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: Avon Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married with 3 year old boy/girl twins
Occupation: Insurance rep. (Also an experienced mental health and benefits professional)
Education: M.A. Clinical Psychology - Roosevelt University B.S.W. Social Work - UIC
Civic involvement: Former Avon Township Dem's Chair Volunteer for a variety of political campaigns Medical Reserve Corp of Lake County
Elected offices held: Avon Township Trustee - 2009-current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Providing the highest level of service while being fiscally responsible. For example, not duplicating services of other government agencies or non-profits, using a quasi-bid process when purchasing goods and services (including when not required), and not allocating more funds for certain expenses than it should cost as previous administrations have done.
Key Issue 2
Collaboration - both internally and externally. Recognizing the importance of differing views, refraining from labeling others or portraying them in a negative light, and being an example of service and fiscal responsibility to other government agencies. Recognizing the roles of other government agencies and non-profits and joining forces to meet our residents' needs.
Key Issue 3
Sustainability. Continue gradual effort to improve existing facilities to be more efficient. Don't take on more than the Township can or should handle (I.e. loans to individuals or organizations) as has been suggested elsewhere. Providing resources most or all residents can use. Avoiding a status quo approach to governance.
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. Continue to hold the line on spending without decreasing the quality and quantity of services offered. Residents truly rely upon the Township and its in everyone's interest for the Township to serve especially those that find themselves in a period of significant economic challenge without taking on every possible type service a resident -may- need. Linkage or information and referral can be just as important as service provision. 2. Continue to attract non-profit organizations to provide services in Avon Township. Providing a venue or inexpensive publicity for an organization that provides low cost or free family, pet, or health services leads to a more viable and thriving community. (It is often best to have organizations that are experienced and well-known provide services than for the Township to start a new department. This is not suggesting out-sourcing current programs and services. It is to suggest that, unlike neighboring Townships, we do not have to create departments for programs that may just need to be expanded to Avon Township. 3. Consider the sale of the unused property purchased by the previous administration. Return property to the tax rolls at the appropriate time and recoup at least part of the initial expenditure. It's an example of not taking on more than the Township can, corrects an unnecessary purchase, and can help keep taxes low.
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 necessary, especially in the current economic climate, to serve residents. The scope or role of Townships in general could be limited when considering the variety of services offered in other Townships and certain departments could change somewhat. For example, can a Township Highway Department collaborate more with the County, local villages, and the State? Also, should there be a review of Township officials? For example, is the Township Trustee role too circumscribed? (I.e. Should we consider a Trustee/clerk or should there be a better line of succession or chain of command involving the Trustees)
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility should be general assistance, highway maintenance, and information and referral. (All Townships must prove they have the minimum number of miles of unincorporated roads to continue their Highway Departments.)
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
See above (collaboration, reviewing departments and roles). Continuing to obtain the most economical yet complete benefits for staff. Regularly reviewing Township attorney fees compared to other counsel or approaches. Continued pursuit of grants or similar funds.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
A diverse professional background, a commitment to serve, and respect for others' efforts, beliefs, and experiences.