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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: Schaumburg Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Single with no children. Mother- Coral Murray Father- Dan Murray Brother- Matt Murray
Occupation: Campaign Operative and Public Relations Consultant
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2008. Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Civic Leadership University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2010.
Civic involvement: Schaumburg Area Democrats
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My number 1 campaign issue is the need for greater transparency from the Schaumburg Township Board of Trustees. The Schaumburg Township Board of Trustees actively discourages public debate on issues facing the township and often arrives at decisions behind closed doors. Board meetings should be an interactive process where decisions are reached through open debate and discussion with members of the community. Instead, the current Board of Trustees uses its meeting to formalize decisions they have already made behind closed doors and without input from the community. This needs to change.
Key Issue 2
Trustees. In my opinion, transparency and accountability go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other. Without open discussion and debate at board meetings, there is little accountability for Trustees from the community. The only time Township Trustees are accountable to the public is during election season. Due to a lack of transparency, however, it is difficult for voters to understand the Board's decisions and hold the Township Trustees accountable.
Key Issue 3
My number 3 campaign issue is the need for greater efficiency in Schaumburg Township government. I believe township resources can be reallocated to better serve the needs of the community without increasing the burden placed upon taxpayers. For example, the money used over the past 4 years by the township to pay for Township Trustee's health care and pensions would have better served the community if it was invested in food banks or senior services. Township Trustee is a part time position. Taxpayers should not provide perks such as health care and pensions for part time politicians, especially not in a time of budget cuts and economic hardship
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. Establish a level of public trust and transparency at the township level by adhering to a responsible and professional schedule. Schaumburg Township taxpayers pay for two meetings a month in order to give constituents the opportunity to address the opportunity to engage with their elected officials. In 2012, seven scheduled meetings more than 25% of meeting) were canceled. Also, it takes at least 60 days and may take up to 4 months before meeting minutes are made available to the public. These political gimmicks and practices need to stop. 2. Ensure that all resources previously allocated to provide free health care and pensions for township officials are reallocated to provide social services for the community. 3. Eliminate the position of Highway Commissioner and pass those savings back to the taxpayer.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Townships should no longer oversee roads and bridges. I believe all roads should be maintained at the county and state level. Social services, however, are best provided at the township level because townships are small enough to allow for greater specialization of services based upon the needs of that given community. Counties are too large for this task, and there are simply too many municipalities to effectively and efficiently manage social services like food banks and buses for seniors and the disabled.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
As mentioned above, the primary responsibility of township government should be to provide social services specialized to meet the needs of that given community.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I would eliminate the benefits (health care and pension) of elected township officials as well as eliminating the position of highway commissioner. These would allow for significant savings that could be used to lower the tax burden placed upon constituents.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
Counting my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I have worked in the political field for over 10 years. I have lived in Schaumburg for over 20 years and I worked on numerous political campaigns in Schaumburg, most recently as the Deputy Campaign Manager for state Senator Dan Kotowski. I know Schaumburg well and I know the issues most important to voters in Schaumburg Township. I am young, energetic and eager to serve my community.