Full name: Brian Dianis
Which office are you looking for? Village of Algonquin Trustee
What is your political party? Independent
What is your current age? 58
Employment and employer: Program Manager for National General and Allstate Company
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Village of Algonquin Trustee from 2005 to 2017 and from 2021 to present
Town: The village of Algonquin
Campaign Website: BrianForAlgonquin.com
Education: Bachelor of Science in Finance (graduated Cum Laude) from Northern Illinois University
Certificate in General Insurance from the Insurance Institute of America
Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) designation from the Insurance Institute of America
Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designation from the Insurance Institute of America
Community involvement: Over the years I have tried to stay active in the community in many ways with the most notable being:
- Village of Algonquin Trustee (2005 to 2017 and 2021 to present)
- Ted Spella School of Management
- Connect 300 – Community Advisory Council (CAC) – Chariman
- National Night Out® in Algonquin
- Connect 300
- Neubert Elementary – School Improvement Team
- Community Awareness Commission – Village of Streamwood
- Volunteer at the Northern Illinois Food Bank
- Volunteer at Helping Paws Animal Shelter, Woodstock
- Junior performance teacher
- Youth football coach
- Electoral judge
- YMCA of McHenry County Father/Daugher Program
- Charity Fundraising – March of Dimes Walk America walk-a-thon, Multiple Sclerosis Society MS Walk and American Cancer Society Relay for Life
Marital status/immediate family: Married with 3 daughters
Why are you running for office?
At first I ran because I wanted to leave things better than I found them, and that’s still true today. I have loved living in Algonquin for the past 25 years, where my wife, Laura, and I have raised our three daughters, and I want to continue to make this a great place to live, work and play. The Village has grown in incredible ways over the past 25 years and having served on the Village Board for almost 14 of those years, I feel that I have been able to make a positive impact on the improvements in the community. I have the passion, commitment and leadership experience to make Algonquin even better tomorrow. I am excited about the future and I hope that you will give me the opportunity to continue working for you.
What makes you qualified for the office you are seeking?
I have been fortunate enough to have served as a trustee on the Village Board for almost 14 years (from 2005 to 2017 and from 2021 to the present). During this time I have been involved in some significant long-term planning such as the downtown revitalization plan, the village comprehensive plan and the city park master plan. I have developed a good working relationship with the other members of the board and with the village staff, and I feel that we work very well together to ensure financial responsibility and resident satisfaction. In addition, my professional career has given me extensive experience in collaboration and communication, as well as project and program management, which allows me to be effective in working with cross-functional teams to achieve positive results. I have the passion and experience to keep Algonquin a role model and leader in the Fox Valley.
What’s your take on the Illinois gun ban that went into effect in January 2023?
This legislation was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor, so it is currently the law in Illinois until it is blocked or ruled unconstitutional by the legal department. I support efforts to establish common sense gun safety reforms while respecting the intent of the 2nd Amendment.
Is crime a problem in your community and if so, what would you do to curb it?
The crime rate in Algonquin is low and residents rated overall police services nearly 90% positive (excellent or good) in the most recent community survey. As a board member, I have consistently voted to adequately fund our police department and to ensure they have the training and equipment necessary to perform their duties in the village. I am also a strong supporter of National Night Out, which strives to improve police-community relations.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I feel the village did a very good job of making the necessary decisions to protect the health of residents and employees. The village worked in partnership with McHenry and Kane Counties as well as the state to try to balance shifting priorities while continuing to provide uninterrupted services in the community.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Be prepared and be willing to adapt. Over the years, we had ensured that the Village was financially strong with a minimum of 6 months’ reserves. This allowed Algonquin to continue operations during times of uncertain revenue streams without impacting our workforce.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
We spur economic development by making Algonquin an attractive place for businesses to locate. Having a good plan and being able to effectively communicate that plan is key. We recently contracted with Houseal Lavigne to have our comprehensive plan updated, which will include evaluations of the East Algonquin Road corridor, the Old Town district, the Randall Road corridor and the Algonquin Corporate campus. In addition, our Algonquin A+ program offers marketing of the incredible amenities available to businesses considering calling Algonquin home. Welcoming new tenants, such as Northpoint Development on the corporate campus or Cooper’s Hawk and Portillos in the Enclave or Popeyes on East Algonquin Road, and allowing existing businesses to make investments, such as Red Mountain Group, which is proposing $30 million in upgrades to Algonquin Commons, also have a positive influence on attracting other companies.
Would/can/should local authorities do something to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
We should continue to expand the tax base through economic development, increase revenue from sales in the Village by attracting more shoppers/consumers, and implement process efficiencies in the services the Village provides to lower the cost of those services.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower the tax burden on residents?
I would like to see data on how this type of use has affected communities where they have opened such a business. I would also like feedback on whether this is something that our residents would like to have in the Village. This would not typically be the type of business that I would see as a good fit in our village, but I would be open to hearing the operating model and reviewing the plans for such a business.
What projects or infrastructure would you tackle in your community and how would you do it?
It is crucial that we keep up with maintenance and improvements to infrastructure, especially our streets and our water and sewer systems. We need to allocate a sufficient amount of funds for ongoing updates and upgrades in addition to seeking grant opportunities and exploring public/private partnerships to share costs. Our village experienced significant growth 25 or so years ago and the infrastructure added to support the growth during that period is in need of repair or replacement. This represents a significant financial impact that must be managed effectively to spread costs and identify and address the most critical impacts before they become an emergency.
I see street improvements as the most important infrastructure project to address. With nearly 150 miles of streets in the Village and an average condition of “poor” as defined in our Pavement Management Program, we are at risk of having a significant number of pavement failures in the near future if we do not manage the repair or replacement effectively. This would be paid for with revenue from the street improvement fund, motor fuel tax fund, TIF allowances, funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and potential funds from the Council of Mayors. With the current economic uncertainty, it would be wise to begin engineering and design, but not proceed with construction on some of the village projects. This will also give us a pool of shovel-ready projects that can provide an advantage in obtaining grants or matching funds from the federal government or the Mayor’s Council.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your stance on open, transparent government?
I believe that open and transparent government is essential. Taxpayers have the right to know what is going on in the various tax authorities and should have easy access to information.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and the ability of citizens to freely access public records?
Yes, I feel this is important to hold elected officials and village staff accountable.
Would you sign a confidentiality agreement with a potential business that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
No, if a business wants to be part of our community, they have to go through our planning and zoning process, and as an administrator I would never sign an agreement that would limit what I could communicate.