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: Hanover Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married to the former Heidi Edelmann 3 Children Carly-13 JP-10 Kevin-7
Occupation: President of TMA
Education: Bachelor of Scinece in Communications
Civic involvement: Board Member of the Bartlett Veterans Memorial Foundation Member of Loyal Order of Moose Life-Member Bartlett Historical Society
Elected offices held: Hanover Township Trustee 1993-2003 Hanover Township Clerk 2003-2009 Hanover Township Supervisor 2009-Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
To insure Hanover Township continues to operate in a fiscally conservative and transparent manner. Hanover Township has not raised its levy in the last two consecutive years and was given a 100% online transparency rating by the Illinois Policy Institute.
Key Issue 2
I will work with the other elected Township officials to continue to work collaboratively with other local governments that serve Hanover Township residents. Hanover Township was a partner in the Northwest Fourth Fest last summer and is working with most of the villages and the City of Elgin on a regional approach to disaster preparedness and response. In addition Hanover Township works closely with School District U-46 and the Streamwood Park District.
Key Issue 3
Hanover Township has received a gift of approximately 12 acres of wooded land and building from a non-profit organization in Elgin. The development of a utilization plan for this reserve by the board and staff is a top priority of mine.
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 Township must continue to practice good fiscal restraint. With state finances in shambles and the gridlock over the issue in Springfield, residents will increasingly look to the Township for human services. This will allow the township to meet these needs and expectations. 2. The board should also continue to maintain its 100% online transparency rating as this will allow citizens to readily view township programs, expenses and projects. It will directly lead to building confidence in township government, by allowing those with questions or critics to readily access meaningful information. 3. Through maintaining and strengthen the open communication with other local governments the township will continue to be viewed as an important partner in maintain the quality of life our residents expect and allow for the continued offering of unduplicated services.
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 in urban areas do much more than govern small tracks of un-incorporated areas. In Hanover Township the township government provides a host of services not provided by the municipalities. Many of these services, but not all, are related to social services. All of the services would not be cost effective to have duplicated in the several villages and city that make up the township and I don't believe the quality of the services would be maintained if they were absorbed Cook County Government. These services include family therapy, tutoring and after school programs aimed at juvenile delinquency prevention. Senior services that include recreation, social services and transportation. Community health programs that assist residents with primary care access, work closely with police and fire departments to help those with chronic conditions manage their issues instead of over taxing the EMS system, and providing health screenings for early disease detection. Welfare assistance, food pantry and employment services to those in the greatest of need. Townships are also very good sized units of government to operate emergency service and disaster agencies/emergency management agencies to achieve a good economy of scale. It is important to remember that Hanover Township's population is just under a 100,000 residents equal to that of some downstate counties
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
In urban areas like Hanover Township, townships are well suited to cost effectively operate variety of social services that serve as a society's safety net for its population. Services like disaster preparedness are able to receive unique attention at the township level because there is no budget competition from police or fire departments. In addition the townships can be utilized by the county to increase the timeliness of service delivery. Hanover Township is in the process of signing an intergovernmental agreement with the Cook County Building and Zoning department to allow for trained township personnel to write various code violations for the county.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Hanover Township has taken many steps to do this on an ongoing basis each year at budget preparation and strategic plan sessions the board review potential positions and programs that may be eliminated or combined to improve both the financial impact of a program and its service delivery. As a result positions have been eliminated in the past and Hanover Township officials receive some of the lowest township official salaries in Cook County, they have never had health insurance benefits, no elected official has a township vehicle and none of the town officials have a township credit card. In the future the board should continue to look at services that can be absorbed into the township as state statutes allow and continue to pursue the cross training of personnel to perform across department lines. As stated before Hanover Township in recognition of the tough economic times has not raised the tax levy in the last two consecutive years.
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 past experience as a township trustee and township clerk gives me a unique understanding of township government from top to bottom. My record over the last four years as township supervisor demonstrates my commitment to open, honest government combined with a passion for excellence. Over the last four years Hanover township has been recognized as a leader in local government transparency, our senior center became the first and only nationally accredited township operated senior center in Illinois and we were recognized by the national government fiscal officers for our budget preparation document. Our volunteer emergency services unit has become a model for how such a unit should operate, it has achieved certification from the Illinois Search and Rescue Council and we are expecting certification from the Cook County Homeland Security/Emergency Management Agency soon. After being in office only a few weeks, I uncovered corruption that took place under the previous supervisor and worked with the Cook County State's Attorney's office to see that the thief was sent to jail. The township also received a settlement to recoup some of the taxpayer money that had been absconded with and the Welfare Department was professionalized and reforms instituted to guard against future employee theft. I was awarded Supervisor of the Year by ITASC and the Township Friend of Youth Award by ATCOY. Hanover Township was named as Township of the year by ITASC. Hanover Township department heads are active in leadership roles in their various professional organizations and the township worked with NIU to launch the Township Leadership academy to teach professional government management to township professionals across the region. Hanover Township is a leader in all that it does and I am happy to play a role in making it so.