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updated: 3/11/2013 1:29 PM

Susan Van Weelden: Candidate Profile

Elgin Township Board (4-year Terms) (Democrat)

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  • Susan Van Weelden, running for Elgin Township Board (4-year Terms)

    Susan Van Weelden, running for Elgin 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: Elgin


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

Age: 64

Family: Married,5 Adult Children(Includes 3 Stepchildren),10 Grandchildren.Husband and I are former small business owners.

Occupation: Retired Community College Dean And Director

Education: BS,Ed.('73) MS,Ed.-NIU('81).45 Graduate Hrs beyond Master's-NIU. Several Leadership certifications.

Civic involvement: Serving on the Literacy Connection Board, the S. Elgin Econ. Dev. Assn. Board and my Homeowners' Assn.Board. Serving as a Dem. Precinct Captain.Served 6 years on the River Valley Workforce Investment Board(Kane, Kendall,DeKalb Counties) and on that WIB's Ex. Board and chaired that WIB's Econ. Dev. Com.Served on numerous other Boards, as well.Served as an Elected State Assn. President

Elected offices held: Elected President(by State peers) of the IL Council of Com. College Administrators and elected President(by State peers) of the IL Com.College Econ. Dev. Assn., which gave me a lifetime achievement award.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Improved planning through strategic planning processes and data- that will lead to a more responsive and accountable Township Govt.

Key Issue 2

Leveraging and collaborating resources.The Township Officials can work closely with other organizations,so as to better use taxpayer funds. For example, being aware of resources available from other organizations will help eliminate duplication of services.

Key Issue 3

Is it time to eliminate Elgin Township Govt.? Through careful study, the Board can determine whether the services offered via this Township could be absorbed by Kane County and Municipalites.Would eliminating this layer of Govt. benefit the Township residents? Only the Board- through a careful research process, can determine this.

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.

Strategic Planning should be done- with the help of an outside, nonbiased Professional.The Process will help the Board determine short term and long term goals- and how to achieve those.Grants to Community organizations should be done in more organized and thoughtful manner. Written proposals could be presented to Board members for their consideration. A system for scoring and awarding those grant proposals could be used- and would be more equitable.

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

The Social Services component and the Tax Assessment component are those that remain viable in urban areas like Elgin.Cemetery maintenance and Road Maintenace are no longer key- for many urban townships. As a certified History and Govt. teacher, I know that Township Govts. can still be critical in rural areas of Illinois.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

Each Township Board should determine the primary responsibilty- within the legal parameters of the IL Township Code.

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

It appears that some savings could be achieved via the Township Road Commissioner's Office.

What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?

Outreach experience(34 years) - as a Com. College Outreach/Econ. Development/Community Services Dean and Director- positions at 3 ILL Community Colleges- including ECC. Knowledge of various types of grants,area organizational needs and available programs,as well as expertise in Workforce and Econ. Development.As a History and Govt. Teacher, I have a knowledge base that is beneficial, as well.