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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: Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Wife, Christine, 31; 2 year old son
Occupation: Management Consultant
Education: B.A. degree in both Physics and Mathematics from the University of Chicago, B.S. degree in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School
Civic involvement: Veterans of Foreign Wars American Legion Trustee, Hinsdale Fire Pension Board Parishoner at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Parish
Elected offices held: Republican Precinct Committeeman 2008-present Township Trustee June 2012 - present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The No. 1 issue facing our Township is maintaining fiscal responsibility of taxpayer dollars. With state and federal taxes going up, the last thing our residents need is another tax increase. That's why the Township has balanced its budget every year, cut its own salaries, and provided services at no debt to the taxpayer.
Key Issue 2
The No. 2 top issue is to gather and seek input from the public to improve general assistance programs for seniors and struggling families, the maintenance of our unincorporated roads and bridge, the management of property assessments, and other services that are required of township governments. We better serve the community when we gather input from the public, and that should always be a top priority.
Key Issue 3
The No. 3 issue is ensuring that the Township keeps increasing transparency and accountability, and developing relationships with all levels of government and community organizations to better serve the public. For this reason, my fellow elected official and I recently made sure to establish a presence at local festivals and fairs with a Township Booth. We?ve increased Trustee community involvement with Chambers of Commerce, Park Districts, and senior citizen organizations. Trustees are more active with day-to-day Township activities. And most importantly, we created a new user-friendly Township website to make our services more available and the public more informed in an increasingly digital age. The goal of these efforts is to make the Township, its officials, and its resources more accessible and effective for the taxpayers.
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.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Downers Grove Township is not just responsible for maintaining unincorporated roads near vacant land. In fact, Downers Grove Township only lost two miles of road under its jurisdiction over four years; going from 72 miles of road to 70 miles. That being said, I strongly believe that Downers Grove Township government continues to play an important role in the lives of our residents. The Township is still responsible for assessing the value of private property, which is vital to conducting business in the housing market, reviewing individual assets, and measuring property taxes for our school districts, towns, county, and state. Especially in these difficult economic times, the most important role the Township serves is as the most direct, first line of assistance for our most vulnerable citizens. Downers Grove Township provides short-term, very cost-effective public aid designed to stabilize families in need so they can get organized and get further help, help that typically takes time to start up. At its fastest, County aid can take about two weeks to begin. Township aid can happen right at the first visit, providing an escape from despair, and time to refocus on getting back on their feet. The Township can make sure heat, lights, and water continue for needy families.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of township government should be to carry out the duties that are mandated by state statue, which includes general assistance, property assessments, and maintain unincorporated roads and bridges.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
The Township has already taken many steps to reduce the burden on taxpayers. Over the past four years, we have cut salaries and benefits, which amounted to hunderds of thousands of dollars in savings. Our next steps should be to continue to run the Township effectively with balanced budgets, and no debt. We should explore opportunities to streamline operations to achieve even more cost savings.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
As a leader in the business community and a U.S. military veteran, I bring to the Downers Grove Township board a unique blend of civic mindedness and professional experience.