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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: Palatine Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: I grew up in Elmhurst where I was the oldest of 3 boys. I moved to Palatine 5 years ago and bought my first home near downtown Palatine. I have been married for 3.5 years.
Occupation: I have worked for CDW in sales for the last 7 years
Education: B.A. University of Iowa M.B.A. Keller Graduate School (graduation 2014)
Civic involvement: Member of the Palatine Jaycees Volunteer for CASA of Lake County Board member of Palatine Township Republican Organization
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: None
Key Issue 1
Spend Your Money Efficiently and Responsibly Our goal is to achieve a 5% cut in the budget without diminishing the services we provide to the community. This will be accomplished by being more efficient with your money. We can reduce costs by bringing salaries to par with those of other local municipalities, ensuring tasks like plowing are done more at straight time instead of time and a half, transitioning some management roles to salary to avoid overtime, and ensuring retirement benefits are given only to those who work full time jobs. We must also ensure that expenditures are made only on truly worthwhile projects, especially in light of these tough financial times. We will work more closely with area municipalities to combine buying power and reduce costs. Finally, we will explore the potential of public/private partnerships to involve area businesses and organizations in our community projects which will share the cost and reduce overlap. We understand that we are spending your money and every decision we make will be with that fact in mind.
Key Issue 2
Develop a Strategic Plan and Involve Public Input We must have a vision for the future and a plan for how to get there, two things that do not currently exist. We will collect your input through public events, direct conversations, polling, and other means. Armed with this information, we will develop and publicize a plan that will show how your money will be spent and what we will accomplish as your township representatives. This will make us accountable to you and will give you a clearer picture of what the Township does with your tax dollars. This plan will include a capital improvement fund so we can earmark funds for the many infrastructure improvements that will be necessary in the coming years. It will also include commonsense reforms to township government, including term limits and checks and balances for all elected officials to ensure oversight of how your money is spent. Never again will we do something simply becauseit's the way we?ve always done it.?
Key Issue 3
Ensure All Taxpayers Are Benefiting from Township Services Unfortunately, many township residents are paying for township government yet receiving very little for their tax dollars. We must do a better job with the services that we offer. First, we need to broaden those services to include more people rather than narrowing the services and providing higher expense benefits to only a few. Second, we must do a better job at screening to ensure benefits are going only to truly needy citizens, and we must work more closely with other organizations within the township to be sure we are not duplicating efforts. Third, we must look at our current services to ensure they are sustainable, especially the senior bus program where we need to reduce the average cost per ride by either increasing ridership or reducing expenses or else fares will go up for riders. And fourth, we must look at additional services we can offer via public/private partnerships that come at little to no cost to taxpayers, including a summer tutor program for township high school students to fulfill their service hours and a 6 week working program for high school kids where they can learn life and job skills from some of our experienced 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.
In an economy teetering on recession it is imperative that we spend the taxpayers' money wisely and efficiently. We intend to cut the budget by a minimum of 5% because we feel if the taxpayers are making sacrifices than we should too. This can easily be done by going through the budget and streamlining schedules in order to reduce or eliminate overtime costs, reducing salaries to a level even with those of other area municipalities, and eliminating pensions for those who are not working full-time. We also want to foster more community involvement in the township. We have been walking door to door as we have campaigned and it is remarkable how many people are unaware of what township government does and how their money is being spent. We intend to change that by hosting more public events, better utilizing technology (emails, facebook, etc), and becoming more engaged with the community at events they attend. The third objective we have is to see who is benefiting from township services and where we can maximize participation. Most township residents pay for township government yet get nothing back and that needs to change. Whether it be adding services through free mentor programs or ending services that aren't being utilized, we intend to work together to make sure every dollar is spent wisely and fairly.
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 still has a role in the community but not at the overburdening expense of the taxpayer. Palatine is a great community that helps those in need through the food pantry, and the elderly through the rides for seniors program. These and other vital programs are part of what make Palatine such a great place to live, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't always be looking to make government programs more efficient. If the day comes that these programs could be taken over at a lower cost then that should be evaluated. Township government should be lean, efficient, and effective. This is why I am adamantly against pensions and for cutting the salaries of elected officials within the township government. I am running for trustee to serve my community not to make it a personal revenue stream. I feel the other elected officials should be willing to concede their pensions and be open to further salary cuts, and that is why I am proud to be running with this slate of candidates because they all agree!
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The role of township government should be serving the citizens of Palatine Township. Ensuring that the elderly and those in need are looked after, educating and ensuring that residents are receiving proper tax assessments, and maintaining unincorporated roadways are all responsibilities that must be met. Our slate is of the belief that the township can work more closely with local civic organizations and local businesses to enhance the services we provide today while also utilizing these relationships to save the taxpayers money. This is why I am running for Township Trustee.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Yes, I think we could immediately end pensions for all part-time members of the township government while also ensuring salaries are on par with other municipalities. Our slate has also discussed cutting 5% from the budget by avoiding overtime, better planning to keep from having emergency expenditures, and partnering with other local municipalities to increase our buying power. We also intend to explore public/private partnerships where possible that will involve local organizations and businesses in some of our community projects.
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 initially joined CASA because it was a place I could make an immediate difference in the lives of people who were struggling. I have spent the last 5 years there and I have taken that passion and dedication with me in my business career as well as my other volunteer organizations. I work with Fortune 500 businesses to save money and increase efficiency through the use of technology, and there is no reason I can't bring that same philosophy to township government. The days of saying "this is how its always been done" are over. We need fresh ideas, creative partnerships, and a slate of candidates that have the energy and the passion to make that happen. That is what I will bring to the Trustee position as I know the rest of the slate will as well.