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.
City: Candidate did not respond
Office sought: Grafton Township highway commissioner (4-year Terms)
Family: Melissa (wife) , Miranda (daughter)
Occupation: Owner/Operating Engineer
Education: University of Wisconsin-Platteville, B.S Agricultural Business/Engineering
Civic involvement: Huntley Zoning Board of Appeals, Village of Huntley (2011-present)
Charter Member Huntley Chamber of Commerce(1992-Present)
Huntley Lions Club (2008-Present) ,Vice President 2012-2013
Huntley Harvestors 4-H Club, Member (1988-1998) Leader (1999-Present)
McHenry County Memorial Swine Barn Improvement 2012
McHenry County 4-H Foundation,Board Member (1997)
Illinois 4-H Foundation, Board Member(1998-1999)
Elected offices held:
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain:
Key Issue 1
Fiscal responsibility. Getting the most use out of every tax dollar.
Key Issue 2
Make sure roadwork is performed correctly and to the standards set by IDOT Bureau of Local Roads and Streets,as well as the county engineer.
Key Issue 3
To provide the best service possible to all constituents of Grafton Township.
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- Develop and road repair/ maintenance program.
By establishing a road program the highway commissioner can prioritize which roads/bridges need to be repaired or replaced based on their condition. This can be a very usefull tool for budgeting purposes. Once the plan is in place and followed the infrastructure of the township will be continuously upgraded and will be manageable to live with in our budget.
2- Maintain all township equipment to maximize its useful life.
By properly maintaining our equipment(grease,oil changes, fluid and filter changes),at specific service intervals, this will reduce operating cost in the long run and prevent premature failures, Washing equipment after each snow event to reduce the effects of salt on our equipment,Waxing all equipment twice yearly also to make sure our equipment has a nice looking appearance to the public eye at all times.All of these aspects of maintenance will enhance the value of our equipment when it is time to replace these items.
3- Use township resources to the fullest extent, including applying for applicable grants to more efficiently use taxpayer dollars. Work with other municipalities through intergovernmental agreements to make sure roads are maintained in a cost effective manner. There are programs offered through various federal/ state/county agencies to assist the funding of specific projects. Work with the county and other townships to buy supplies such as salt/gravel in a bulk quantity and pay a lower unit price for these items.
What is the primary responsibility of township government/highway department?
The primary need of the township highway commissioner is to take care of public safety issues.
In my opinion the highway commissioner and the highway department is the most visible part of the township to the general public. It is my job to ensure that the publics' safety and well being is taken care of in the form of plowing/salting in the winter months,trimming trees in the right of way and cleaning up after storms in the spring ,summer and fall, and making sure our ditches are maintained so in the event of a massive storm the run off rainwater drains properly and does not cause unnecessary flooding. We also have recycling programs for the residents of the township throughout the year.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Number one. Stop the lawsuits.
Number two: Whenever possible the road commissioner should use grants from the state and federal governments for improvements to our township roads. There is a division of IDOT called the Bureau of Local Roads and Streets that administers these grants. Sometimes the township can apply for grants and get more work done with less of their own tax money, therefore saving the township residents money.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official/highway commissioner in the township?
I bring 15+ years experience in management as an excavating contractor/business owner,including budgets,estimating,personnel management, and public relations. I have experience with snow removal,road and waterway maintenance with various municipalities and private entities. I have a bachelor of science degree in agricultural business/engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. I started with a shovel in my hand and have worked my way through every aspect of the business. To this day I will still grab a shovel,run machines and drive trucks to get the job done, I have a hands on approach and that will carry over to the way I run the highway department, I am a team player and consider the crew I am working with to be a team. I will listen and evaluate all ideas that are brought to my attention and make decisions from that point.