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 Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)
Family: Married, 2 children; son, sophomore Grayslake Central daughter, 8th grader Grayslake Middle School
Occupation: Avon Township Highway Commissioner and Grayslake small business owner
Education: Designated Errosion Control Inspector Certified HVAC Tech service Certified EPA Refrigerant Handler
Civic involvement: Former Grayslake Park District basketball assistant coach and Former Grayslake Youth Baseball assistant coach. Assistant my wife Cindy in Grayslake Middle School 8th Grade Celebration
Elected offices held: Avon Township Highway Commissioner 2010-current
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
Avon Action is running on a proven record of reforming township government. Our campaign platform is a continuation of the results-oriented agenda we began four years ago. They are: Continue Lowering Taxes. During our first term, we are the only local government in the area who has lowered tax levies every year in office, totally a 22% reduction. Avon Action will continue lowering the tax burden and pressure other taxing bodies to do the same.
Key Issue 2
Continue Cutting Expenses. Avon Action is responsible for reducing expenses by nearly a quarter of the total budget. Proudly, we have done this without eliminating jobs and -- to many people's surprise -- have substantially increased services offered by the Township. More can be done, including further cuts to elected officials' salaries.
Key Issue 3
Continue Helping Low Income Residents, and those who have fallen on tough times. Our weakened national economy led to a 300% increase in Food Pantry demand. It also had a devastating impact on seniors and veterans who rely on a fixed income. Avon Township responded on all fronts. But rather than look to tax revenue to fund these programs, we increased private donations and expanded community partnerships with non-profit organizations, including our own Avon Township Community Foundation.
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.
My slate ran four years ago with three prevailing objectives: 1) Lower Avon Township Levies; 2) Give back and reduce pay increases put in place by the previous administration; 3) Find effective and efficient ways to reduce costs. As I come before the voters again, I do so knowing I have kept my promises. Like my fellow slate members, I have put the taxpayers first and have been part both reforming and improving township government.
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 needed in rural communities, where there is no other government to take care of roads. In Avon Township, I have worked to optimize road maintenance at the lowest possible cost. Past administrations have used the Highway Department, abusing the public trust with unneeded salary expense, inflated over time, and the purchase of property. I eliminated these abuses and lowered the levies, including the Permanent Hard Road Tax and the Road and Bridge Tax. I have worked to secure federal grants for drainage and water safety -- a new role that benefits the community without additional expense.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
As Highway Commissioner, I am primarily responsible for roads in unincorporated parts of the Township. However, I must be accountable to every taxpayer. Therefore, it is my priority to save taxpayer funds, and work toward lowering property taxes for all 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?
While other townships have increased tax levies or kept them the same, we have consistently lowered them and cut expenses. As I mentioned, my primary job is to reduce the tax burden -- something I am very proud we have already accomplished, and strive to continue accomplishing. Like my neighbors, I want more efficient local government and lower property taxes.
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 service as the Avon Township Highway Commissioner has proven that I can surpass the expectations of my job while bringing substantial savings. As a former employee of the Illinois Department of Transportation, I am familiar with road maintenance efficiency and insist that Highway Department is responsive.