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updated: 2/22/2013 6:04 PM

Richard Burnidge: Candidate Profile

Elgin Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term) (Republican)

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  • Richard Burnidge, running for Elgin Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)

    Richard Burnidge, running for Elgin Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)




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

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Elgin Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)

Age: 64

Family: Married. Wife, Tamara. Two married daughters. Two granddaughters.

Occupation: Elgin Township Highway Commissioner

Education: Graduated Larkin High School - 1966 BA Parsons College - 1971

Civic involvement: Former member and secretary of Kiwanis Club of Elgin Former umpire - youth baseball Former member and treasurer of Larkin High School Athletic Booster Club

Elected offices held: Elgin Township Highway Commissioner 1983 - present Illinois State Representative 1978 - 1980 Elgin Township Precinct Committeeman 1975 - 2012 Former Vice Chairman Kane County Republican Central Committee Chairman Elgin Township Republican Central Committee 1986 - 1990

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Maintain a quality road system in a changing financial climate. The increased cost of fuel and oil is a major factor in the cost of maintaining and re-surfacing township roads.

Key Issue 2

Continue to monitor expenditures and reduce when possible. Materials and construction costs are let through competitive bid to help control costs.

Key Issue 3

Continue to upgrade signs pertaining to all types of road signage to comply with the standards issued by the federal and state highway authorities.

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.

The highway commissioner is not a member of the township board and does not have a vote on board matters.

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

With regard to the Elgin Township Road District, municipalities have not done any annexations since 2008. Approximately 95% of the township roadways are in subdivisions, none of which have been annexed by the city or village. Elgin Township maintains virtually the same number of miles today as it did in the 1980's. In Kane County, townships maintain over 500 miles of roads.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

Article VII, Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution states in part "township governments shall have only powers granted by law." The primary responsibilities of township goverment as prescribed by law are as follows: maintain roads in unincorporated areas, provide general assistance to its residents and appraise property and put a value on it.

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

As Highway Commissioner, I continually look for ways to trim expenses. However, the items of major expense are the things we can only control by the quantities we use and contract for such as miles of road we can pave per year, salt, fuel and re-surfacing contracts. Salt, for example, is bid through the State of Illinois, assuring the best price. We are lumped together with the State and numerous other municipalities making up a larger quantity which translates into a lower cost per ton. Contracts for re-surfacing are through Kane County Division of Transportation on a competitive bid basis and must meet State of Illinois specifications.

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 experience is the major reason that I am the best candidate. During my tenure as Highway Commissioner, I have never overspent a budget. The tax levy for the Township Road District has been one of the lowest among the 15 townships in Kane County amounting to less than 1% of your tax bill. I have a reputation among those I serve as being accessible and timely as to their concerns. Our response time during snow events is second to none with the help of three experienced employees dedicated to serving the needs of the residents of Elgin Township. I have developed working relationships with the City of Elgin, the Village of South Elgin, Kane County and other townships, assisting each other when practical. The Township road system is in good condition because of the yearly maintenance we provide. Potholes are not a problem in our system. Our equipment is well maintained. As a result, we get maximum use from the equipment and vehicles we have. I have a sincere and genuine desire to continue to provide quality service to the taxpayers with the knowledge and skills needed to do so.