Michael Crockett: Candidate Profile
Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms) (Rep)
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: Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms)
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Married with two daughters.
Education: BA Accounting University of Illinois 1977 CPA JD IIT Chicago Kent College of Law 1997
Civic involvement: Wheatland Township - served on the space study committee
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
No Town Fund Taxes in 2014 (to reverse the accumulation of taxes in recent years directed at building an unnecessary new town hall. See issue 3 for background).
Key Issue 2
Term limits and no pensions for elected officials, especially part-time.
Key Issue 3
Consolidation of township services back to a single property after review of any necessary requirements to do so. Background: From the township's inception until 1977 the township operated out of a house. Thereafter it moved to a single building at 91st street where both general town and highway operated. Then in 2010 the highway dept built its own $2.8+ million building (with land) at 59 and 103rd. The current Supervisor Todd Morse, now running as an independent, decided he wanted his own building and accumulated almost $2 million to pursue that goal. Since May 2011, however, the electors of Wheatland Township have said no and, so far, have prevented Morse from moving forward on his goal.
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.
First and foremost is the consolidation of township services. This will greatly reduce operating costs at the Township that are unnecessary and do not directly benefit the electors of the township. Second, create transparent government. All expenses and financial material, such as audited financial statements, tax levies and budgets posted online. Third, assess and create partnerships with existing organizations to address community needs that are related to the statutory functions of township government.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Every taxpayer should understand that Illinois has, by far, the most governmental units in the United States. ( http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0429.pdf ) The taxpayer should also understand that as unincorporated land continues to be absorbed into municipalities, like Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield, the cost of services at the Township level, especially the cost of the Supervisor, Assessor and Highway Commissioner, become more expensive on a relative basis. That said, Township government still provides necessary services like property assessment and maintenance, repair and snow removal of unincorporated roads. In addition, the township participates in the land use issues, etc. Ideally, reorganization of township government should be explored based on the cost of the principal elected officers and the number of governmental units that exist in Illinois with their overlapping services and oversight.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Assessment, roads and general assistance, as it is now, until such time as our legislature and taxpayers decide it no longer makes sense to provide government with this configuration and/or that the cost is just too expensive. At that point, alternatives must be explored.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
As I stated above, consolidating the functions of township government into a single location can greatly reduce its operating costs. Second, eliminating pensions for elected officials, especially those working part-time, will reduce costs. Third, legal costs have greatly increased under the current Supervisor. In addition, the expansion of government by the current Supervisor creates inefficiencies that can be eliminated by more effective partnering with existing organizations. Finally, I personally will be looking at every expense currently being made to determine its propriety and whether a better alternative exits.
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 my career as a CPA at Deloitte. From there I started a business which I have overseen for almost thirty years. I also became a licensed attorney in Illinois in 1997. While I do not practice law, I have used my legal education on a number of occasions in business matters.
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