- Bob Kalnicky Rolls Out His Plan For Education Reform
- 98th State Rep. Candidate Natalie Manley Meets with Grand Haven Residents
- Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar Endorses Bob Kalnicky
- Manley: Cut Legislative Pay by 10 Percent
There were plenty of tense moments as candidates attacked their opponents during the candidate night hosted by Lewis University and Grand Haven last Thursday.
That was not the case between Bob Kalnicky and Natalie Manley. Kalnicky (R) and Manley (D) are both running for the 98th state representative seat. The 98th district includes portions of Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Plainfield and Crest Hill.
Each focused on personal background and his or her thoughts on deviating from Illinois' current path. Read more of their remarks below.
Click on the candidate's name to read a full candidate questionnaire.
Bob Kalnicky: "We cannot continue on the path we are on"
"We all have choices for who we're going to vote for," Kalnicky told those assembled at Grand Haven, an active senior living facility in Romeoville. "We need someone to stand up to Mike Madigan and the status quo, business as usual, that has been happening in Springfield...
"We cannot continue on the path we are on," Kalnicky said. "We must draw people and business to Illinois. We need to make Illinois a destination again."
Kalnicky said he has lived in Bolingbrook for 20 years and has raised three daughters. He said he is the executive director of the non-profit Community Service Council of Northern Will County, providing services in Bolingbrook and Romeoville.
"We deal daily with the foreclosure crisis," Kalnicky said. "People would come into my office to save their home. We would scratch and plead with the bank to keep them in their homes."
Kalnicky has also sat on the Romeoville Chamber of Commerce board, having finished a year as president.
"(My experience) taught me a lot and opened my eyes to several problems in the state," he said, including the exodus of business from Illinois.
Kalnicky said the state should roll back corporate and personal tax increases that "have driven business out of Illinois." He said something was wrong when Caterpillar, which is "synonymous with Illinois," decides to build a manufacturing facility and "immediately dismisses Illinois" for the location.
Kalnicky also said the state should remove its cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open and referred to his education plan.
Natalie Manley: "We're at the proverbial crossroads in Illinois"
"Illinois is not short on challenges," Manley said to the crowd. "We're at the proverbial crossroads in Illinois. We need to send someone to Springfield to address serious issues and be a good steward of our dollars."
Manley emphasized her financial background. She's a certified public accountant specializing in government auditing and budgeting, she said. "I started running for office because less than handful of officials have a financial background," Manley said.
"We need to get our fiscal house in order and push for much needed financial reforms," Manley said. "We need to send someone who understands the numbers and can get Illinois back on track."
The state's property tax system is broken, she said, and it "really threatens the ability of seniors and families to stay in their own homes." Manley said she would vote for any freeze to tax increases until the economy improves.
Manley said she is very concerned about foreclosures and would go through the state budget line by line to cut the waste out.
She also mentioned tackling fraud, specifically Medicaid fraud. "We need to support tough standards to make sure people are getting those benefits who quality and not the ones who are scamming," she said. "We need to get people off the program and free up those dollars."
Manley is also supporting a 10 percent cut in legislators' pay.
An audience member asked Manley if she would support Mike Madigan, as she received support from Madigan in money and services.
Manley said she and Kalnicky received the same amount of funding from their parties and she would "support the people of the 98th district."