Carol Sue Walker: Candidate Profile
Maine Township Board (4-year Terms) (Dem)
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: Des Plaines
Office sought: Maine Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Divorced, single, one child, one grandchild, second grandchild coming in March.
Occupation: Job Coach,administrator, member of SAG-AFTRA (AFL-CIO) since 1976.
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, U.S. International University, 1972
Civic involvement: Kiwanis Club of Des Plaines, President-elect, was 2012 Peanut Day Chair
Elected offices held: This is my first candidacy for public office.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My Number 1 campaign issue is to reduce taxes. Taxes by the township have been increasing for years yet there is no corresponding increase in services. This leads me to believe that the higher taxes are from higher costs in administration. Administrative costs need to be reformed.
Key Issue 2
My Number 2 campaign issue is the benefits and raises for township elected officials. Part-time elected positions should not accrue pensions paid for by taxpayers. Part-time elected officials should not have the most expensive medical insurance in the state. The township elected officials should be voting themselves raises in these financially hard times.
Key Issue 3
Township government needs to put together a plan that will consolidate services with surrounding municipalities, get rid of duplication and save taxpayer money as it ensures all township residents are provided necessary services. This plan must include solutions for problems in pockets of unincorporated areas such as crime and sewers.
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. Reduce property taxes. The financial collapse and explosion of the housing bubble have been devastating to hard-working, moral homeowners. While the values of homes have fallen taxes have not. We have to find a way to reduce property taxes. The board should review and reform administrative costs of township government. 2. Address the payroll increases and perks for township officials passed in 2009 and again in 2012. I think we should roll them back. 3. Make township government transparent and consolidate services among the township, the county, and the municipalities to eliminate duplication and redundant layers. The board should form a cooperative environment dedicated to the best interests of all the residents of the township, bring together representatives from each of the government entities then evaluate and create a plan and implement the plan to make an efficient and highly functioning system that serves the people.
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 governance is necessary and especially important in these difficult and changing times, to guide the change. The first responsibility of township government today is general assistance, to help the neediest people locally. Township government needs to provide a leadership role in protecting and improving the services necessary to all residents of the township; to make sure that as change comes upon us, whether it means ending township government or not, everyone is treated fairly and equitably and that all of the necessary services remain available. Township government is in the unique position of being applicable to all of the residents of several municipalities as well as the unincorporated areas and should be the leader providing the platform of the big picture to focus the different entities to jointly find and implement timely solutions for all its citizens.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of township government is to provide assistance to the poor, infirm and challenged. The township gives aid to people in need until they qualify for a state or federal assistance program. It should also be overseeing that the services provided meet the needs of all of the people without overlap, duplication or confusion and to do that as efficiently and frugally as possible.
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 can identify some township expenses that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden. Eliminate the pension for elected township officials in part-time positions or who have multiple pensions; roll back the raises the township officials voted for themselves in 2009 and again in 2012; reduce the medical insurance premiums for elected township officials (it is my understanding that Maine Township has the highest medical insurance premium in the State of Illinois). All administrative costs should be reviewed to find areas that can be cut. Duplicate and overlapping services should be consolidated to save taxpayer money. The programs that are not mandated by state law need to be examined. If they do not contribute to the safety and health of residents they should be trimmed or cut to save taxpayer money.
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 am a resident of unincorporated Des Plaines. It is the whole of my 63 years that makes me the best qualified candidate to serve Maine Township as an elected official. My 30 plus years of working has primarily been as an administrator working for lawyers, for engineers in a large corporate manufacturing company and for communications specialists in the not-for-profit area. The two main tasks of an administrator are solving problems and conveying information to all levels of the workgroup. I excel at finding solutions and finding common ground among a diversity of viewpoints. Wife, mother and grandmother are the roles where I have gained the most wisdom about what is real, what is true and what is a priority. I am a plain-spoken, honest and informed Midwesterner who was raised by a father who carried copies of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence to give to others. I love our democratic representative form of government. I believe in equality. Life has taught me to be frugal with resources and to be reasonable with people. Also, I bring a highly developed sense of humor to everything I do.
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