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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: Bloomingdale Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)
Family: Married 39 years Two daughters
Occupation: Bloomingdale Township Highway Commissioner
Education: Prosser High School, Chicago
Civic involvement: Bloomingdale Chamber Roselle Chamber Carol Stream Chamber Glendale Heights Chamber Chicagoland Italian-American Charitable Organization Past chairman, DuPage Area County Project (DuCAP)
Elected offices held: Village of Bloomingdale trustee, 1997 to present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
To be fiscally responsible. We need to be smart about our spending and keep our tax levy as low as possible.
Key Issue 2
To be respectful and responsive to all our residents? needs and concerns.
Key Issue 3
To be the best Highway Commissioner this township ever had to the very best of my ability. To gain the trust, support and respect from all the residents.
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.
I believe the township should continue its efforts to keep spending and taxes low. The township budget has actually decreased 1.5% since 2005. The township should also continue to forge relationships with surrounding governments that keep costs low and avoid duplication and it should remain close to the people so it can provide the most pinpointed services where it is needed most.
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 closest to the people. The Highway Department is in essence the public works department, streets and traffic department, forestry department and building department. We perform these duties with much less bureaucratic red tape than larger governmental bodies. We work cooperatively with surrounding villages like Roselle and Itasca, where we have intergovernmental agreements to plow roads while in route to our streets. This saves taxpayers money and eliminates duplication. We want to expand that cooperation where it makes sense to save the taxpayers money.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The Highway Department is responsible for 64 miles of road, including paving, snow and ice removal. We are also responsible for drainage, tree trimming, grass cutting, fly dumping, road kill, pot holes, electronic recycling the first Saturday of every month and miscellaneous other duties. We perform these duties with an eye on keeping the budget and tax levy as low as possible.
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 reduced office payroll 50% in the Highway Department. We are doing more in-house. We try where possible to eliminate outside contractors if we can perform the duty within the department. I believe we can save $50,000 to $70,000 this year doing this. We also purchase used equipment where possible. We are constantly looking for ways to save taxpayers money.
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 started at the Highway Department in 2008 as General Superintendent. In that time, I mastered the ability to make all decisions and perform all duties in both the office and operational aspects of the department. During my 16 years as village trustee, I served as chairman of the public works and streets committee, giving me the experience and knowledge necessary to serve as Highway Commissioner. In my time at the Highway Department, I have built relationships with many DuPage County departments and surrounding municipalities and also with many local, county and state officials. I was appointed Highway Commissioner in September 2012 and will continue to be hands-on in my new position. I have a CDL Class A drivers license and I plow snow in every storm. Prior to this I had my own trucking and warehouse firm.