Dave Richmond wants to apply the philosophy he uses running Blackberry Township to statewide issues.
He proudly cites his experience as supervisor. What sets him apart from his two competitors in the 25th District state senate Republican primary "is my proven track record of respecting taxpayers' dollars," he said.
Richmond says the township has no debt, money in the bank, and has lowered its tax levy three years in a row.
The Kane County resident, who lives near Batavia, faces Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Richard Slocum of Sugar Grove March 20.
When he ran for supervisor in 2009, "I made one promise and that was to be fiscally conservative with taxpayers' dollars," Richmond pointed out.
That carried over to his opposition to the Batavia Park District building a recreation center in downtown Batavia in 2010. He helped organize opponents to defeat the plan, in which the district would have borrowed money and intended to pay it back from revenue generated by the center.
"I was against borrowing for it. That is who I am, fighting debt and more taxes at every level I could," Richmond said.
Blackberry Township's budget is minuscule compared to the state's. The township, in central Kane County, has about 6,500 residents. It employs 14 people full-time and nine part-time, according to its 2010 certified annual financial report. Its total appropriation, for the township, cemetery and roads, was $1.4 million, according to the CAFR filed with the state comptroller.
Richmond gives as examples of his conservatism how Blackberry built a new garage: it saved up money, and built a pole barn over a dirt floor. It is now saving money for a concrete floor. When its health insurance premiums increased, the board cut costs by converting its employees' health insurance plan to a high-deductible plan with health savings accounts.
Similarly, the township board could, but has refused, to levy a property tax for maintenance of the township's cemetery. Costs are covered by plot sales and burial fees; some maintenance has been done by volunteers.
By trade, Richmond is a lawyer. He also owns a Lube Pro oil-change franchise. Richmond served four years in the Coast Guard, then started a home-building business with his brother, before attending college and law school.
He is married, and the father of five children. In the early 2000s, he was director of constituent services for former Congressman Dennis Hastert. In 2008, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the state house in the 50th District.