While Bolingbrook has been able to reduce their village portion of the tax bill from 22 percent down to less than 9 percent, I am making a strong commitment to keep us fiscally responsible and fully accountable to the taxpayers. Further pressure from the state of Illinois trying to balance their budget on the backs of local municipalities needs to stop. Furthermore, our opponents sadly only know how to use divisive language and continuously throw mud on our community. Their message is unfortunately not one of unity and collaboration, it is instead one of wrath, lies, deception and confrontation. This has to stop, and we need to understand that we all have more similarities than we do differences, even in a diverse community like Bolingbrook. If there are issues, and of course there are some, we need to be respectful, professional and collaborative to be able to solve them on behalf of our residents; that is what we deserve. Communicating and compromising needs to be the tone we carry forward.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
We are elected to serve all residents, and I will commit to doing that from day one. My top three priorities will be:
Remain good stewards of taxpayer dollars: Stay committed to the responsible repayment plan of the bonds that built the infrastructure of our community and attracted the businesses and home developers we now have. This includes multiple revenue sources from areas that will not adversely affect our property taxes. In short, I fully intend to hold the line on taxes.
Attract new business and repurpose existing structures to meet new consumer demands. Bolingbrook is clearly attractive to both domestic and multi-national companies as shown by our extensive list of corporate world headquarters located right here in our business community. We have a vacancy rate well below the average of our surrounding communities across the state. As a previous chamber executive, I firmly believe in a strong and constant economic development initiative, constantly selling our community to others. I believe we need to continue to attract businesses and industry to any vacant properties we have across the village.
Fully support the current litigation against Illinois American Water. While we are grateful to have a secured and stable fresh water supply now from Lake Michigan, we have to be able to get water prices under control for our residents, and that means to continue to fight in court.
I commit to being visible, accessible, positive and your voice in local government. When it comes to public safety, public services and all other aspects of local government, I will be responsive to your needs as your next Village of Bolingbrook trustee.