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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.
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Office sought: Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married with 3 children
Occupation: retired Sheet Metal Worker
Education: Saint Patrick H.S. Washburne Tech.
Civic involvement: American Legion, VFW, Sheet Metal Workers Retirees Committee, Sheet Metal Workers Veterans Committee
Elected offices held: Democratic Precinct Committeeman in Bloomingdale Township Delegate to the Democratic Party of DuPage County
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The annual salary for a Bloomingdale Township trustee is over $8000.00 plus pension and benefits. This is double what most municipal trustees receive for a job that requires much more time and effort. I can't see how we can justify these kinds of salaries and benefits for a part-time board position.
Key Issue 2
I would also like to take a look at the services the township provides. We can take the savings to the township from a reduction in salary and benefits and put these into programs that directly benefit the residents of Bloomingdale Township. In addition to providing basic services we should be helping the citizens of Bloomingdale Township who need it the most with programs for our seniors or after school programs. We also need to take a look at our food pantry. We have many families in our township who need just a little help and it's great that the food pantry is there for these families.
Key Issue 3
We need to see more transparency. I would like to see the township board increase their accountability as most residents of Bloomingdale Township don't have a clear idea of what the township does. Currently the township does the bare minimum to comply with the open meetings act. We should have all agendas posted on the web site, including committee meetings. We also should have accesses to such vital information as hiring practices, job vacancies, contract bidding, budgets, annual financial statements and other pertinent information.
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.
We need to evaluate the salaries and benefits the township board receives. $8040.00 per year with pension and benefits is way out of line for the requirements of the job. This can be easily rectified by a vote of the board. By taking a closer look at the services we provide and how we use our resources we will be able to better serve the residents of Bloomingdale Township. By providing young adult services, better utilizing our food pantry and serving our seniors we will meet some of the needs in our community. We need to take a look at how we provide basic services while continually asking ourselves what we can do to help the township as a whole. We need to hold the township board more accountable to the residents of Bloomingdale Township. Our residents need to have the tools to be informed participants in their township government. By working with outside organizations and improving the township web site we can give the citizens of Bloomingdale Township the knowledge and the services they need to make a difference in our community.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Over the past few decades Bloomingdale Township has increasingly moved from an agricultural area into a township dominated by municipalities. In the last census only 8.5 percent of the township lived outside of municipalities. We need to take a look at how we provide basic services to this segment of our population while continually asking ourselves what we can do to help the township as a whole. We need to redefine the role of township government in an increasingly urban environment. Township government should be working with the municipalities to provide services for all township residents.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of township government is providing maintenance of township roads and having accessible local property assessors. The basic services township government provides remain vital to those who live outside of municipal borders. We need to continue to provide these services in an efficient and responsive manner. However, we also need to work closer with the municipalities to respond to their needs and fill in any gaps in services that may exist.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
The salaries and benefits of the township board must be addressed and brought more into line with what their counterparts on municipal boards are being paid. The time and effort required of the trustees to affectively perform their duties do not justify the salary and benefits they receive. The savings this generates can either be passed on to the taxpayers or diverted to services and programs that directly impact the residents.
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 lifelong resident of Illinois, I have spent 29 years living, working and serving in this community. My wife Maureen and I raised our three children in Roselle. We are parishioners of St. Walter Parish. I retired after 38 years as a local 73 Sheet Metal Worker, where I served as vice president. I am currently precinct committeeman in Bloomingdale Township as well as a Delegate to the DuPage County Democrats. As an Army veteran I am a member of VFW Post 2377 of Glendale Heights and American Legion Post 1084 of Roselle. As a candidate for Trustee of Bloomingdale Township, I believe the hard working people of this community deserve nothing less than officials who keep the peoples? best interests in mind when making decisions. I believe my life experiences and desire for an improved quality of life for my family, neighbors and fellow man qualify me for office. Those experiences have molded my character and values. As a trustee I will keep the community's best interests at the forefront at all times. However, when it comes right down to it, I?m just a hard-working family man who wants common sense in our government. I will vote in a non-partisan way and be beholden only to the constituents. I plan to get away from special interest-based politics and truly represent the people of Bloomingdale Township. I will work for real solutions to improve our lives by concentrating on the essentials and by promoting fiscal responsibility My life experiences have taught me to work hard for what I want, to be honest and responsible and to be fair. I am proud to live my life in that manner and will be proud to conduct my responsibilities as trustee in that manner. I?ve enjoyed living and working in this community and I want this area to continue to be a high-quality place to make a living and raise a family.