Steve Caramelli: Candidate Profile
Hanover Township Board (4-year Terms)
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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.
City: Hoffman Estates
Office sought: Hanover Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: I am in a wonderful relationship with Lisa, who has a 7 year old son. We live in Hoffman Estates in the Canterbury Fields subdivision.
Occupation: Illinois State Trooper, since June 2005; Commissioner of the Planning and Zoning Board for the Village of Hoffman Estates, since April 2012
Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2000 Holy Cross High School, 1994. River Grove, IL
Civic involvement: Active member of Life Changers Church, Hoffman Estates
Elected offices held: N/A
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: N/A
Key Issue 1
My number one campaign issue is to oppose any property tax increase.
Key Issue 2
Ensure fiscal responsibility and advocating government transparency.
Key Issue 3
Putting people FIRST along with their concerns and continuing great service to our seniors and veterans.
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. The most important goal the board should tackle would be to hold the line on spending that would contribute to any tax increases. Though revenues have dramatically dropped in recent years, the township continues to do a great job maintaining no tax increases for the last two years. However, it is critical to understand most financial trouble typically is not all contributed to the decrease in revenues, but rather in how much we spend. So I believe as an official elected by the people, we are obligated to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent cautiously and that we are held accountable for the decisions we make. 2. Another very important goal is that the elected officials have a commitment of integrity and ought to follow a policy of honest government. I am proud to be a resident of this township in which recently received an award by the Illinois Policy Institute for online transparency. This is a perfect example of how I believe Township government should be represented. We owe this commitment to the taxpayers. Residents need to know where and how their money is being spent. So I believe the commitment needs to continue and direct oversight should be an added responsibility to the trustee's role. 3. Another goal which is important would be to determine methods of how the township can excel in "green" initiatives. Running an efficient government is key to its success. However, it is largely contributed by the polices that the trustee's implement. So it is critical that we explore alternative options for being environmentally efficient. These factors include finding the benefits in perhaps having solar panels, ensure energy efficient lighting such as CFL or LED bulbs are used, looking into clean air initiatives for our buses used to transport our seniors and working together with our residents, municipalities, and the county to advocate a "go green" campaign. Exploring these options is a necessary step to preserve the cost of operating government to not inflate.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Townships are critical to maintain operable because they provide a unique service which is NOT duplicated by any other bodies of government such as mental health services, senior citizen services, youth and family services and especially our emergency services which assist other municipalities with an array of calls and natural disasters. I believe as long as there is not excessive spending the township should serve in a new a role that is tailored to assist the unemployed. This Employment service can include one on one employment counseling, job search assistance, resume writing workshops, preparing for interviews and hosting additional job fairs.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of township government should be to hold the elected offices with the highest level of ethics and to be a good steward to the taxpayer by providing excellent and convenient services. We serve as a local body of government in which all residents can come with concerns and get results.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Yes. In all lifestyles, business operations and governmental bodies there will always be methods to cut down on expenses. However, the challenge is not to reduce services that so many seniors, youths, families and low income residents desperately need and depend on for a better quality of life. After a review of the township budget, I am pleased to know it runs lean and spending is within its means. Township services are provided at a much lower cost than other bodies of government and is mainly attributed through a low tax levy and grants they qualify for. Going forward, I support a yearly review and justification for dollars needed by any program. This allows programs to be evaluated and determine if it productive, useful, or perhaps in need of elimination if it provides minimal benefit for our residents. In addition, I would be in support for administrative staff to be multi- trained in different capacities to reduce the size of government.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
My decision to run for public office came from a strong desire to change the face of government and its perception. As an Illinois State Trooper, I understand the value of being a public servant and the sacrifice that has been put forth by our veterans. We are in the business of helping people and our communities and that is what I do best. I possess both in my personal and professional life a high level of ethics and integrity that I will bring to the office of Trustee. My experience as a commissioner of the planning and zoning board of Hoffman Estates allows me to be sensitive and accommodate the needs of the residents and the community, yet enforcing our codes so that uniformity in growing the village is consistent and fair. My ability to work well with our local and state elected officials have demonstrated an important role in developing future success for the township and building on community relations. I am a committed family man who values the ever-growing suburban lifestyle so that new and existing families are provided with the best quality of life as well as for our children. I bring a highly diverse background to represent all residents in Hanover Township. Being raised in the northwest side of Chicago by both my father a native from Florence, Italy and my mother form Madrid, Spain who then at the age of six moved to San Luis Potosi, Mexico; I understand the importance of sensitive concerns for the diverse communities that have called Hanover Township their home. And Lastly, I understand the position of a trustee is elected by the people. So therefor, my priorities will be the residents and to be easily and readily available for them. The decisions I make will reflect the best interest of the residents and the Township.
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