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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Buffalo Grove
Office sought: Buffalo Grove Village clerk
Family: Celeste is the perfect wife - perfect in every way - the best wife a guy could ever have. We have been happily married for 31 years. My wonderful children are Rick, 28, BGHS Class of 2000, & Dawn, 17, who ranks in the top 20 students BGHS Class of 2011.
Occupation: Journalist, Editor of Rob Sherman News, which publishes news about social injustice and what I'm doing to stop it. Retired radio talk show host, Morning Drive on AM 1530 WJJG Chicago. Social justice activist at Rob Sherman Advocacy.
Education: Some college. National College of Education (now National-Louis University) and also Northwestern University, 1970's.
Civic involvement: Founder, Rob Sherman Advocacy. National spokesman, American Atheists, 1986-1995. Disaster Services supervisor, American Red Cross, 1979-1999. American Cancer Society volunteer, 1970's. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund), 1962.
Elected offices held: Wheeling Township Green Party Committeeman, 2010-present.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: I have never been arrested nor convicted for doing anything that constitutes a crime. However, as a prominent citizen who has often been successful at challenging both unconstitutional actions by government and other bad government policies, I have frequently been arrested and even convicted for things that are completely legal, as a form of harassment by government and in repeated futile attempts by government at intimidating me. This has resulted in my reputation changing from being an activist for good government to being a martyr for good government. I will not be intimidated by fake arrests or even fake convictions for the crime of nothing.
Key Issue 1
Competence. The incumbent has been Village Clerk for 32 years. Sometimes, her Minutes for two- or three-hour long meetings will run about one page and say merely, ""Discussion ensued. Staff answered questions."" I will provide Minutes that reveal, not conceal. My minutes will say more than, ""We talked. Then we went home."" The incumbent also has lost a tape of a Village Board Executive Session. She lost her keys to Village Hall and reportedly didn't bother to report it to the police. Because I am a high-profile citizen, tight security has been a top priority for me for decades, so I'm accustomed to safeguarding urgent assets. I won't lose Village keys or Village documents. Security is always a top priority with me.
Key Issue 2
New programs that won't add to the cost of government. The incumbent is coasting and has no motivation to innovate. I will add such programs as:
1) A good government fair in the Village Hall Boardroom, once a month during campaign season, so citizens can meet and talk to candidates indoors during the cold weather of campaign season and candidates can get signatures on their nominating petitions. Almost nobody runs for office in BG because you need such a large number of nominating petition signatures during terrible weather. This will encourage the best residents to run for office by making it far easier to get the needed signatures.
2) Information exchange events in the Village Hall Boardroom, such as job fairs & business introduction fairs, so residents can learn about businesses that are in town, all in one place.
3) Passport processing for residents.
4) Notary service for residents.
5) American flag disposal for worn flags. Very patriotic.
6) Better Village Clerk web site utilization during election cycle, such as providing links to candidate web sites and announcements of who has declared and who has filed for which public office, just like the State Board of Elections does during elections. We can do that. I will.
Key Issue 3
I'm running to provide a set of technical services in a professional and competent manner, not to advocate opinions on any controversial personal issues, such as religion. You have a right to believe what you want about religion, without the government taking sides. Religion will be irrelevant to the job when I become Village Clerk, except that you will be treated with respect, regardless of your theological perspective. Any opinions that I have on other subjects will also be irrelevant to the job when I become Village Clerk.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I will provide the most services that I can think of, at no additional cost, to our residents, and do so in a competent and professional manner. The incumbent has made it clear that she intends to provide the least service that she can get away with, provide the least information to residents that she can get away with, and that she will not put forth any effort to come up with new ideas to provide more useful services to residents. Unlike the incumbent, I will comply with the spirit of the Open Meetings Act with Minutes that reveal, not conceal.
Given the delicate balance between the need for revenue and over-taxing local businesses, what is your opinion of your community's present level of local sales taxes? Is the tax just right, too low or too high? Explain.
I promised, in Key Campaign Issue #3, above, that I will not be injecting my opinions on non-Village Clerk issues into my service as Village Clerk. My proof that I will keep that campaign promise is by declining to answer that question. We have candidates running for Village Trustee and Village President. It will be their job to make those decisions. I will stay out of it, just as I promised I would. All I want to do is provide a technical service in a more competent and professional manner than the incumbent has done.
Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest public safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.
I promised to keep my opinions on controversial issues affecting the Village to myself, and I will continue to do so. I will keep my campaign promise to not comment on Village controversies for as long as I am Village Clerk or a candidate for Village Clerk.
In these tight economic times, municipal budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?
I will be able to do all of the things that I've promised and implement all of my ideas for innovative new programs on the same modest budget that the Office of Village Clerk now operates under. Your taxes will not go up as a result of my service to you as Village Clerk.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
I will provide Minutes that comply with the spirit of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, and not merely comply with the rudimentary ""letter of the law."" The Open Meetings Act, at 5 ILCS 120/2.06(a)(3), provides, in pertinent part, that the Minutes of public meetings, such as a Village Board meeting, ""shall include, but need not be limited to, a summary of discussion on all matters proposed, deliberated or decided."" A ""summary of discussion"" means more than just, ""We talked. Then we went home."" It means that the Minutes should reveal who spoke on each subject and generally what was said by each speaker about each subject. After 32 years in office, the incumbent is coasting on doing the minimum necessary to comply with the letter of the law. I will provide minutes that inform residents as to which Trustee, at a Village Board meeting, expressed support or opposition to raising your taxes, and why. Then, you can decide whether that Trustee is worthy of re-election. With the information that is currently provided by the incumbent Village Clerk, you are being blocked from finding out which Trustee wants to raise your taxes or why. I will provide Minutes that reveal, not conceal.