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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.
Office sought: Wayne Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)
Family: Wife Martina - married 14 years. 3 school-aged children
Occupation: Construction Superintendent
Education: William Rainey Harper College
Civic involvement: Member - Corpus Christi Catholic Church Finance Committee - DuPage County Democratic Party Wayne Township Precinct Committeeman
Elected offices held: none
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Quality Service - I am running for Highway Commissioner to ensure the highest quality of road, bridge and storm-water drainage system maintenance in Wayne Township. After all, these are the pathways residents of Wayne Township use to get to their homes, work, school, and leisure activities.
Key Issue 2
High Tax Payer Value - When tax payer dollars are expended - the work should be done right - the first time! It should be the job of the Highway Commissioner to make sure that the job is completed properly. I am known in the industry for my work ethic of always providing the highest quality work without wasteful spending. I seek to share this value in serving the residents of Wayne Township.
Key Issue 3
Respect for all Citizens Always Encouraging Civic Participation I often hear about the idea that township government is one of the closest levels to "the people" as a reason why it should be maintained, yet, locally, I hear that citizens are frustrated by a sense of disregard for this in reality. We are all different people with varying life experiences that lead us to seek different solutions to our many problems. We may not always agree, but I can assure you that I will always listen to Wayne Township citizens, their thoughts, concerns and ideas, with the utmost respect. I encourage all citizens to participate fully in their government and will never participate in political moves to place barriers to full citizen participation.
Name the three most important goals or objectives this board should tackle in the coming term. Prioritize them, and briefly discuss why you believe each to be critical, and how the board should go about addressing them.
The top goal and objective of every elected board should be to provide quality service to citizens while always using their tax dollars as wisely as possible. As Highway Commissioner, I will not have a vote on the board, but will always work with board members in doing my part to ensure that this goal is met while maintaining quality road, bridge and storm water drainage system maintenance. Once elected, I hope to first address preventative measures such as stoning road shoulders and re-grading drainage ditch lines so water flows faster with less erosion and less opportunity for mosquito breeding. I will strive for more transparency in Wayne Township business as I examine the Highway Department budget for practical savings to tax payers while ensuring the very high standard of service that Wayne Township residents deserve.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Much has been questioned, discussed and researched about Illinois? many layers of local government which have produced a variety of opinion pro and con on township government. Most recently, in 2010 both State Senator Kirk Dillard and State Rep. Jack Franks called for commissions to study township government specifically, which resulted in a report on the highway departments in particular. The results vary widely township to township in DuPage County. (This report does not include full information for Wayne Township.) As Highway Commissioner, I will be charged with maintaining 20 miles of roads, bridges and storm-water drainage systems in Wayne Township. These are roads that lead into our communities and our neighborhoods. I see this as a very important role of Wayne Township government. I can assure citizens of Wayne Township that as their Highway Commissioner, I will operate as I do presently, seeking every possible way to use their tax dollars wisely while providing the quality work they deserve. I will seek to collaborate and consolidate efforts wherever possible and if legislative barriers to smart collaboration and consolidation become apparent, I will work diligently with local lawmakers to remove those barriers.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
In Illinois, the primary responsibility of township government is to provide general assistance to citizens in short-term need, property assessment and road and bridge maintenance. In Wayne Township, there are approximately 20 miles of roads in unincorporated areas that are not maintained by municipalities, the county or state. These roads, bridges and storm-water drainage systems in these unincorporated areas are critically important to all citizens living in the township boundaries as they are the pathways we use as we travel to work, school, and leisure activities. As Highway Commissioner, I will lead to ensure that citizens using these roadways are served with quality while always using their tax dollars wisely.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
In particular to the Highway Department, my first priority will be to make sure that jobs are completed on time to avoid unnecessary additional costs as well as ensuring that each job is completed correctly, with the utmost quality, thereby avoiding the extra expense of an untimely redo. I will also look at where preventative policies can ensure a long life of our roads, bridges and storm water systems. As far as eliminating or trimming programs, I believe it completely unfair to judge a program by a line item on a budget. Once elected though, there certainly is one thing I can promise voters; I will treat the highway department budget like I do my home budget. If there are programs I observe that are not cost effective, I will not hesitate to trim or even eliminate. I will also work to bring information about possible budget savings in other township programs to the attention the board of trustees and recommend a trim or elimination.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
I have 30+ years of leadership in road construction, currently serving as Superintendent for SCS Construction, overseeing the company's concrete division. My major responsibilities include oversight of construction projects and teams, quality management, hiring, purchasing, and related general management. I have a breadth of experience around metropolitan Chicago including supervision on the I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway)project,Elgin-O?Hare Expressway and O?Hare Airport (Scenic Taxiway; runway projects). I have additional work experience with water and sewer, electrical, and masonry construction. I so look forward to using my extensive industry leadership in serving my neighbors in Wayne Township.