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updated: 2/22/2013 6:34 PM

Ralph Scalise: Candidate Profile

Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms) (D)

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  • Ralph Scalise, running for Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)

      Ralph Scalise, running for Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)

 

 

 

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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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BioKey IssuesQ&A

 

Bio

City: carol stream

Website: http://bloomingdaletownshipdems.org

Office sought: Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 60

Family: Candidate did not respond.

Occupation: Sales fortate Farn Insurance

Education: BA in business management from National-Louis University

Civic involvement: Former Fire Commissioner in the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District. Former Capt Westchester Fire Protection District. Vice Chair Bloomingdale Township Democratic Organization

Elected offices held: Former trutee in the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My first priority will be the salaries and benefits the board receives. The annual salary for a Bloomingdale Township trustee is over $8000.00. This double what most municipal trustees receive for a job that requires much more time and effort. If you?ve ever attended a village board meeting you know that these meetings are going to take a considerable amount of time. The normal township board meeting takes ten minutes. I can't see how we can justify these kinds of salaries. In addition to the salaries we pay the board is eligible for dental insurance, vision care and a pension. Why are we paying for these benefits for a part time board?

Key Issue 2

We need to see more transparency out of our township board. Most residents of Bloomingdale Township don't have a clear idea of what the township does. We should utilize the township web site to get more people involved and informed. Residents should have access to information such as agendas, budgets, job vacancies, contracts out for bid and other information to allow citizens to make informed and educated decisions. This was true in the time of our founding fathers and remains true today.

Key Issue 3

I would like to see the township board increase their accountability to the people of Bloomingdale Township. 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 has hiring practices, job vacancies, contract bidding, budgets annual financial statements and other pertinent information.

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.

We need to look at the salaries and benefits the township board receives. $8040.00 per year with dental insurance and a vision plan is way out of line for the requirements of the job. This can be easily rectified by a vote of the board. Township government is long overdue for reform. The original purpose of township government was to provide services for a rural community. Throughout the 60s and 70s that's what Bloomingdale Township was, but over the past few decades? municipalities have grown and the unincorporated areas have shrunk. We need to transform township government so it remains relevant. We can do this by addressing the services provided to residents of municipalities as well as unincorporated areas. We need to increase the transparency of the township board. We should stop using the township web site as a PR tool and make it a source of meaningful information. Agendas and minutes of committee meetings as well as the board of as a whole should be posted along with budges, contracts out for bid job vacancies and all manner of information of use to township residents should be posted

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 has increasingly moved from an agricultural area into a township dominated by municipalities. There was a time when tending to roads and providing basic services to a rural community was enough to justify the townships existence. This time is past. We need to redefine the role of township government in an increasingly urban environment. Township government should be working hand in glove with the municipalities to provide services for all township residents.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

Despite the shrinking unincorporated areas of the township 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 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?

My service on the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District as an Elected Trustee. and as as one of the Fire Commissioners in the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District have provided me with experience in Budgeting Personnel. I would be able to put resources where they are best needed. In addition my BA in business management from National-Louis University gives me an insight into how best to run the day to day management of the township effectively and efficiently. More importantly I have empathy for the people of Bloomingdale Township. I live here; these people are my friends and neighbors. If elected to the township board I will always keep the best interests of these friends and neighbors foremost in all my actions

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