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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.
Office sought: Elgin Township Clerk (4-year Term)
Family: Mary Ann and I have four sons and four grandchildren.
Occupation: Manager for official documentation
Education: Associate of Arts in Communication Bachelor of Arts in English Master of Divinity in Practical Theology
Civic involvement: Chairman, Elgin Township Democrats
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Moving Elgin Township government into the 21st century
Key Issue 2
Making Elgin Township records available to the people of Elgin Township
Key Issue 3
Ensuring that Elgin Township records are in order and preserved
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.
While not running for a board position, I do support the Democratic candidates for Supervisor and Trustees. 1) Taxes gathered from across Elgin Township should benefit everyone in Elgin Township. Much of the taxes Elgin Township gathers from homeowners in Elgin and South Elgin go to maintain roads outside of Elgin and South Elgin. 2) In Elgin Township the people are diverse in ethnicity, culture, economic circumstances and opinion. The Democratic candidate for Elgin Township Supervisor, June Wooten, and the Democratic candidates for Elgin Township Trustees---Jonathon Bowles, Elvira Ramirez, Kenneth Spotts and Susan Van Weelden---will bring their wide variety of experiences and viewpoints to move Elgin Township forward. Electing each of them would be a step in the right direction of truly representing the people of Elgin Township. 3) Elgin Township should share with the people of Elgin Township what it is doing for the people of Elgin Township. Transparency is a government goal for the Democratic candidates for Elgin Township, and the Clerk plays an important role in reaching that goal. My 31 years as a journalist have spanned a time when film was developed for the evening news to the free flow of information in blogs and social media. I use that background to manage large amounts of information for a major Christian denomination. These skills will help the people of Elgin Township get the information they need to affect decisions and share their ideas with the Elgin Township board.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
In 1850, Elgin Township government did a wonderful job of providing necessary leadership for law enforcement, fire protection, building code enforcement, sewage disposal, sanitation, pollution abatement, animal control, transit systems, libraries, streets and roads for the people in a rural area. Since 1850, Elgin and South Elgin have grown to cover most of Elgin Township. Now a largely urban Elgin Township, the government is still needed to support social services for the poor and aged. It is not a new role. Township government is indispensable, especially in these days, to care for those who fall through the safety nets provided by all other forms of government.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Elgin Township government should work to ensure that everyone in Elgin Township is healthy and safe from financial ruin. The Clerk can provide the power of information to undergird that work.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Elgin Township spends nearly a $1 million each year to manicure less than 30 lane-miles of road. Homeowners in Elgin and South Elgin pay for the maintenance of roads they will probably never use. The Democratic candidate for Elgin Township Highway Commissioner, Donna Griffin-Lego is committed to working with county and municipal road services to shrink the township road district out of existence.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
As a journalist, I've used audio, video, print and digital media to share accurate accounts of important stories. Now, I manage large amounts of information for a 4-million-member church body, recording minutes, editing books of data, tracking resolutions, and certifying constitutions. I am a clerk. I'd like to be the Clerk for the people of Elgin Township.