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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: Naperville Township Clerk (4-year Term)
Family: Married, 3 children
Occupation: 1. Instructional Assistant 2. Teach one high school student
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Illinois State University, 1982 Completed coursework for M.A. in Sociology, Southern IL University at Edwardsville, 1987 - no degree
Civic involvement: Elected Precinct #20 Committeewoman Volunteer for 2008 Obama campaign Past volunteer for statewide political campaigns Lakewood Home Improvement Association -10 years on a committee Past Neighborhood Watch organizer/Block Captain Past Hesed House Homeless Shelter volunteer Volunteered for various charitable organization events through former employer
Elected offices held: Elected Precinct #20 Committeewoman
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
There is a lack of TRANSPARENCY due to limited communication from the current township board. There is limited information about the duties of the township leaders, again due to limited communication and little transparency. COMMUNICATION is my Number 1 campaign issue because my role as Township Clerk is to maintain the township records and record the minutes of meetings. A complete report of meeting minutes is necessary, instead of the bare minimum currently being reported. I will also create and oversee volunteer citizen advisory groups so we can better serve the needs of township residents.
Key Issue 2
Currently, there is inadequate focus from the board in providing available services to those residents who are most in need. I, along with the other board members, will carefully review current general assistance services to ensure that our residents are not only aware of the services available to them, but ensure that they are informed and knowledgeable on how to access them. Again, better communication is needed. Likewise, I will review and propose cuts to duplicated services within a close geographical area. Some services may be simply unnecessary or outside the role of township government.
Key Issue 3
The lack of ACCOUNTABILITY to the township taxpayers is another area ripe for improvement. I want to work with other board members to raise awareness of township government and what we can accomplish. When we receive money in the form of taxes, we are responsible for spending those dollars wisely on services that are needed and we must account for expenditures at every step.
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 first priority of the new board must be to publish a detailed copy of the 2013 budget and review and highlight any opportunities to eliminate waste and reduce expenses. Elected officials have a responsibility to use taxpayers' money EFFICIENTLY. A second priority, as a candidate for Township Clerk, will be to maintain the public records of township meetings and post them on the website. I strongly believe the board remains accountable to our residents with accurate, timely minutes of actions taken. I am an advocate and supporter of advisory groups to better understand and meet the needs and concerns of our residents. My third priority for this board is to carefully and methodically review all of the services provided by the township. The supervisor, highway supervisor, clerk, and assesor, with assistance from the trustees, determine whether: 1. there is a need for this service 2. there is duplication of services from other governmental groups 3. there is over-compensation of services 4. a) the target group of the service is being served, and b) there is a high rate of participation in the program by the target group
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Townships are currently needed to maintain roads and bridges for unincorporated areas for which no other government unit is responsible. Additionally, townships are needed to assess local property for tax purposes. The role of townships is changing in our urban environment, with a smaller amount of unincorporated areas. The Highway Commissioner must investigate and propose intergovernmental agreements where it is economically feasible to do so. The township must also market and publicize the general assistance funds that are available, as they currently grant very little assistance to those most in need. While granting very little, one-third of this budget is spent on administration. With input from a new citizens advisory group, the new board can determine if there are services which are not provided by any other government unit, and whether or not it is appropriate that the township provide any or all or these services. It is possible that, with the current economic downturn, general assistance is underfunded. General assistance could be one of the most important new roles of township government.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The assessment of township property for local tax purposes.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Citizen advisory groups are critical and they must first assess the needs of our residents. Next, services that are duplicated by other government agencies can be eliminated. Each township department needs to be scutinized by the entire board to find ways to cut costs. Some departments may need to reorganize due to over compensation of services, while others will need to make minor cuts. The current board has cut salaries, effective in 2014, which will reduce the tax burden. After the new board makes changes to Naperville Township government, it needs to reassess salaries to adjust for changed responsibilities and propose corresponding changes.
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've been a member of the community for over 25 years. I am new to the political arena. I will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to this office. I will expect and provide accountability, open communication, and efficiency in the services performed. I have extensive volunteer experience with a variety of groups. I initiated a neighborhood watch program that had a high participation rate in my last neighborhood. I recently resigned after approximately ten years serving on committee for Lakewood Home Improvement Association. My employment background includes customer service, loan processing for a credit union, and work in higher education for different community colleges and universities. This has given me direct contact serving a wide variety of people; listening to, and helping meet their needs.