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: http://facebook.com/A Better Choice for Fremont
Office sought: Fremont Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married to Gloria for 31 years. Two children, Michael-26, and Gregory-23.
Occupation: I have been self-employed in the auto sales and service business since 1978. I am a current business owner in Mundelein. I am a former owner/manager of a Mundelein retail business.
Education: High school. Trade school-electronic engineering. Continuing education in automotive diagnostics/service and in the towing/recovery/roadside assistance industry.
Civic involvement: Elected Republican precinct committeeman-Fremont #117. Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 195 Boy Scouts of America. State Line Rifle Assn.(educational and youth activities)-member and immediate past chairman. Republican Assembly of Lake County. Carmel High School Street Scenes. Burlington (WI) Conservation Club-director (youth sports and hunting). Northern Illinois Patriots. Program Director NRA Day Northern Illinois (youth sporting events). NRA Day Illinois State Coordinator.
Elected offices held: Precinct committeeman.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
To ensure the fiscal responsibility of the township government I will oppose any wasteful or unnecessary expenses, oppose any spending on redundant services that are already provided by other government units, and oppose any initiatives for purposes that are outside of Illinois townships' lawful and legitimate duties.
Key Issue 2
I will work to preclude the township from becoming involved in any speculative ventures; those that rightly should only be undertaken by private enterprise. In particular, I will oppose any revival of the earlier proposal for the township to construct, at taxpayer expense, a $1 million-plus indoor ice skating rink, and will oppose the purchase of any land to accomodate such construction.
Key Issue 3
I firmly believe that the welfare of the neighborhoods and the local communities are necessarily first and foremost. To support this goal I would work to encourage and promote volunteerism and community involvement: neighbors helping neighbors. I will provide the leadership and motivation; without additional burden to the taxpayers. It's easy for a public official to be generous with someone else's money in the name of doing good, but real charity is a personal matter. I would promote projects that are beneficial by organizing and encouraging volunteer programs to accomplish the many things that are advantageous to the community but outside the scope of government authority. Some examples would include: expanding the community garden, clean-up days to remove litter and trash from streets and neighborhoods, and utilizing inexpensive or free forms of communication, marketing, and outreach to increase community awareness and involvement in activities that would improve Fremont Township.
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. Cut taxes-maximize efficiency. The taxpayers deserve nothing less. 2. Limit the township to it's lawful mandate. The Illinois Constitution and state statutes spell out very clearly the role of township government. While there is some latitude in what is lawfully allowed, a prudent determination by the board of it's priorities -versus the areas where the township shouldn't be involved, is obligatory to good government. 3.Perform the duties of the township for the benefit of the residents as a whole, not for special interests or for the personal agendas of the elected officials. I will work to steer the township to accomplish these goals. I remain the only opposition to the "slate" (Fremont United), all good people in my estimation. Therefore, I am the only "outsider" and will be able to independently counter any tendencies towards cronyism or consolidation of power.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
The days of "gobbling up" land by municipalities has largely abated due to the poor economy and the depressed housing/retail industries. While I'm not suggesting this is an ideal situation, at the present it is a moot point. Regarding the future, when and if development and municipal annexations resume, I would use my influence for the common good of the residents and existing businesses to make sure development is done in a minimally invasive and equitable manner. Regarding need, the township's functions, (i.e. assessor, highway-road maintenance, general assistance, etc.),are best left to be handled locally. I believe that local township governments, due to their de-centralized nature and close accountability to the voters, will be more accessible and responsive to local concerns, and more responsible with taxpayer funds, than if the township's duties were absorbed by larger government units.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Township governments, like all other governmental units, have their specific intended functions. Certain responsibilities and duties are mandated by state law and are therefore essential. Some other initiatives and expenditures are allowed under law but remain optional. Still others are completely outside the scope of the township's legitimate powers. As supervisor, I will devote the township's limited resources to only the authorized and necessary township functions, and reject any superfluous expenses or initiatives.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I would suggest, as a modest start, an evaluation of the salaries and benefits paid to the township's elected officials. If it can be researched, and verified, that full-time salaries are being paid for part-time work, I will work to reduce these salaries accordingly. It will require cooperation from the newly elected trustees to accomplish this, but I will take the lead to determine and affect what is appropriate. Not in any way do I intend for this statement to apply to the salaries of the hard-working employees of the township.
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 resided in Fremont Township for 31 years, and have always remained actively engaged in promoting constructive progress, quality- of-life issues, protecting the natural environment, and assuring due regard by the government for the taxpayers in my home area. I have been a neighborhood leader when there have been contentions with the Village of Mundelein, Mundelein Park District, and the County of Lake. Through my many years of experience in dealing with the public, businesses,and all levels of government,and with my participation in numerous volunteer positions, I submit myself as being highly qualified to administer the supervisor's office impartially and for the benfit of the public at large. I am able to sincerely ask for your support and votes without having the liabilities of any outstanding obligations to political parties or slates. My extensive experience as a businessman, homeowner, landlord, and political-issue-involved citizen, has shaped my outlook on, and commitment to, the indispensabilty of efficient, equitable, and responsive government. The Daily Herald has described me as "a relative newcomer" to elective politics, and I accept that as accurate and perhaps affording me an advantage with many discerning voters. The much touted "political experience" of some candidates is often detrimental to good public policy, and is, furthermore, no substitute for the "real world" practical experience I've gained by earning a living with marketable skills. New faces and new ideas will serve to positively affect the improvements that are needed in Fremont. I will be a "hands-on" supervisor, and I am able and eager to competently handle whatever may be required to serve the public. I will faithfully discharge the supervisor's duties with honesty, integrity, and a dedication to the continuing well-being of my fellow citizens in Fremont Township.