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: Maine Township Clerk (4-year Term)
Family: Parents: Joseph and Antoinette Salerno, Married to Dennis O'Donovan, Kids: Kaitlyn, Danielle and Emma jo.
Occupation: P/T Crossing Guard and P/T Front Desk Staff
Education: Maine East High School, Some College
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Rollback the reprehensible pay raises the current administration recently voted for to enrich themselves. As a taxpayer I cannot believe in these current economic conditions any elected official could, award themselves pay raises, particularly for "part-time" roles.
Key Issue 2
Eliminate pensions for "part-time "jobs. Nowhere in the private sector could a person receive a full pension for part time employment.
Key Issue 3
Eliminate the health care benefits for elected officials. Once again, this current administration is raping the taxpayer providing extravagant benefits for part time work.
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. Funds to the betterment of the taxpayers. These part time government positions are supposed to be about service, not self-enrichment.
2. Reduce the extravagant perks of high salaries, pensions and health insurance and use those Develop a long term goal of consolidation with Cook County to eliminate wasteful township services and reduce duplication of programs. Determine if the Township Clerk position is truly necessary.
3. Move into the 21st century and televise township meetings to promote transparency and encourage citizen participation.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Currently municipalities are annexing prime areas but neglecting unincorporated areas that have infrastructure problems and needs. We need to work with the County and local municipalities to ensure uniform building codes and regulations to level the playing field and look to reassess the need for some township programs and services that could be better handled by the county and make annexation of all unincorporated area's more attractive.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The obvious responsibility is to best serve the needs of the township residents. However, with unincorporated townships drastically shrinking geographically and numerically with residents. We need to look to future solutions to merge with municipalities and the county to reduce the need for duplicate services and tax base savings.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Initially I will analysis all the positions in the Clerk's office and ensure that each is needed and service needs are being met. I will analysis the hours of operation to ensure residents have access to passport applications and other needs. Although the Clerk has no vote, I support the trustees desire to roll back the pay raises the current administration has awarded themselves. I would eliminate pension and health care benefits for part time elected clerk officials and look to the county taking over highway maintenance could save millions of dollars of 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 have been intricately involved in my community, volunteering at school, park district, library and civic organizations. I am raising three daughters in the Village of Niles and can relate to the needs and concerns of the "average" resident in Maine Township. I have maintained a budget in my home and have the ability to cut cost and prevent wasteful spending.