Endorsements for Rick Guzman

Guz4AuroraVideoHere are a few comments from people endorsing RICK GUZMAN for mayor of Aurora, Illinois.  Start with a VIDEO by clicking on the picture to the left.  Go to the Guzman for Aurora website.  Then consider the following, just a small sampling of comments from the many who believe that Rick Guzman is by far the best choice for mayor.  The overwhelming majority of his support and the money raised has come locally, from people working right at home every day to keep Aurora on the upward path it started 12 years ago under mayor Tom Weisner, a great Guzman supporter.

From the VIDEO referenced above, I want to highlight first the words of Linda Cole: “If the race for mayor was a job interview, and we were hiring the most prepared, qualified candidate with the most relevant—and remember that word “relevant”—experience, that would be Rick Guzman hands down.”  Here’s more:

Dot 1GREG THOMAS (former Aurora Police Chief):  ”I believe Rick is the right choice for Mayor…He is a great innovator and collaborator.  I appreciate his ability to think broadly and his capability to bring people together.  I believe Rick is the right person to continue to grow and improve the City of Aurora.”

Dot 1SCOTT VORIS (President of Kelmscott Communications):  ”Rick’s not political.  Rick is consistent and he’s knowledgeable.  And Rick has a deep understanding of how our city government actually functions…Rick’s not a talker, he’s a doer—and that’s why the business community is going to be behind him.”

Dot 1BILL POWELL (former Aurora Police Chief): “I am convinced that Rick Guzman has the necessary qualities to become the next leader of the City of Aurora.  For Aurora to realize its potential, Aurora needs a visionary.  I believe that is Rick Guzman.”

Dot 1RACHEL OSSYRA (Naperville Township Supervisor):  ”Rick has the skills and Rick has the personality to bring people together.  Where others see a problem, Rick Guzman sees an opportunity.  Rick Guzman will encourage economic growth through smart management, certainly, but also through collaboration.

Dot 1GONZALO ARROYO (Executive Director (ret.) of Family Focus, Aurora):  ”Time and time again, I have seen Rick be a bridge-builder—bringing people together and creating partnerships to accomplish big things in the City of Aurora.  Rick is THE one who can tackle the big issues that our community continues to face.”

Dot 1TOM CAVENAGH (Professor of Law, Business, and Conflict Resolution—North Central College):  ”He was a splendid student, and is now, as he was then, a man of principle and conviction.  Any city would be blessed to have him as its leader.”

Dot 1PETER GROMETER (former Chief Judge):  ”We are on the cusp of something really exciting.  All we need is a leader with the conviction and intelligence to lead us forward.  I think we have that in Rick Guzman.  He’s got the skills of a small businessman and the acumen of an attorney.  He’s got the intelligence, and he’s got the drive.”

Dot 1JOHN LEHMAN (former Aurora Fire Chief):  ”Having worked with Rick over the last several years, he has proven to be a collaborator and someone who has demonstrated his ability to lead.  The wide range of experiences Rick has with public service and municipal government make him the best mayoral candidate for the City of Aurora.”

 Go to the Lead Post on this site about the Guzman for Aurora campaign.

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Guzman for Aurora: Leverage and Opportunity

guzman-for-auroraBelow are links to articles and videos on this site about Rick Guzman and Guzman for Aurora, the organization behind his run to be mayor of Aurora, Illinois, the state’s second largest city.

But before the links, some words from his campaign website, words which capture my eldest son so well, I’ll just add the following for now.  In our family we’ve often laughed at Rick for being so cheap, and marveled at how he’s able to find the best deals for everything…always!  From tooth paste to mortgages.  In an executive position, that translates into being able to do more with less, one of the big themes on the campaign website.  Another of Rick’s favorite words is “leverage.”  He’s always leveraging this to get that, making the most of every opportunity, so that even if the opportunity is a small one, many small ones eventually start adding up to something big, even huge.  For example, go to the first link below to find out how he got a 70 to 1 return on investment for Aurora city funds.

More important, Professor Tom Cavenagh, one of his college mentors, has said, “He was a splendid student, and is now, as he was then, a man of principle and conviction. Any city would be blessed to have him as its leader.”

Guz4Aurora-MORE2The Guzman for Aurora website says, in part:  ”Rick Guzman’s campaign for Mayor of Aurora is about what happens when the limited resource of local government meets the unlimited potential of community…It’s about recognizing that every resident is a resource and every voice is valuable.  We’re voting for more progress and more participation. We’re voting to make Aurora more itself.

WHY RICK?   Doing more—with less. That’s been his focus for 15 years of executive leadership.  As Assistant Chief of Staff to Mayor Tom Weisner since 2011, Rick’s creative solutions have been behind many of the city’s most successful campaigns and development initiatives.  He’s a big-picture thinker who specializes in listening well, understanding deeply—and then finding creative ways to leverage little opportunities to create big results.  Rick’s not a legislator; he’s an executive.  And his specialty isn’t talk.  It’s action.”

 Go to “How to Turn 500k into 35mil” to learn how Rick Guzman leveraged opportunities to turn $500,000 into a $35,000,000 development commitment.  And read more about Arts and Economic Development.

 Go to “If Mayors Ruled the World” for the importance of executive vs. legislative leadership, a major theme on the campaign website and campaign literature.

  PARADES!  Go to a highlight video from Aurora’s Memorial Day Parade, where Guzman for Aurora was the entire parade’s largest contingent, and to videos of the July 4th Parade (featuring the Rick Guzman cardboard cutout!), and Guzman for Aurora in the Fiestas Patrias Parade.

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How To Turn 500k into 35mil

Aurora-ArtsCntrTax2bYou could be excused for not believing it at first.  A Rick Guzman led project turned a City of Aurora $500,000 investment into $35,000,000 of development commitments: a 70 to 1 return!  It’s just one reason Guzman for Aurora is pushing so hard to make Guzman the next mayor of Aurora:

He has brought in more development money to Aurora in the last five years than the other three candidates for mayor combined.

And his recent 70 to 1 return on investment gets even better.

guzman-for-auroraBecause of this project—which turns an empty building next to the Paramount Arts Center into a school of the arts, a restaurant complex, and loft apartments—on September 16th, 2016, the Illinois Housing and Development Authority announced a tax credit award to the city that’s worth over $15,000,000.  (See headline pictures above and below.)

It’s not alchemy, but Rick Guzman did lead in putting together a complex economic formula that leverages smaller dollars to create huge returns. Only he among the other candidates for mayor has demonstrated a thorough understanding of such processes.

Though supported by Mayor Tom Weisner and the overwhelming majority of the city council, the plan initially drew sharp criticism from some because Guzman seemed to be proposing using $5,000,000 of city money.  In the end that would still have been a 7 to 1 return on investment, but even that wasn’t good enough for Rick.

Aurora-ArtsCntrTax-bHere’s the way he led in working it out.  1) Use only $500,000 of locally collected taxes, which are TIF dollars only paid by downtown property tax payers.  2) Use $1.3 mil in Federal “pass through” funds ($600,000 from one HUD source, $700,000 from another HUD source), which are specifically targeted for the type of housing and job creation the project will bring.  3) Create a $3 mil loan to the Paramount—which the city could even use a federal loan fund pool to bridge if it wanted to—and which will be completely recouped through the revenues and savings the project itself creates, including: a) $500,000 of new property tax increment; b) $1 mil of already identified savings the Paramount will realize over the term of the load; c) $1.5 mil in uncommitted lease revenue from the restaurant complex and the loft residences.  This doesn’t even count the $15,000,000 tax credit mentioned above.

Seeing this package and this commitment, developers came in to the tune of $35,000,000. Seeing the formula was not magic, but solid economics, the city council overwhelmingly approved it.

Amid all these numbers one could forget that this is about the ARTS.  But arts and economics are no strangers.  This plan to use the arts for economic revitalization follows a highly successful trend I report on HERE.  For more on the reaction of the press and civic leaders to this Rick Guzman led project, go HERE (this link will go live soon).

 Go to the Lead Post on this site about the Guzman for Aurora campaign, and to the Guzman for Aurora website.

 Go Here to read about another Rick Guzman led initiative that leveraged a smaller city commitment into $23,000,000 of development dollars.  (Link goes live soon)


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