Robert Tolentino: Candidate Profile
Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms) (R)
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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.
City: Glendale Heights
Office sought: Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, Two children, six grandchildren
Occupation: Retired Professional Engineer (Registered in IL & WI) Employed by Metra Commuter Rail for 35 years as Project Manager, Engineering & Construction Retired U.S. Navy 1967-2000 Served 6 yrs active & 25 yrs Naval Reserved, Vietnam & Desert Storm Veteran
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering Chicago Tech, Chicago, IL (1976)
Civic involvement: President & Member of Glendale Heights Barangay Lions Club; Philippine American Cultural Foundation; Knights of Columbus Council No.9893 Glendale Heights; Asian American Advisory Council, Chicago, IL; Chairman, Illinois Based FIL-AM WWII Veterans Committee on Equity Bill; Two time Representative and Congressional Fellow-APAICS Washington DC
Elected offices held: Glendale Heights village trustee, 1995-2003
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
We should strive to provide needed, statutory services to township residents at the lowest possible cost. We should always keep fiscal discipline and integrity foremost in our thinking.
Key Issue 2
We should always be willing to innovate and seek new and better ways to do business. We should constantly review our operations and seek new efficiencies.
Key Issue 3
If we are to remain the government closest to the people, our elected officials must be involved in the community to ascertain their needs and problems. We cannot beivory towers? decision makers. We must be connected to those we serve.
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. Lack of resident participation Board would like to see more people take interest in township government. We want to encourage them to attend meetings and participate in the discussion including solicitation of their input. We want to explain every decision made by board members. People and township have a stake in sound growth and prosperity of township, thus the interaction between the two must flourish. 2. Diversity Township role must reflect our diversity as demographics are changing. We need to reinforce our good relationship with diversified communities by making their presence known and more so by recognizing their values, heritage and cultures. We want to encourage everyone to participate in the process because it is essential to develop economic and political alliance with the township and neighboring communities. 3. Lowest possible tax Formulate means to lessen the burden of school funding on property owners. Although township does not set tax rate except for its small share of the overall tax bill, we need to create an intergovernmental group to explore measures to save taxpayers money by sharing services and programs.
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 the closest to the people. That means it is able to provide needed services more efficiently and compassionately with the least waste. We must stay diligent to make sure that happens. We should not be focusing on expanding our services; we should focus on performing our core duties more effectively.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
1) Identify and appraise all parcels of property within the township. 2) Establish township policy, adopt annual budget and appropriation ordinance. 3) Provide services to unincorporated areas.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I will support a thorough and complete review of budget against expenditures on programs and services essential to the township residents before any measures can be taken. I am a proponent of tax reduction but also a fiscal advocate. I am against short-sighted solutions that fail to reduce taxes and can only cost the township in the long run. I will consider trimming if the review identifies that can be cut without compromising essential 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 believe my varied and extensive community involvement over the years and my professional engineering and military background positions me well to be a compassionate and effective steward for Bloomingdale Township residents. I believe in township government as the unit closest to the people and I will do my best to provide quality, needed services at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.
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