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Election 2011: Matt Brolley

Second in our series of Village Board candidate profiles.

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of profiles on the seven candidates for Montgomery Village Board. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions, but were asked to abide by a 75-word guideline. The answers will be provided here unabridged.

Candidate Info

  • Position sought: Village Trustee
    Website: www.Brolley4Montgomery.com
  • E-mail address: matt@brolley4montgomery.com
  • Phone: 630-340-4552

Personal Info

  • Age: 29
  • Family: Rosa Brolley, wife, 27 yrs old, pregnant with our 2nd child due this summer. We also have a 1 year old son.
  • Length of Residence: Lifelong Montgomery resident.
  • Education: Oswego High School Graduate, 2000; BA in Physics from North Central College in Naperville, IL, 2004; BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005.
  • Occupation: I am currently an Illinois licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager with Koziol Engineering Services in Lisle.
  • Political party affiliation: The Village of Montgomery is a non-partisan position. I am not formally (or informally) associated with any political party.
  • Previous elected offices: None.
  • Related experience: My professional career has sent me to many of the local Plan Commissions and Village Boards. I have seen communities that run very effectively, and I have seen those that have not. Also, as a Civil Engineer, I have experience in planning new developments that meets the local requirements while trying to exceed the needs of the client. Thus, I bring to the table a common sense approach to future development. Also, I serve as the Chairman of the Village Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. I am deeply involved in this community. I have volunteered my time for the planning and implementation of many Montgomery events/programs: I ran the Village Blood Drive for the past two years. I volunteered as the Montgomery Fest Emcee this past year. I serve on the Montgomery Chamber Board of Directors and currently Chair the Chamber Golf Outing and ‘Shoot for the Loot’ (the $17,500 shot at Montgomery Fest). I have previously chaired the Montgomery Candidate Forum in 2009. I am also an active member of the Kendall County Planning Consortium. Lastly, I am not new to Montgomery. I grew up here, and decided to raise my own family here.

Candidate Questions

What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

We need new blood on the Montgomery Board. Our residents deserve elected
officials that are focused on the future of the village, not fixed in the ways of the past. If elected, I plan to be that voice that will put all valid concerns on the table to not only ensure that the village continues to provide the current services but to better adapt village services to the vastly different population of today.

What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

We must be more Business and Resident friendly.  These times are tough for everyone so we need to do what we can to keep our stores open and people in their homes.  I’m proposing that the Village reevaluate all Village Rules and Regulations, and remove anything that doesn’t fit with our long term vision for the future.  We need to also better educate and inform our Businesses and Residents of the policies in force.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I feel that everything stated above sets me apart. I am the home grown candidate, who has a deep understand for our local government. Additionally, I am the level headed voice of reason. My approach as an engineer is to actually solve problems, not create them or stir up controversy.

What's your favorite thing about the village of Montgomery?

It’s very easy to give the typical answer to this question that I love the small town atmosphere/river community. So I won’t. To be honest, I’m deeply rooted in this community. The people that I love are here, along with my childhood memories. As a result, Rosa and I have committed to raising our family here. So naturally, I want the best for my son in this community.

What is the biggest problem in Montgomery?

The most significant issue facing the village is lack of funding for capital projects. These funds are constantly needed to resurface deteriorating roadways, replace high mileage patrol cars, aging snow plows, and obsolete leaf vacuums. If this issue is not addressed it could lead to unprecedented costs to the village or a loss of services for our residents. We can cover these expenses without raising taxes, by bringing more commercial business to Montgomery.

Stan Bond March 14, 2011 at 06:40 AM
"All too often the Plan Commission will open the Public Hearing on a specific item, and not one resident or business owner is in attendance to provide comment." There is a good reason for this, and it is that the discussion topics of the Plan Commission are not widely circulated to the business community for comment and participation. In fact, our local media themselves only report that the Plan Commission will be meeting, but do not report what the Plan Commission will be discussing. Other than Public Hearings which are required by law, the public is not welcome to speak at all at Plan Commission meetings, at least that is my observation.
TERRY LENSKE March 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Matt, I would like to know if you agree with Stan Bond on the issue of spending way to much money for a village manager and staff?
Matt Brolley March 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM
After much thought, I have decided to address Mr. Bond’s comments from above. I vowed to run for this job with integrity and in a positive manner. I intend keep that promise but the resident in me cannot sit by and watch our neighbors go the polls with this incorrect and misleading information. Previously, I stated that our Montgomery Board does not have the authority to raise sales tax. You were quick to try to correct me. You incorrectly claimed that the village can raise the sales tax 0.25% on their own merit. This is, IN FACT, wrong. Montgomery does not have Home Rule status, thus ANY attempt to raise the sales tax rate must come before the voters as a referendum. In the future, I would ask that you verify your claims before going public. As a fellow candidate, I deserve this respect, and as residents, we deserve CORRECT information. I’ll withhold comments regarding the Office of the Village Manager, as this will be covered in the Patch Q/A that is forthcoming. In the area of public attendance at Plan Commission meetings: I am calling for more education and outreach to our businesses and residents alike. The village doesn’t own the newspaper, thus your comment about local media’s lack of coverage of Plan Commission meeting topics is irrelevant. It would be better served if that input was provided directly to the newspaper.
Matt Brolley March 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Lastly, regarding your comments on Public Participation at Plan Commission: As required, the PC does hold public hearings to directly hear from those in our community. You suggest that the public is not welcome to speak outside of these hearings. Instantly, I’m reminding of the perfect example (April 15th, 2010 meeting). The Plan Commission was discussing the Fox Valley Park District’s Stuart Sports Complex Renovation/Expansion. This was not a required public hearing, but public comments were taken from all those willing. It appears that your observation is again, wrong. Even more alarming is the fact that you, yourself spoke out strongly AGAINST and “formally objected” to the entire meeting. You are quick to imply that the current hard working Village employees, and dedicated members of the Village Plan Commission are not interested in public comment, when, IN FACT, it is the exact opposite and you know this. On Election Day our residents deserve leadership who will solve problems and get answers, not the other way around.
Greg Nelson March 17, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Matt, Not trying to correct or state anything that may/may not point fingers but why has the comp. plan changed so much since over the past few years. Why are we trying to take homes away (good homes) from residents along the river area and around the Village hall? It makes no sense to purchase homes to change something that wasn't in the plan just 10+ years ago. I know Aurora has a great vision for the river area but lets look at the #1 fact we are not Aurora. Those new condos sit open for the most part. Also the Mgr here better live here, at a salary and contract like her's well all I can say is 200K is a lot to give to North Aurora!
Kevin Molloy March 17, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Kevin Molloy I have known Matt for twenty plus years and have always known him to be intelligent beyond words. I am disappointed that he has chosen to take the bait that one of his opponets threw in the water. He opponent lacks substance and loves to stir to pot. In times like this, the last thing a Village Board needs is one or more Trustees that talk before they think. Matt, it is time for you to ignore this candidates pot stirring and continue visiting the residents one door at a time. On April 5th they either respected your vision or they did not. Your vision is a good one.
Jason Bragg March 17, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Folks, if you want the real scoop about what your trustee candidates believe in and how they'd probably vote once in office, just attend a Plan Commission meeting or Village Board meeting. Many of these candidates do attend these meetings, and voice their opinions frequently during public hearings. See for yourself how your candidates behave, what their saying, and most importantly, what their doing for Montgomery. As a member of the Village of Montgomery Plan Commission for the past 8 years, I've seen numerous candidates show up for a couple of meetings, talk a good game, make erroneous accusations about how the current administration is wasting money or doing such a horrible job without any facts, and then dissapear into the sunset. If the current administration is doing such a horrible job, than why is the Village of Montgomery one of the only communities in the area constantly being praised by the local newspapers as a successful village, and has one of the lowest property tax rates around? For me and my family, I want someone as a trustee who has proven themselves to be an affective leader, who has demonstrated through their actions to be committed to the community, and who have made an effort to make Montgomery a better place to live. I see all of these traits in Matt Brolley, Bob Watermann, and Jeanne Felten.
Greg Nelson March 17, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Jason after 20+ years in the Village, a local business owner, past Library board member and ran the Fest for 3 years I can say leadership is important but results are key. You can sit on a board and just vote the course but standing up for change with longer vision is key to Montgomery moving forward at a proper speed. When I see that many currently in office just vote to vote without really looking at the impact to the Village I get that blood surge that tells me what the %$&@ were they thinking. Being on top of what is needed is key to success, when was the last time Watermann, Felten, or Brolley knocked on my door or asked what I thought.... Pete has so has Stan in the past. So with that remember to vote but not just because, use that Gods Grey Matter to make a selection that will cause a change! Just my two cents from someone involved for over 20 years!
kpfarrer March 17, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Looks like there are plenty of issues and information out there to be considered. Thanks to Matt and Stan, and all, for taking the time to respond with your opinions. I will be following info on all these local issues to help me decide who to vote for.
Linda Pasetti-Olson March 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Whenever specific issues are raised, someone will say 'that's stirring the pot' ... I'm with Greg Nelson in wanting to know more of the reasoning behind the Mill District plan, which will raise taxes in the area for residents and businesses alike. While the Mill District plan may make a nice drawing on paper, many people have objected to the loss of homes and the downtown VFW building, where our veterans have been celebrated for so long … Trading a place where many weddings and other happy events have been celebrated, so a few people in our new village hall have a better view of the river, seems like a contradiction in values, to me.
TERRY LENSKE March 17, 2011 at 11:17 PM
I would like to ask Matt the following question ... Matt, I understand you attend many village board meetings, and yet you have never or very rarely spoken at them. Please tell me what is the value of going to these meetings, if you have no input or important questions to ask the board. Lets face it, unless your a cookie cutter canidate. How can you be a valuable board member if you remain silent. Is your intent to be silent so know one knows what you really stand for.
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 02:31 AM
I must say I'm very impressed, Terry! I've never seen anybody type out a six sentence "question" without one question mark. That's quite an accomplishment. As far as attending meetings, I think an individual who takes the time to attend village board meetings is going to have a good grip on how the village is run, and good feel for the folks running it. Most people have never been to a village board meeting. I'm glad to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate like Matt Brolley who takes the time out of his busy schedule to not only to attend village board meetings, but also serves on the Plan Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. I am going to do some research and find out if Mr. Bond is incorrect in his statement about the Board's ability to raise taxes on its own authority. If he's wrong about something that simple, and is willing to post that statement in a public forum without research supporting his position, he has no business being on the Village Board.
Ben Brzoska March 18, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Matt, It took you 3 days do decide if you wanted to respond to Mr Bonds comments. You have danced around a direct question from Resident Lenske and I have seen your Mill plan. Enough said......You don't have this residents vote.
Ben Brzoska March 18, 2011 at 02:45 AM
Mr Walker I'm sure your verbally attacking Resident Lenske on Matt Brolley's behalf and its nice of you to point out that Mr Bond attends meetings and speaks up while Matt doesn't.
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 02:59 AM
Stating that I'm going to research a statement made by a candidate on an open forum constitutes a verbal attack? Would you really vote for somebody who is wrong about something as basic as the extent of the village board's authority to raise taxes? I looked again at my post, and I don't see that I wrote anything about Mr. Bond speaking up at meetings. I don't even know Mr. Bond. But I do know this...it is often better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to open one's mouth and prove it. I'll let you know when I find out who is right about the Board's authority to raise taxes.
Greg Nelson March 18, 2011 at 03:58 AM
People on the board can and does have the authorization to adjust taxes up to 5% without the need of home rule. This is done every year at the Library District they only need to place one(1) newspaper AD to tell the population of this fact period. It's not voted on by the public it is just what is allowed per year on the levy allowance. Since I was a Board Member for the Library and sat on the financial and tech side of things we would ask for what ever the levy was allowed by law that year. You must request this or you don't get funding. Is this a tax like sales tax, no but it is still coming from the state and feds which is your tax dollars. Now a tax rate increase within the tax amount collected via tax of resold items must go to the public for vote in a none home ruled body which we are. Hope that clears the tax questions up. Maybe I should have run but that's next cycle to put a few more lame ducks out on there ears!
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 04:17 AM
It appears that Matt Brolley is correct. The Illinois Municipal League identifies Montgomery as a "non-home rule municipality". The Illinois Municipal Code states that a "non-home rule municipality" may impose a sales tax only upon approval by a majority of electors in that municipality. 65 ILCS 5/8-11-1.1. That statute goes on to state that "[t]he tax authorized by this Section may not be more than 1% and may be imposed only in 1/4% increments." I don't see anything in the statute empowering a "non-home rule municipality" to impose a sales tax absent a referendum and approval by a majority of the voters within the municipality. Perhaps I'm reading the statue incorrectly? I've been wrong before! Does anybody else have any thoughts on this? And more importantly, has there ever been any discussion about the possibility of Montgomery becoming a "home rule municipality"?
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 04:27 AM
Thanks for the information, Greg! It looks like we were posting at the same time. I did some quick statutory research, and it based upon my reading of the municipal code it appears that imposition of a sales tax requires a referendum passed by a majority of electors in the municipality. I was specifically researching the sales tax question, and didn't know about the Library Board. Do you happen to have a cite for the statute that allows for that? Is the Library Board a part of Montgomery or is it still controlled by Oswego? I only ask because I know on the website it is the Oswego Library District and references the "Montgomery campus", so I am not clear on what level of control Montgomery has over the library. I note that the Illinois Municipal League lists Oswego as a "home rule municipality."
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 04:38 AM
That should be "statute", not "statue". Didn't I see that on a Seinfeld episode?
Greg Nelson March 18, 2011 at 04:54 AM
The Oswego Library District covers Montgomery. Think of Montgomery as a Village with the following: Library District - Oswego Library District Fire - 3 Districts - Country Side, Oswego, and Aurora (Montgomery Road-Watermanns Home Base) Schools - 4 Kaneland, Oswego, West, East College - Waubansee County - Kane, Kendall With this much going on it is hard to see the big picture sometimes. Being a Trustee is hard work for sure. I was on the Library Board because I was asked by an old friend Ray (past Mayor here) to make sure Montgomery got the Library district to some day make a campus here.....well it is and hats off to my old friend Ray! Montgomery is very complex. Home rule one day will help the Village but also does have issues in of itself. I think Trustees should have knowledge in basics but ask when they need more information. Lets face it at a pay grade of XY or Z they do a lot for use all. The question is not knowing everything but asking the right questions and standing up for those that placed us. One other note there are several ways we get tax dollars and watching that we get every dollar from our state today is harder then ever!
Matt Walker March 18, 2011 at 05:07 AM
Thanks again Greg. I agree that the pay associated with being a Trustee does not begin to compensate these people for all the work they do to keeping Montgomery running. I have tremendous respect for all of our public servants, even if I don't always agree with their policies. After all, they're the ones with the guts to step into the arena. A special thanks to you for stepping up to serve on the Library Board. I hope I'll see you at the candidate's forum next week.
Patricia Marsh March 19, 2011 at 02:23 PM
So Matt, you are saying that Mr. Bond, a citizen was in attendence and welcomed and spoke out at a plan commision metting. I guess that does blow some holes in statement. If residents don't attend I don't think that the comittee people can be held reponsible. That is all on the community. As for Mr. Brzoska comment I for one am thankful that you took the time to compose a response. All to often people speak without thinking. I asked Mr. Bond a question several days ago and he has yet to respond, should I assume that he is lacking as a condidate, but as I look at all the comments/profiles today, it seems that Mr Bond only responds as near I can tell to questions/comments on other candidates profiles. What does that say about Mr. Bond? I would also like to point out that there are 3 Trustee seats available. It is high possible that Mr Brolley and Mr Bond will sit together. I would like to see a candidate win my vote, instead of detracting from other candidates to raise them selves up. Mr. Bond does not obviiously share that posture but feels the need to bolster his own value by diminishing another.
Kevin Molloy March 20, 2011 at 10:39 AM
To Ben and Terry. Speaking up shoulldn't be confused with having something to say. Too many people speak up just to hear themselves speak. It certainly doesn't mean that what they say has substance. With 16 days to go, it is obvious which candidate has substance and which candidate like the sound of their own voice? Greg... Why not run next time. With thirty years in the community, I'm sure you would have insight and I'm certain great objectivity on many of the issues. Mr. Walker... Great research. We all know that facts sometimes get in the way of a good story. and your research certainly helped ruin a good story on Mr. Bonds behalf by setting the record straight. In a short period of time, Matt has made an impact on this community. His fellow planning commision members know it, the Village Board knows it, the Village President knows it. The police chief and fire chief know it and certainly ANYONE who attended last years Fest knows it. Why do we want to take shots at a guy who is out in front soley for making a community like Montgomery a better place to live? Matt has lived her all twenty-eight years of his life and the last four years he has made a difference. Its a shame some want to take shots at him without know what makes Matt tick.
Jason Bragg March 25, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Excellent points Kevin.
Jason Bragg March 25, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Hey Matt, Excellent commercial on the radio tonight! Keep up the good work!
Matt Walker March 25, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Matt, Great job at the forum tonight. Keep it up!
kpfarrer March 26, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Matt Brolley presented himself and his ideas very well at the 3/24 forum. His professional background in civil engineering with the required municpal knowledge, his experience on the Village Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, and his extensive volunteer efforts in Montgomery make him an excellent candidate.
Michael Hammond March 29, 2011 at 02:27 AM
I have known Matt Brolley for several years and find him to be a well educated, articulate individual. He has the experience and knowledge of village operations that will be necessary for any trustee. He puts a great deal of the thought behind his inquires and decisions at Plan Commission meetings. Matt has the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze issues before him while he carefully and thoughtfully prepares his responses and questions. He is no “rubber stamp” for the village staff. He understands it is a delicate balance between doing things which make business happy (i.e. TIFF districts etc.) Vs. doing what is best for the tax payers now and in the years to come. He also understands that decisions made by the board set precedent for future issues, and carefully weighs the legal implications. I am very happy that Matt has decided to take the high road and run on his qualifications rather than using negative comments that I see local shills using. Matt is not the typical shoot from the hip with a shotgun politician just saying what people want to hear. He is a focused decision maker and a thoughtful leader. He gives back to the community without expecting anything in return. He’s an asset to the community. Folks you will only get the representation you deserve. Don't be taken in by slick marketing! Please do your research prior to making your choice. Take the time! You deserve the best and so do I. Good luck Matt, you have my vote!
Jason Bragg April 01, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Hi Michael, I second your thoughts and comments. Matt has really demonstrated his willingness to make a difference in our community by being a member of the Village of Montgomery Plan Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals Commission. Matt has demonstrated time and time again that he can be trusted to make good decisions that affect the residents and businesses of Montgomery. It'll be very beneficial to the community to have an experienced Professional Engineer on the board, especially when dealing with potential costly public works projects and needed road expansions.
Matt Walker April 02, 2011 at 04:18 AM
I agree. Matt Brolley has earned my vote, too.

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