LISLE, IL — Robert Taylor is running for a seat on the Lisle Village Board of Trustees in the 2021 Consolidated Election, which is April 6. Below, you’ll find Taylor’s answers to the Patch candidate questionnaire. Robert W. Taylor Age (as of Election Day) 50 Town/City of Residence Lisle Office Sought Village board or city
LISLE, IL — Robert Taylor is running for a seat on the Lisle Village Board of Trustees in the 2021 Consolidated Election, which is April 6. Below, you’ll find Taylor’s answers to the Patch candidate questionnaire.
Robert W. Taylor
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Village board or city council
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Certificate of Advanced Study, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Northwestern University 2013
Golden Apple Fellow, 2012
National Board Teacher Certification, Illinois Master Certificate 2003, 2013
Master of Arts, Curriculum and Instruction; North Central College 2000
Illinois Elementary Teaching Certification; Benedictine University 1996
Master of Science, Developmental Psychology; Illinois State University 1995
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; Minor, Sociology; Benedictine University 1993
Face Book #TaylorMadeforLisle
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
There is no doubt, the biggest issue people from Lisle have mentioned to me while navigating the election process is the boarded-up Family Square property at Ogden and Main. It is unfortunate that our town does not have the demographics to attract a big name anchor store; because of this we need to think about the possibilities for this privately owned property. One of the first things the town should look into is establishing some guidelines through village code that prevent blighting our main business districts. I commend the current board for starting this with requiring painting boarded buildings with matching frontage colors. The next step is to not allow boarding up buildings at all throughout our business districts.
In watching the Marquette Buildings get built over what seemed to be an eternity; with the end result being high rent apartments and two businesses, I think the citizens of the village wish for a better outcome with more services at Ogden and Main. I would entertain an intergovernmental project on part of this property to encourage timely construction and an end result offering our citizens something such as an indoor playground and satellite library/reading area.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
Yes, I am 100% behind peaceful protest and 1st Amendment rights. Throughout my career I have always looked for equity for all students. This has been consistent throughout my career. My master’s thesis of 25 years ago dealt with comprehension outcomes in biased time-pressure testing constraints in the African American population.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
Yes. However, it would be nice to see a disparity study of the village. Right now, zoning ordinances are being revamped. It would be nice to see a disparity study applied to them as well.
What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?
Clearly we have developed a better understanding of this virus over the past year: wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, and tighten your circle of regular contacts. We’ve seen our public officials at all levels both embrace and shirk these guidelines. I believe businesses/restaurants should be able to open if they adhere to the guidelines. I would favor a local mask mandate.
What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?
I think our state and local governments are doing the best they can in regards to distribution of the vaccine. It’s in limited supply. As a 1b vaccine recipient I found the scarcity versus the drop-everything-and-come-right-in availability to be a little nerve racking. I would suggest our public health officials bring the vaccine right to the source of who needs them; schools, police stations, firehouses, nursing homes, etc. This might eliminate some of the pressures seen in the roll-out.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I am running as an Independent because that’s the way I think. I believe local elections need to draw in people whose only agenda is to make his or her community better. Slate candidates who push heavily defined agendas or ideologies can spoil balanced decision making.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
The “De-Annexation” of Lisle Place Condominiums is a very big let down for a couple of reasons. First, changing into an unincorporated neighborhood (that surrounded by the village) forces the services they receive from the county to travel through the adjacent village residential neighborhood. This is rarely the case with unincorporated neighborhoods and is only permitted here because Lisle Place happens to border an unincorporated utility easement.
Bordering unincorporated property is one of the requirements for “De-Annexation.” This sets an uncomfortable precedent. Removing Lisle Place also took their tax dollars away. Can the adjacent industrial park now vote to de-annex? That would be a huge tax loss.
Secondly, the process the village accepted was for a majority of the Lisle Place home owners to vote to de-annex. A great many of these properties are rented and the owners may not even be citizens of Lisle, rather just landlords of their properties. This should be a problem for every citizen in town.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
A big issue Lisle has to deal with is the watershed. There is a plan in place that needs to be executed without haste. I have met with my county board representative regarding my thoughts about the accelerated problem St Joseph Creek Condominiums has had with flooding in the past few years. If elected I would direct staff to investigate this issue and seek restitution if possible.
I believe all planned infrastructure projects should be kept on schedule. Regular maintenance of our streets and sewers needs to stay on schedule to ward off any issues caused by neglect.
New sources of tax revenue should be embraced, especially ones which permit local business seeking new revenue streams during a time when many are struggling to make it.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
Over the course of my career I have published research in international journals and presented at national level conferences, I have been part of a 250M public negotiation team, I am an officer of the Carlin Nalley Foundation, and I am a pragmatic and creative thinker who has been formally trained in interest-based negotiations which leads to win-win solutions.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
I believe revitalizing our businesses districts and driving the sales tax revenue would be a great accomplishment. Ultimately, this will take longer than four years; however, getting the groundwork in to make this an ultimate reality is possible.
Why should voters trust you?
As a 40 year Lisle resident, there’s a good chance you can ask a few people and find someone who can speak to my honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness. As an officer of a local scholarship program I am entrusted with the growth and development of what is now one of the most successful nonprofits of its type. As an educator I have been thoroughly vetted, and I am a Golden Apple Fellow.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
I am fiscally conservative and believe government should be run efficiently while maintaining village services such as policing and road maintenance. About 70% of the general fund expenditures are salaries and benefits, with over half of that being police service. Seeing the overall village employee total dropping by almost 10% over the past few years, I would propose that most citizens would not want to cut services any more than have been but rather pursue keeping our businesses afloat to safeguard our citizens’ tax burden.
In the 20-21 budget, sales tax revenue accounted for 25% of the village’s general fund. Property taxes accounted for about 27%. In 21-22, sales tax dips below 23% and property taxes account for over 29%. This change needs to reverse. The best way to cut property taxes is to drive sales taxes. In order to help these businesses I would entertain using the new business grant money for existing businesses based largely on the percent of time they were not operational during the pandemic. I would also loosen the restrictions that have turned new business away.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Always be looking to do the next best thing.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I’m not looking at a trustee position as a stepping stone to some other political position. I wish to do the best I can for Lisle. I have been an active citizen with greatly shared values of my fellow Lisle citizens. As a leader in my profession and the nonprofit board I sit on, you can trust I will apply the same skill set to doing the very best for Lisle.