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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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Office sought: Elgin Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married, one child
Occupation: Elgin Township Supervisor
Education: BS degree, Western Illinois University, 1986
Civic involvement: Member, Elgin Kiwanis Member, Elgin Township TRIAD for Senior Safety Treasurer, Township Officials of Kane County Member, Elgin Cosmopolitan Club to Fight Diabetes Board of Directors-Supervisors Division Township Officials of Illinois Former Board Member, United Way Income Council
Elected offices held: Elgin Township Supervisor, 2005-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
To continue the fiscal responsiblity of our Township. For the past four years, the Township has maintained a balanced budget, and most most recently, has frozen its tax levy, while not reducing any services to our residents. In the current economy, we need to keep taxes as low as we possibly can for our residents, we cannot spend what we do not have.
Key Issue 2
The Board needs to explore additional programs for its residents at little or no cost to the Township. This past year, the Township implemented refuse service by one company, instead of the 5 or 6 on Township roads. This program saved residents approximately $200 a year and wear and tear on our Township roads, at no cost to the Township. We also provided a prescription drug program, which has saved over $88,000 to our residents in the first year, also at no cost to the Township. Currently, the Board is exploring another program to assist Seniors with their medications.
Key Issue 3
I would like to see the Township continue to fund Social Service, Youth and Senior programs. As a result of non-funding from the State of Illinois, we have tried to help our social service agencies, funding them over $230,000 this past year. Funding for youth and seniors has totaled over $110,00. This repesents 1/3 of our budget.
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.
1. To continue to keep the Township financially stable. A balanced budget is necessary to the operations of the Township, while providing essential services for our residents. The Board needs to review revenues and expenditures each year to achieve this. 2. To keep the tax levy as low as possible. Currently, residents pay less than 1% of their tax bill to the Township, I would like to keep it this low. Again, the Board needs to review each year to compare what revenues the Township will need and what programs will be funded. Townships are limited in the revenue they receive. Property taxes are the main revenue source and don't have the ability to tax utilities, gas, sales, etc. that other municpalities can. 3. Expand our recycling efforts. We currently offer battery recycling at four locations in the Township. In the last year, we recycled over 20,000 lbs. of batteries. I would like to see us incorporate an electronic recycling program once a month, or maybe quarterly at our office location; we need a location that encompasses northern and western Kane County. We were instrumental in developing the disposal of unused medication program that the Elgin Police Dept. now uses.
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 because they provide their residents with essential services: i.e. assess property, maintain roads, and provide general assistance. These services are mandated by state statute. While some Townships are financially able to provide just these services, Elgin Township also provides many other services to its residents: early voting for every election, polling place for 3 precincts on election day, battery recycling, funding for Social Services, Youth and Seniors, transportation assistance, emergency assistance, financial assistance to TRIAD-providing senior safety academies, community room access, brush and limb pickup, assistance with real estate tax exemption forms, and educational forums.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
WE should continue to keep the tax rate low, while providing quality services and programs for its residents.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
In the hard economic times of today, we need to stay fiscally responsible but also help those in need. We are seeing an increase for emergency assistance now more than ever. Our emergency program assists people that have a disconnect notice on gas, electric or water, or an eviction/foreclosure notice. We have modified our guidlelines so more people are able to qualify for assistance. We are able to provide these programs with no addtional tax increase this year.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
Having worked at the Township for 26 years, I have worked as a caseworker, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, and Supervisor. I have participated in the budget and levy process for many years and know what it takes to operate the Township in the most efficient manner. I have made many partnerships with other municipalities and agencies to further serve the residents of Elgin Township.