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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.
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Office sought: Cuba Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)
Family: Married for 39 years to Mary Romano Marks. Three daughters, Sarah, Katharine, Elisabeth and one son Nicholas; four grandchildren: Kellen, Keegan, Giannah, and Konner.
Occupation: Professional Paving Contractor. Senior Project Manager with 40 years of experience designing and managing the construction of roadways and their maintenance (repairs and snow removal) in Northeastern Illinois.
Education: Bachelor of science Degree University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1972 Master of Business Administration Degree Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, 1992
Civic involvement: Varsity Football Coach (1990-2013): Buffalo Grove HS, Barrington HS, St. Viator HS Varsity Lacrosse Coach (2010-2013): Barrington HS, Lake Forest HS, Lake Zurich HS Youth Baseball, Basketball, Football Coach (1993-2011): Barrington Park District, St. Anne School
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
It is essential that we run our government as efficiently as possible so that taxes can be kept as low as possible. Strong fiscal management is the key to quality roads and maintenance.
Key Issue 2
Taxpayers deserve excellent road maintenance and repair with a minimum of disruption. We must also be responsive to the needs of the community. A well run office can achieve both goals.
Key Issue 3
Restore integrity to the Office of Road Commissioner including merit hiring of new employees.
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. Improve the efficiency of the township by going through the budget line by line. We should increase those programs that work and eliminate those that are not working or duplicate services. 2. The Township should be transparent. The complete audited budget should be posted on the Township website so that citizens can access it easily. In the Internet age, there is no excuse for not doing this. All contracts and the opportunity to bid could also be posted. Greater transparency leads to a more fiscally responsible and accountable government. Currently, Cuba Township has established a presence through newsletters and a website but we need to use all tools available to get more and better information to the community. 3. Cuba Township provides the food pantry, senior transportation, water testing, and free mulch and firewood from trees removed along roadways. The difficult economy makes these services more valuable to our residents. However, we should be constantly looking for ways to deliver these services more efficiently. We should make sure that we are not duplicating services provided by other agencies and leverage our services by coordinating with private entities in the community where possible.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
In Illinois one of the oldest forms of government is the township. Many believe that its role in local governance is outdated and duplicates existing services. However, the township provides an immediate response, a "face" to local residents who feel disconnected from large county government. The diversity in land use among township residences and businesses - from municipal sewer and water to private well and septic - requires a localized approach to services that will meet taxpayers' needs and conserve our resources and environment. Municipal government cannot offer that individualized level of service to incorporated and unincorporated areas. Rather than duplicating municipal services the township board is able to identify needed services with greater cost effectiveness to its residents.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Accurate property tax assessment, maintenance of quality roads, general assistance programs to township residents.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
From the Highway Commissioner's viewpoint, stringent budget management - evaluating existing programs/services and costs - must be maintained in these difficult economic times. Other revenue sources - intergovernmental service agreements and grants - should be sought to reduce the tax burden.
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 over forty years of experience in professional road construction and snow removal in the private sector so I understand the importance of operating efficiently and know how to do it. I have an MBA and years of experience managing projects and budgets. I understand the demands of this position and will be on call 24/7. The people of Cuba Township deserve a Road Commissioner who shares their values and will restore integrity to the office.