2014 readers choice results
Article updated: 2/22/2013 6:09 PM

Anita Merkel Dyer: Candidate Profile

Antioch Township Clerk (4-year Term)

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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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Bio

City: Antioch

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Antioch Township Clerk (4-year Term)

Age: 54

Family: Married, three children, three grandchildren

Occupation: Business Development

Education: Early Childhood Education

Civic involvement: Many past, present and future organizations

Elected offices held: Antioch Township Trustee

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

To be elected Antioch Township Clerk

Key Issue 2

I am running unopposed, but I would still like to earn your vote

Key Issue 3

Candidate did not respond.

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.

In the coming term as clerk, I will not be a voting member of the board, except in the case of a tie vote to fill a board vacancy. The most important objective should be to remain financially sound, fiscally responsible with public resources and to continue seeking available grant money for the township.

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

We are the unit of government closest to the people, our constituents are our neighbors and our families. Townships have and will be needed, they have proven to be the most cost effective small units of government in the state of Illinois. Recently published research compiled since the early 1990's show that expenditures for townships have only increased by 17%, while state, municipal and county expenditures have all risen by 50% or more. Township government almost always maintains a smaller staff, with lower wages than any other government type in the state of Illinois.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

1. Road Maintenance- The highway department is required to construct and maintain our 85 miles of road in unincorporated Antioch with the funds available to the department. Antioch Township Highway Department is responsible for more miles than any other township in Lake County and has the smallest budget of the largest 4 townships. 2. Property Assessment- Our assessor has to list and determine the market value of township properties and assess property at the statutory percentage of fair market value. Currently Antioch Township Assessor is responsible for approximately 19,000 parcels. Most questions and services can be taken care of at the township office, which saves a trip to the county building in Waukegan. 3. Senior services and need based help- The Township office provides programs and services directly, through referrals and cooperative agreements address specific needs. 4. Clerk- Is the chief keeper of township records, It is the clerks responsibility to maintain accurate records of township business. Integrity and accuracy is important in any court action involving the Townships official records. The township clerk is also the local election authority. 5. Accessibility- Our offices and elected officials are available to help in any way possible and happy to do so, they work for the residents of the township. Townships responsibility is to try to fill the gap in services from other units of government and agencies, using the most efficient and cost effective means possible for the taxpayer.

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

Antioch Township is and has always been very conservative with expenditures. The main goal of the board has been to handle expenses and extend service with the funds available. Our co-op efforts with other townships, local governments, community organizations, business and individual residents, have offered the township greater opportunities for cost savings with smaller resources. Maintaining and adding services and programs necessitate cooperation, this is especially true in hard economic times. Leveraging cooperative agreements, volunteer hours by elected officials and private citizens and donations have proven to be a success for our township, services and programs. The proof can be seen in the parks program, transportation initiatives, the senior program and public safety measures for the 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?

In 2008 I was appointed to fill a vacant trustee position, in 2009 I was elected trustee. The past term has been very rewarding. I am a concerned resident and taxpayer, my record shows that my number 1 priority is responsibility with taxpayer funds. In addition to trustee duties I have been the senior coordinator. I have always been a large community volunteer, so taking over as the senior program coordinator as a volunteer fit perfectly. I believe I have proven my commitment to the township and the constituents and will continue to do so as clerk. The current and retiring clerk Kathleen Smith has been with Antioch Township for 28 years, the last 16 as clerk, she has fulfilled the duties of her position professionally, responsibly and with organizational perfection. With her encouragement and endorsement I decided to run for clerk. I look forward to serving Antioch Township in this new position and I am committed to continue the professionalism of the office.

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