Election 2013: Mickey Straub
Mickey Straub is one of three candidates running for Burr Ridge village president in 2013.
Name: Michael “Mickey” Straub
Position sought: Burr Ridge Village President
Address: Citizens for Mickey Straub, 15W256 N. Frontage Road, Burr Ridge
Family: Wife Charmaine E. Straub; daughter Alysa M. Straub, 18.
Education: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, Bachelor of Science, Criminology (Major) / Political Science (Minor); Plus Special Agent Training and Director’s Award for Scholastic Excellence, U.S. Department of Defense and formerly licensed with the Illinois State Insurance Department and Ethics Course Instructor.)
Occupation: Small business owner/president, Sales Activity Management, Inc.(SAM) of Burr Ridge, with a satellite IT office in King of Prussia, PA (near Philadelphia).
Years in Burr Ridge: 25+
Previous elected offices: None. (Unless you count board membership and being Senior Class President in college.)
Applicable experience qualifying you for the position: Looking back, it feels like I have been groomed for political and public service through my experience in four vital areas needed: public safety, community service, political exposure and business leadership. My degree in criminology and career as a federal investigator (or special agent) with the U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C., prepared me for public safety; years as a church volunteer, election judge, Gower Playground project organizer and the Veterans Memorial Committee prepared me for community service; my 50 Capitols trip, relationships and business with legislators county and statewide have given me political exposure; and I have gained business leadership experience as founder and president of a national company (since 1995) which prepares me well for being president of a village. In addition, I have been on numerous boards and have the public relations and marketing skills that the village needs and can benefit from greatly.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I love Burr Ridge and want the best for village residents and businesses.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
The most pressing priority is to help the Village Center succeed. With a 35% vacancy rate and many shops getting rent incentives it is not in a strong position and any more store loss could be devastating to the center and the village. What is needed is improved marketing and branding of Burr Ridge and the Village Center (like the new, branded bridge that Bob Sodikoff was the only trustee who voted against would help accomplish), improving our working relationship with Village Center ownership, and getting/listening to resident feedback.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
The other candidates have some great qualities, but not the depth and breadth of county, state and national experience that I have listed above. In addition, I think I am the only one who owns a business and commercial property in the village and a daughter who recently attended the Gower schools who was involved in park district sports which put me in the unique position of having my finger on the pulse of the community and a vested interest in village prosperity. My actions have also proven that I would be very resident-focused and business-friendly as mayor.
What is your favorite thing about Burr Ridge?
This is an easy one: the people. A couple of years ago, I left one of our village car shows and started making a list of all the people that I met that day. That’s when I realized that it’s the people who make this “a very special place” and even wrote an article about it. In addition, I contend that you could easily pull any number of Burr Ridge residents together and they would be well prepared to run any city, county, company or maybe even country; we have an incredible brain trust and group of highly qualified people.
What is your least favorite thing about Burr Ridge?
Visually, it is the view of Burr Ridge from I-55, because it does not accurately reflect just how special it really is. I am very disappointed with some of the political games being played by some board members and the fact that three out of six board members are now from the same subdivision and one who lives two blocks away, resulting in four out of six living within five square blocks. This is just not fair or equal representation for the rest of the village! I am also not pleased with how everyone just seems to ignore the problems being experienced at the Burr Ridge Middle School and the effect it is having on residents and home prices in that district. Ignoring it doesn’t make the problem go away. My heart goes out to them.
What do you think is the role of the village president in Burr Ridge?
Help provide a positive, healthy, safe and financially sound community for all residents and businesses and one that is conducive for raising a family. (On the topic of job title: Personally, I think that the people already have a president and I’d prefer to be the people’s mayor, but the people should decide that, perhaps through referendum, not be done by an acting, interim mayor not even elected to that position by the people.)