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: Burr Ridge
Office sought: Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, 2 children, 5 grandchildren
Occupation: Administrative Asst II, Loyola University, Chicago and Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant
Education: Attended Northern Michigan University and Loyola University Chicago, Accounting
Civic involvement: Darien Chamber Darien Women in Business South DuPage Women's Republican Organization Elected committeeman, Downers Grove Township Republican Organization
Elected offices held: West Branch Township Clerk Committeeman, Downers Grove Township Republican Organization
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Maintain fiscal responsibility and continue to balance the Township budget. In these hard economic times, a tax increase is the last thing our residents need.
Key Issue 2
Effectively provide services and programs for our seniors, struggling families, residents, and offer other services that are required of township government.
Key Issue 3
Continue to increase the transparency and accountability of the Township. We also need to further develop relationships between all levels of government and community organizations to better serve our residents. Elected officials? involvement and presence at local fests, Chambers of Commerce, Park Districts, and senior citizens organizations are more prevalent, which provides an important opportunity to seek input and listen to our residents. The Township also holds an Annual Open House for Local Government Week to highlight Township services and provide informational displays with a family-oriented atmosphere. We should maintain efforts to increase these significant outreach initiatives.
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.
1) Scrutinize the annual budget to ensure the best return and identify new ways to reduce costs. One initiative already implemented was the cutting of township elected officials? salaries. 2) Continue promoting transparency and accountability. A new user-friendly township website was implemented to make services more available and the public more informed. This website makes the Township, its officials, and its resources more accessible and effective for the taxpayer. 3) Bolster programs that work well, look for ways to streamline processes and services, and eliminate duplication. Reviewing efficiencies and developing coordination of efforts should be evaluated on a regular basis.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Township government is needed because not everyone wishes to be part of a municipality. Township government provides a more convenient, personal, and localized form of government on a consistent basis. Downers Grove Township is not just responsible for maintaining unincorporated roads near vacant land. The Township is still responsible for assessing the value of private property, reviewing individual assets, and measuring property taxes for our school districts, towns, county, and state. With the general assistance program, the Township provides a short-term, very cost-effective public aid designed to stabilize families in need until they get further help. County aid could take about two weeks, but Township aid can start at the first visit providing an opportunity for families to keep the heat, lights, and water turned on.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Townships provide road maintenance in unincorporated areas, property assessments, general assistance programs, senior and youth programs.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Some initiatives have already been implemented with the reduction of salaries and benefits. As with any program, annual reviews should be mandatory as there is always room for improvements or coordination of services.
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 9 years of township experience as Deputy Clerk and then Township Clerk in Michigan. I understand how local government works. I take my responsibilities and commitments very seriously. With my memberships in the Darien Chamber of Commerce, Darien Women in Business, South DuPage Women's Republican Organization and other organizations, it provides me with a unique opportunity to meet and communicate with residents and to explore programs that may benefit them. I volunteer at local fests and fairs to provide voter registration and seek input from residents. I enjoy serving and working with the public, which makes me a strong candidate for Trustee on the Downers Grove Township Board.