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Fellow Munster Residents,
My name is Steve Tulowitzki. I am excited to introduce myself and announce my candidacy to become your newest member of the Munster Town Council. I have life-long ties to Munster, and I am ready to give back to our community in the form of service to our town. I am an optimist at heart - I see possibility and hope in the face of future challenges. I see potential for growth and progress arising from prior missteps. I see common ground and shared interests buried under the veneer of differences and partisanship. I see a bright future for us beyond the status quo. Most of all, I have faith that there is a shared dream among our residents for a vibrant and prosperous Munster of tomorrow that honors and builds upon our proud history. It is with this in my heart that I enter into the race for Town Council.
I was born, raised, and educated here in Munster. Now my wife, Celine, and I are raising our children here. Munster continues to be a wonderful place for families. Just as my parents raised me and my sister here, Celine and I knew it would be best for our family to move to Munster from Amsterdam in order to raise our children here. We live in the Hill and Vale annex neighborhood, and our children attend (or will attend) Elliott Elementary School.
It has been exciting to experience the similarities and differences between Amsterdam and Munster. As you might imagine, living and working in Europe changed me fundamentally. I learned what it is like to work and live life in another language. I got to experience a major city with no homelessness, and very little crime. I benefited from living in a country with a government where more than ten different political parties form the legislature. Believe it or not, this diversity of representation ensures that compromise and tolerance are a way of life. It was a welcome relief from the ultra partisan atmosphere and harmful polarization that we have too often come to face in recent years.
I've brought that perspective back home with me from Europe. I believe it is because of, not in spite of, our differences in opinions that we are stronger as a whole. It allows us to have nuanced conversation. It provides us an opportunity to learn from each other and even let go of beliefs we have held for years. We do this by considering others' perspectives and staying open to hearing what people have to say.
I've got many years experience solving problems as an engineer and as a business consultant, and I am sure those skills will come in handy when needed. However, I believe that the true difference maker will be my power to listen, to question, and to check my ego at the door. I will call all members of the council and our town's management to lead from their best selves.
It is this curiosity and openness that I am most excited to bring to our town's governing body. As an executive coach, I understand the power of a good question. A good question is an invitation for one to think deeply, to see things in a new light, and to discover their own ideas and solutions to challenging problems. I pledge to be the member of town council who always has an open mind and powerful questions ready to help the town explore new solutions to the complex problems we face.
And we certainly have some problems we will need to solve. On December 31, 2019, the property tax cap exemption we have enjoyed since 2008 will expire, and the town will face a budget shortfall of nearly $2 M in our general fund. We will need to make wise, yet difficult strategic decisions on how to run the town at current levels of safety and service without this revenue.
Another challenge that Munster will face is a continued wave of redevelopment. Not only will the Centennial Village development continue, but the 45th street grade separation will likely be in full swing by next year. Add to that the fact that the South Shore extension is very likely coming to our town. Those two events are groundbreaking, literally and figuratively, and will change the face of Munster for generations. We need to make sure the voice of Munster residents is represented to the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) and that the decisions that are made have our best interests at heart.
Finally, I believe that we can do a better job of communicating with our residents. Currently, it is difficult to really know what is going on in town. I appreciate the "News You Can Use" that comes with my water bill; however, it isn't enough for me as a resident to feel fully informed. There are many modern ways to communicate, and I will work to make sure we do a better job of holding a conversation with the community so that we can equally inform and be informed by each other.
If you've read this far, I am extremely grateful for your interest and consideration of support for my candidacy for Munster Town Council. I would love to hear your thoughts, concerns, ideas, and comments at email@example.com. Also, feel free to click any of the buttons to the right to volunteer, donate, register to vote, or receive updates on the campaign between now and Election Day on November 5th, 2019.