Your Name: Thomas J. Belczak
Position Sought: Darien City Council, Ward 7
Campaign Contact Information: Belczak4darien@gmail.com
Family Members: Wife Nicolette; daughters Sara, Chloe and Sophia.
- High School: St. Laurence 1979
- College: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1983, BA
- Law School: Illinois Institute of Technology; Chicago Kent College of Law, JD 1986
Current Occupation and Employer: Attorney at law
Why Are You Seeking Office?
I want to be the alderman of Ward 7, so that I can provide the City of Darien with new ideas and new leadership. While Darien is a “nice place to live,” it could be so much better. Darien needs a plan to grow and develop business, and not react to problems as they occur. Darien needs to keep its citizens safe and protected, and not eliminate DARE and reduce police patrols. Darien city government needs be transparent and communicate with the residents and keep them informed of issues. As alderman, I will strive to accomplish these goals.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
The single most important priority in Darien today is to grow and develop business. Darien has no economic development program; and it shows when the city can be held hostage by corporations that threaten to leave town unless we provide them with tax breaks. Darien has no long range business plan for adding and maintaining business. The vacant and undeveloped Darien “downtown area” along Cass Avenue is a microcosm of a larger problem. The properties owned by Darien along Cass between Plainfield and 75th Street had a greater value as a whole than in separate parcels. Now it is too late since the north lot has been sold.
If contested, what sets you apart from the other candidates?
When was the last time you received any correspondence from your alderman? That’s what I thought. To be an effective leader you must be able to communicate. In my profession, I spend my day settling differences and negotiating agreements. Communication skills are essential in business and in government. The citizens of Darien should be kept apprised of the issues of our city. As the alderman of Ward 7, I will open up lines of communication between myself and my constituency by creating a Ward 7 webpage and delivering regular emails to the residents.
What do you see as the top three goals for the City of Darien?
- Create an Economic Development
- Develop Plainfield & Cass
- Strengthen Police
What can be done to continue the promotion of economic development in Darien?
We need a plan; and currently we don't have one. We need to establish a committee that can create long range economic goals for our city. We need to bring in new business that can grow Darien's sale tax revenue, (unlike banks) so that the residents don't have to continue to subject to property tax increases.
Is there an issue that's been discussed within the last year in Darien that you think should be revisited?
The development of the "downtown" Darien; and the elimination of the police DARE program. Whether you like it or not, there is a growing drug problem in the western suburbs, eliminating a drug education program seems to be sending the wrong message.Please add any other information pertinent to your campaign.
- Election 2013: Darien City Council
- Joseph Marchese
- Halil Avci
- Joe Kenny
- Jim Minardi