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: Married (Jan). Two children (Stacey and Ryan). Stacey and Ryan completed school in Dist 15 and 211 and graduated from Bradley and Notre Dame respectively.
Occupation: Retired. Corporate/management experience with a major airline, 15 years. Owned and operated a Palatine based software company for 25 years. Township government, with twenty-something employees, has issues similar to small business.
Education: Bachelor or Sciences in Industrial Engineering - Northwestern University. Masters of Business Administration (MBA) - University of Chicago
Civic involvement: Community Volunteer American Cancer Society volunteer Treasurer, homeowners association School advisory panel - Virginia Lake School Season ticket holder Palatine High School Band, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis and Basketball. Served as unpaid treasurer for seven local political campaigns including Citizens for Matt Murphy, our current State Senator. Government: District 15 Board of Education, served three years (78-81) Currently serving as Palatine Township Trustee (Completing 5th year) Chair, Human Needs Committee Chair, Policy Committee Member, Finance Committee Member, Township Officials of Illinois Member, Township Officials of Cook County Director/Board Member, TOCC Trustees Division
Elected offices held: Board of Education, District 15 1978-1981 Palatine Township Trustee - 2008 to Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Efficient use of taxpayer funds. All expenses in township government should continue be carefully scrutinized. Over the last five years we have insisted on a balanced budget and trimmed expenses. Our team has committed to a goal of a 5 percent reduction in expense without compromising services. Examples within the last couple of months include reduction of elected official total salaries by about 13 percent for the 2013-2017 term and savings on the phone bill of about $350 per month. Looking toward the future, our team (if we are all elected) will reduce overtime costs in the Township Road District.
Key Issue 2
I would like to see the township develop a long range plan with input from the residents. I place the emphasis on involving the residents since it's their tax money that is paying for what the township does. We will solicit input, likely through written or electronic surveys, or perhaps homeowners or civic organizations. The township needs to be more open and transparent in its activities, not just by posting accounting information on the website, but by seeking advice from the residents.
Key Issue 3
Palatine Township currently addresses the needs of the elderly and the needy. Many constituents are familiar with our buses for seniors, the food pantry, and General Assistance for the poor. Very little is done for the vast majority of our citizens. We are pledging to involve our residents in input to activities the township could/should undertake which will not add materially to the budget but will have a noticeable positive impact on the community.
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.
The three main goals in priority order are 1) controlling and reducing costs, 2) helping constituents gain a better understanding of what the township does and input into it's direction, and 3) seeking activities and projects which, at minimal or no cost to the taxpayer, can allow the township to provide a valuable service to all residents. These are challenging goals and require everyone pulling in the same direction to accomplish them. We have put together a great team of competent and motivated individuals and by developing common goals we will all be pulling in the same direction if the voters choose to elect all of us.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Palatine Township has several main functions including care of the needy and elderly, supporting taxpayers in accurate assessments of real estate, and maintaining roads and bridges in the unincorporated areas. Only the last role (roads) depends on municipalities gobbling up land, the other roles don't depend on municipal boundaries. If the unincorporated area shrinks to the point that having a township road district is inefficient I would support contracting with municipalities to handle unincorporated roads. The decision to me is based on dollars and cents, not preservation of jobs for career politicians. Currently the other responsibilities are not duplicated by other units of government and can be handled cost effectively, perhaps with more public/private partnership, by the existing structure. If there is way to restructure to operate more efficiently, I'm all for it. That's job 1; we are the stewards of taxpayers' hard-earned money.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The township should make good use of taxpayer and private contributions to assist those in financial need, those in crisis, and the elderly. In addition, supporting taxpayers to ensure correct real estate assessments and maintaining roads in the unincorporated area are also primary functions. Every one of my teammates and I has committed to maintaining and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Palatine Township because, Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer, it's your money.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
As already mentioned, we have reduced the salaries of elected officials for the 2013-2017 term. Despite the fact that she was running for Supervisor, my teammate Sharon Langlotz-Johnson proposed a 23% cut in the Supervisor's salary for the next term. Her suggestion was the impetus for the board to save about 13% in executive salaries. Reducing the budget on the backs of our neediest citizens is counter intuitive to me and to most of our neighbors, but I do think the township should work harder to prevent double and triple dipping by those using our services and that of other nearby organizations.
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 have served 5 years as trustee and have learned the in's and out's of the job. We've accomplished a lot, but there's more to do. I chaired two very active committees (Human Needs and Policy) and was a member of the Finance committee. Through the work of the Policy committee, the township has placed in writing its standard practices, and more importantly made them available to the public by posting them on the website. Being retired, I was able to concentrate more time and effort to the trustee position. My single most important achievement is joining forces with a team of highly competent and motivated individuals to run as a cohesive team eliminating the past friction on the Township Board by establishing shared objectives that we all support!