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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 Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married to Patrick Johnson. Two step-daughters, Maureen (31) and Meghan (26). I am number five of six children. I have twelve nieces and nephews and will soon be a Great Aunt.
Occupation: Victim Advocate-Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorist 3 year Owner-Peticures Dog Training and Pet Grooming 8 years Business Manager-Total Energy Saver 5 years Medical Secretary-Northwest Oncology 3.5 years Patrol Officer-Des Plaines Police 7 years
Education: State of Illinois Law Enforecement Certificate State of Illinois Emergancy Medical Technician Certificate Over 60 hours College Attended Sacred Heart of Mary 1997-1999 Graduate Rolling Mdws High School 1983 Saint Collette Graduate 1997
Civic involvement: Member-Palatine Township Republican Organization 3 years Comittee Member and Secretary Northwest Suburban Lincoln Day Dinner Member-TOPPER Republican Organization 4 years Volunteer for Salute Inc. (Charity benefiting military veterans) Volunteer Northern Illinois K-9 Memorial Volunteer Yellow Ribbon Support Group Bagpipe member of Pipe & Drum Band of the Emerald Society- Chicago Police Department
Elected offices held: Trustee, Palatine Township, 2007 to present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.
Key Issue 1
First, we will spend your money efficiently and responsibly. We pledge to cut Township spending as a whole by 5% over the next four years without cutting services. We in fact will improve them. Myself, Art Goes, and Bill Huley, have already began this process. Examples include insisting on changing the long distance service from an 18 cents a minute service to a 2.9 cents a minute service. Another was insisting on requesting bids for our cemetery landscaping. We are saving approximately $3000 annually from prior years because we did not believe we should keep a service just because it was the waywe have always done it.? You will never hear that from anyone on our slate.
Key Issue 2
Second, we will develop a strategic plan and involve public input. We will not only develop and advisory committee made up of tax payers of the Township, and not just our friends, we will be transparent and post all information on our Township website, and ask for feedback from all. We have already taken suggestions from the public and have incorporated them into our long term plans.
Key Issue 3
Third, we will ensure all taxpayers are benefitting from Township Services. Currently there are a very small percentage of Township residents that have ever used a township service. We will change that. We want more residents to get what they are paying for. We have many ideas, but some of them include a tutor program, 6 week high school work program, recycle programs and more.
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. Efficient and Responsible spending. Taxpayers are getting hit from all sides. While the Township is the least percentage, it is still our responsibility to keep from increasing the burden. 2. Strategic planning with public Input. Too long now the Township has been a "thiefdom" of sorts. We want to develop an advisory committee of residents to formulate and enact new ideas. The township motto is "People helping People." We want to seriously let that happen. 3. Ensuring all taxpayers are benefitting from Township Services. The Township offers great services but only to a few. All the taxpayers in Palatine township should have the opportunity to see some return on thier investment. It is their money! We will bring more programs to the public without costing the taxpayers more, AND without reducing current services.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
As of now, the township provides services the villages/cities do not within the unincorporated areas. Road maintenance is especially one of those programs needed
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The township supports citizens in our community while maximizing our impact on the taxpayer and the many generous private contributors. We do this through donations to many different programs presented to our Human Needs Committee chaired by Trustee Art Goes, our food pantry, senior services, general assistance, and the principal cost to the township, the Road District's responsibility of approximately 15 miles of road.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Myself, Art, and Bill Huley have worked hard to do that in the past four years. As stated earlier, we reduced the phone bill by approximately $300 per month by reducing long distance costs. The reduction in landscaping fees and the negociated cost for a furnace was due to our insistance of getting more than one proposal. The senior bus program is a heavy burden on the township. Last year we attempted to reduce the costs per ride from $20 each to $8 each by asking the seniors to take cabs instead of the bus. While that idea failed from lack of compliance, we have not given up. We will do better at increasing ridership to reduce the per ride costs. We also can reduce the overtime burden at the Road District. The Illinois Tollway has a 12 hour structured schedule for their employees for snow command days. This system reduces much of their over-time. The current Road Commissioner will not subscribe to this idea. With our entire team elected, we can work better within the extended areas of Township to keep the burden off the tax payers.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
The supervisor position is much like the CEO. In keeping with that, I am a great leader. I have been able to take the most serious to the mundane tasks and get them done with positive cooperation and feedback to the highest expectations to all. As a police officer I was required to make immediate decisions that sometimes affected life or death. Starting a business is an overwhelming process. When my brother began his company, Total energy Savers, I was his business manager. I was able to keep my brother and his staff focused on task while keeping our customers happy. I helped run his business while running my own pet grooming business, volunteering and running marathons. I have always been a fantastic multi-tasker, and have never been afraid of hard work. My current position, Victim Advocate for Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorist, has allowed me to go back to work in my real passion, helping people. Sitting with the victim's families after such a heartbreaking loss allows me to give compassion and assist then through such a difficult process. I believe many of our township families are suffering other types of loss, (example: Home, job etc.) and we can help them without the emotional burden of embarrassment. Growing up in a home with six children has taught me to be careful with money. We did not have the fancy things, but we are better people for it. We learned to find ways to cut costs and still be in a comfortable place. Our parents taught us to be good to people and help when you can. My passion for service, not politics, has been a part of me all my life. My parents were wonderful examples of this for us and I credit them for instilling helping others in me. I know the wonderful group of people I am running with, Tom Kaider, Kathy Allegretti, Art Goes, Bill Pohlman, Kevin McGrane, and Bill Huley, will be able to bring Palatine Township back to the people. We will never subscribe tothat is the way we have always done it.? I appreciate your interest in our team, Better for Palatine Township. I look for to working for the people of Palatine Township!