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updated: 2/22/2013 6:09 PM

Cathy deGroh: Candidate Profile

Avon Township Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • Cathy deGroh, running for Avon Township Board (4-year Terms)

    Cathy deGroh, running for Avon Township Board (4-year Terms)




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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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Grayslake


Office sought: Avon Township Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 59

Family: Married, 2 children, 3 grandchildren

Occupation: Retired business owner skilled in finance, management, planning and sales.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Family Services, Northern Illinois University, 1976

Civic involvement: President Friends of the Grayslake Library, Lake County Fair, Highland Lake POA, NICGR Historical Society (Past PTO, PTF, Scouts, Art Institute of Chicago, Grayslake Library Foundation, Parent volunteer in 6 Grayslake schools over 16 years and Grayslake Library volunteer for over 20 years)

Elected offices held: Library Trustee, Grayslake, IL, 1996 - 2005

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Honestly representing the voters. It is crucial to LISTEN to what voters have to say about their government and ACT accordingly. I will communicate to my voters and I will gather their comments and use those ideas as a basis for an action plan for township. Township needs to return to its original purpose - a local grassroots office that works directly for the people. I promise to work with citizens to form a more economical, streamlined, and responsive township.

Key Issue 2

Keeping costs down, by evaluating current programs and eliminating ineffective or redundant items. Voters tell me controlling taxes are a priority but they are unable to say where they want cuts. I will work with voters in various forums to get citizen input on this issue and form a consensus on what must be done. I promise the cuts I support are cuts related to actual improvements to the system - not cuts that are connected to the election cycle.

Key Issue 3

Helping people. Last fall, I voted early at the Avon Township office and was appalled at the huge line of people waiting for help at the food pantry. I returned the next week and again a horrible line. I realized that the skills I possess to evaluate, innovate and manage are greatly needed in this office. So, I immediately requested a petition to run as Trustee. Township is a unique place where we are charged with the duty to help our neighbors. I want to contribute to making Township the best it can be whether it is cutting taxes or helping feed our neighbors. I can make a positive difference.

Questions & Answers

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.Fiscal Goal - In order to do the job of the township, tax money must be wisely spent. Budgets must be balanced. And long term planning must be embraced. It is important to cut expenses and streamline programs wherever possible. 2. Communication Goal- I have found that about 9 out of 10 people DO NOT know what Township does. If people don't know what township is how can they make informed decisions concerning township government? The township newsletter, website, and digital sign must carry useful information. Here is an idea - day one I propose to post township office hours on the website, on the office and building doors. I suggest the use of surveys, focus groups, citizen committees and electronic communication to gather voters input. Staff and Board will utilize these suggestions and comments for program reviews targeted to citizens? needs. 3. Service Goal- Every inch of the Township deals with the people and the people deserve to be treated in a courteous and positive manner. I will seek solutions to current problems of misinformation and unpleasant encounters with Township staff. I will work towards meeting the needs of our residents in a helpful and positive manner.

In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?

Township is charged with the responsibility of general and emergency assistance of our residents, unincorporated roads and bridges and tax assessments. Until, the State of Illinois delegates those duties elsewhere, Township officials must meet these requirements, not gut the bottom line in order to be reelected. If townships were to serve a new role, that must be determined by the needs of the people. What do the people need from a grassroots office such as township? Here is a suggestion - internet. Internet is the electricity of our century. 100 years ago townships helped rural farmers get electric service at an economical price. Could township serve this purpose again'the voice of the people must be listened to and responded to. It is an exciting time to be a part of potential change in government. If citizens do not need township government, we must listen and eliminate it.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

Serving the residents of the township in the areas required by law - assistance, roads & bridges and assessments. This service should be performed in an efficient, economical and courteous manner. Part of this issue is missing - voter input. We are serving people who really don't know their township. I will work to engage citizens in this process. Amazing results come from pulling together.

In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?

I question all township officials who do not actually work their positions. Currently, we have elected officials who pay staff to do the work of their office. This happens when people are politically appointed by loyalty not skill. In these hard times, township officials should step up and work not hire others to do their jobs. If that happens, payroll can be saved there. As I review and assess the current situation at the township, I will continually be looking for ways to streamline and simplify our services. Partnering with other community resources is one way to insure that people are helped in a budget friendly way. Awareness of other community services and programs is vitally important to avoid duplication of service. I will work for the people of our 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 possess a unique set of skills developed from years of work in the areas of business, public and non profit organizations. Strategic planning, resource allotment, inventory control, budget, finance, management are all strengths that will work to hold township costs down and help people up. I will listen to the voters and work accordingly.