William Burke: 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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Hanover Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married twenty-five years to wife Sarah two Daughters Brenna nd Kaylynn.
Occupation: Lieutenant/Paramedic Village of Streamwood Fire Department
Education: A.A.S Degree Elgin Community College
Civic involvement: Community organizations
Elected offices held: Hanover Township Collector and Trustee
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
At Hanover Township we are extremely proud of the level of service and committment to the community that is provided. We have proven through the services available and the recognition of those services the ability to identify relevant issues and react appropriately to those issues. The single most important issue facing the Township is maintaining the quality and level of services currently provided. The current economic conditions while improving, continue to impact the Township in two ways - and increased need for the services available while having fixed and limited revenue opportunities.
Key Issue 2
A second issue unique to the Township is a result of a renewed desire to look at government as a whole. We all know that Illinois has the most units of government of all fifty states. Every government body is and should be scrutinizing as to its necessity and how it serves its residents. At Hanover Township we have accepted this challenge and provided services equal to and better than most other governmental bodies. In a litmus test of necessity and delivery of service Hanover Township has met the challenge.
Key Issue 3
The third issue is directly related to the issue of governmental bodies in Illinois. There is a strong possibility and need to look at the consolidation of services among units of government. Hanover Township is uniquely qualified and capable of providing sensible and cost effective services. However, the competition will be fierce and Hanover Township owes its residents the due diligence in fighting to be a provider of service. The very services that the Township provides are those social services that other bodies of government would likely identify as a lower priority then the services they currently provide.
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.
The current board has worked over the past four years as a coheisve team to provide high qulaity services in a cost effective manner. In fact, the level of services provided to the residents has increased during this time and in doing this the board has maintained a flat tax levy the last two years. Taking into account that many of the social services provided by the Township are affected by the economy and in particular how the State of Illinois goes about partial funding or not, Hanover Township has taken steps to bridge these gaps and maintain services. This will continue to be a major objective of the board the next four years. As the most recent census has demonstrated, the demographics of the Township continues to change. A more mature, multicultural and diverse population makes up the Township. Continuing to plan and provide services appropriate to the resident needs will take foresight and oversight, something the current board has a proven record of. Being a positive example and good neighbor in the community is always imperative, while providing appropriate services is a given - there are other things we currently accomplish at the Township that need to continue and expand. Environmental concers affect all of us; Hanover Township in the last four years has recognized and functioned in a environmentaly friendly way. A proactive environmental task force has helped the Township do its part, whether sponsoring recycling initiatives, reducing energy ose or using environmentaly friend beet juiice in conjunction with traditional road salt -Hanover Township has attempted to lead the charge. In addition to that, we are doing our part to provide open space and recreational activities. This spring Runzel reserve an interactive outdoor area intended for mature residents will be complteted and available for use. In one of the most signifivant steps in many years, hanover Township has recently been the fortunate recipient of a donation of several acres of land in the Elgin pertion of the Township. This donation is from the Elgin chapetr of the renowned Izzak Walton Laegue, this land has been cared for by the Elgin Chapter and remains undeveloped with Poplar creek meandering through the site. Hanover Township will continue as caretaker of this property and the leagcy of open space and a location that the community can enjoy.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Since 1850 Township government has been closest and most accesible to area residents. As the Township has grown from the rural farming community to the more urban community it is in 2013, one constant has been in place - Hanover Township. As the Township landscape and population has evolved so has the Township. Today, the mission of Hanover Township has changed from issues of the rural, to concerns of the urban. Hanover Township provides dynamic and award winning services to the community, whether it is senior services, youth and family, community health or any of the others services available, residents can find the service locally. Despite the drastic changes since 1850, our residents can still turn to the Township for service right in their own backyard, not distant places such as the County or State seats of government. The Township has has continued to identify its role and responsibility in providing those services not available from other government bodies, and keeping pace with the changing Township and needs as time has passed. As the Township has grown so have the number of Municipalities in its boundaries, while Municipalities and other special Districts have their places, the services of the Township are unique and best provided by the Township. Hanover Township has proven that service can be adequately provided over a large geographical area as opposed to the limits of a smaller Municipality or District. As the face of government changes in Illinois, the Township and its ability to provide to its residents should be looked at as a model that had evolved and adapted over the last 150 plus years.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of Township government is to continue to provide the services that it has and does so well. In addition, continuing to evolve in response to the dynamics of the Township. The next board must continue the process of evaluating current services and identifying new needs as they arise in the Township, while maintaining a fiscally responsible approach.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I believe that the Township provides responsible services that residents truly need and benefit from. The loss of any of these services would be detrimental to the residents of Hanover Township, perhaps the question should be what services not currently provided by the Township might be better served by being a Township provided service. Keeping in mind that Hanover Township has worked responsibly and diligently to keep the tax burden as low as possible.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
It has been my honor and pleasure to represent the great residents of Hanover Township, working with a dedicated group of Employees, Staff and Elected Officials. The Township board has worked as a team to do the very best for the Township in a responsible way. I have brought real-life experiences to this board and been a part of the vision of the Township as we move forward. I understand that we are responsible to Township residents and that accomplishing goals requires teamwork, not only internally but with others that we interact with. During my service with the Township we have moved the organization forward, it is better, prepared, professional and responsive to Township needs, it has been very rewarding to be a part of these accomplishments. I have been a member of a board that created a unique relationship with School District U-46 to provide a variety of services to students. I have helped to create one of the most transparent units of government in the state of Illinois. I have also been member of this distinguished board that discovered some disturbing and serious misuses of Township funds by a former employee that occurred under the previous Township Supervisor's watch. In response the situation was ended, investigated and and steps taken to insure that this type of unfortunate situation never takes place again in the Township.
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