Candidate questionnaires

Placeholder for Neftalie Gonzalez

Neftalie Gonzalez

Candidate for City Council, 22nd Ward

Neftalie Gonzalez

Candidate for City Council, 22nd Ward

Placeholder for Neftalie Gonzalez

Education: 3 Years at Loyola University

Occupation: Small Business Owner

Home: Chicago

Age: Not answered

Past Political/Civic Experience: Not answered

Candidates running for City Council, 22nd Ward

Responses to the Chicago Tribune's questionnaire

Q: Last year, the Chicago Tribune's investigative series "Broken Bonds" reported that, since 2000, Chicago had issued long-term bonds to spend nearly $10 billion, much of it for short-term operating expenses. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to delay bond payments by refinancing old debts, a tactic known as "scoop and toss" that extends payments far into the future. Was this borrowing justified? Going forward, how should City Hall change its finances to pay down existing debts and provide services? Will you argue primarily for cuts in spending or for tax increases? Please be specific.

Cuts in spending. No unnecessary projects. i.e. Maggie Dailey Park, George Lucas Star Wars Museum.

Q: Chicago will face a substantial increase in contributions to its police and fire pension funds in 2016. Chicago's unfunded pension liability amounts to about $7,000 for each resident of the city. How should the city solve its pension crisis? Please be specific about pension changes, spending cuts or revenue increases you would support.

Cuts in spending and also the entire state should aid in funding the CPD and CFD pension system. Since the City of Chicago contributes to the economy of the entire state.

Q: What changes should be made in the city's use of tax increment financing? Would you support expansion or extension of TIF districts in your ward? How should excess TIF funds be spent? Do you support the $55 million allotment of TIF funds to buy land for a Marriott Hotel and DePaul basketball arena? Please explain.

NO to the Marriott Hotel and DePaul basketball arena. Expansion of TIF funds to economically viable projects only.

Q: The Tribune Editorial Board recently offered "12 ways to heal a city" — the best ideas among more than 1,000 suggestions from readers on how to craft "A new Plan of Chicago." These proposals are available at Please tell us which ideas you would champion. We invite you to offer additional ideas for dealing with Chicago's challenges.

I would encourage all ideas that were suggested and would encourage a consensus of all citizens to finding solutions to city problems.

Q: Should the City Council keep or abolish the office of legislative inspector general? Should the city inspector general be given the authority to investigate aldermen and their staff members? Do you have other ideas to improve government ethics in Chicago? Please explain.

The Inspector General should remain and do his job.

Q: The Chicago Public Schools system has seen significant improvements in freshmen on track and high school graduation rates. CPS has also closed dozens of schools, used fiscal 2016 revenue to balance its 2015 budget and faces a roughly $700 million pension payment in 2016. Please give us your assessment of the academic and financial performance of the city's public schools. What is the key to improving public education in the city? Should members of the Board of Education be elected by the public or continue to be appointed by the mayor? Do you support the longer school day and year? Should CPS expand or reduce the number of charter schools? How should CPS close its significant budget gap?

CPS should model it's school system after the worlds best perming school system.

Q: How would you attract more employers to your ward? How would you encourage employers to hire local residents? What have you done to promote economic development in your ward?

I would attract more employers by demonstrating to them the availability of abundant economic real estate in the ward, and the abundance of an educated young work force.

Q: Do you support or oppose the City Council vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Please explain.

I support it to lessen the gap between wealthy employers and economically struggling employees.

Q: Should the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art be built at the proposed location on Chicago's lakefront? Please explain.

No. Public land should not be used for private projects.

Q: How can the city improve public safety? Please address the role and performance of the Chicago Police Department and the role of neighborhood residents in crime prevention. What have you done to improve public safety in your community?

I would encourage the local police district to reorganize their patrol system to one officer one precinct system. I encourage all resident to abide by the law.

Q: Do you support Chicago's traffic light camera program? Please explain.

NO. They target neighborhood with low income residents.

Q: Should Chicago reduce the number of aldermen in the City Council?


Q: What is your highest priority for improving your ward? What is the greatest concern you hear from residents of your ward?

Lack of jobs. Public safety is the greatest concern.

Q: Please tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I was a Seminarian.

City Council, 22nd Ward