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updated: 2/22/2013 6:34 PM

William Swanston: Candidate Profile

Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms) (R)

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  • William Swanston, running for Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms)

    William Swanston, running for Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms)




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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Westmont

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Downers Grove Township Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 77

Family: Divorced, six children, 11 grandchildren

Occupation: Accountant/Executive Recruiter

Education: Bachelor of Science in Accounting, St. Joseph's College, 1958

Civic involvement: Member of Westmont Lions Club, Member of the Westmont Chamber of Commerce, Eucharistic Minister Coordinator, Notre Dame Parish, Clarendon Hills, IL, Precinct Committeeman

Elected offices held: Downers Grove Township Trustee from 1982 to present, GOP Precinct Committeeman in Westmont from 1982 to present.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Provide Balance Budgets for the next four years.

Key Issue 2

In the Balanced Budget environment, provide necessary funds to the Human Services programs.

Key Issue 3

Continue to increase the awareness of Township activity at the local level. Examples - membership in local Chamber of Commerce, various Lions Clubs, etc. and presentations at Village Town Halls.

Questions & Answers

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 Fiscal responsibility. Whether in good times or bad, the most important issue is to maintain a balanced budget with no debt. 2 Continue accessibility of Township mandated services to our residents. Two examples of the mandated programs are General Assistance and road and bridge maintenance. 3. Work with the Township Municipalities to develop and implement a plan for sharing the cost of Ride DuPage, which would allow residents access to countywide ridership.

In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?

First of all, the loss of unincorporated property in our Township over the last 4 years has been minuscule. Next, townships provide necessary programs and services as well as assessing private property values which is critical to the successful function of local businesses and schools districts. It would seem appropriate that we not abandon the areas where we are fiscally responsible and having success.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

The critical overall function of Township government is two-fold. First, providing services for the protection and safety of the residents living in the unincorporated areas of the township, such as maintaining approximately 70 miles of roads and managing 58,000 parcels of property assessments. Second, townships form strategic partnerships and work with the Villages to broaden coverage in the Human Services areas, such as SALT, Peer Jury, Dial-a-ride, and the prescription card program.

In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?

We have already made changes in the compensation and insurance, which affect the next 4 years. It is imperative that we continually make sure that we are using taxpayers dollars wisely.

What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?

My accounting background generally. In addition, in the early 70s I was appointed Westmont Village Treasurer. In the mid to late 70s I served on the Westmont Plan Commission I preside over the meeting in the absence of the Supervisor I have over 55 years of accounting and business experience. I have served the Downers Grove Township for over 30 years and have a deep understanding of issues facing our township. I continue to serve the community as a member of the Westmont Lions Club, Westmont Chamber of Commerce and as a member of Notre Dame Parish. The combination of my experience and communication/analysis skills helps me understand the complex issues facing the Downers Grove township and provides me the ability to make decisions that will best serve its residents.