Springfield, Illinois , United States
May 11, 2009 10:14pm
|Info||As the son of a letter carrier and a nurse, I grew up in a family and a neighborhood that understood the value of a hard day’s work. My parents and their generation believed in the American dream and they worked hard to make their dreams a reality. |
From a generational perspective, the accomplishments that they were able to achieve in nearly every field are enough to make anyone take notice – they created our highways, our skyscrapers and our business infrastructure.
From a personal perspective, they taught me solid values, financial common sense and, perhaps most of all, to stand up for what I believe in.
In fact, I’ve always been proud of my state and my community. I want my children – and all children in Illinois – to experience the same sense of civic pride and the opportunity to succeed.
My father served this country as a World War II vet. His service inspired me to do the same.
During my college years, I joined the National Guard. My military occupation was that of a flight-liner preparing jets for missions. I worked my way up to Sergeant before my honorable discharge in 1975.
By that time, I had graduated with a degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University. One of my first jobs was as a special education math teacher. I also taught physical education and swimming at Southeast High School through the local park district.
I enjoyed education, but life has a funny way of showing you the path that you’re supposed to be on. On a dare from my mom, I took the local firefighter test, never realizing that my entire career path would change in that moment. I made it in and twenty-six years later, I was still there… as the Fire Chief.
I’ve always felt that being a fireman was experiencing government at the most grassroots level. Every day, the citizens of our community counted on us to provide services, quickly and effectively. To give anything less than our very best to the public would be completely unacceptable.
I took that attitude with me when I ran for an Alderman position on the Springfield City Council in 2002. Now in my second term of office, I have worked hard to represent my constituents well and to make sure that government works well for them. I think that most people who know me would describe me as a trusted public servant with a reputation as a problem-solver.