Dennis Ryan: Candidate Profile
Blackberry Township Supervisor (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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Blackberry Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married, one daughter in college
Occupation: Candidate did not respond.
Education: Bachelor's degree in Business and European History, Aurora College
Civic involvement: Western Kane County Republican chair and former secretary; volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician
Elected offices held: Western Kane County Republican precinct committeeman; Town and Country Library past board president
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Blackberry Township must continue its present course of fiscal responsibility and careful allocation of its resources. The current Township administration has operated well within its budget and I wish to continue that policy.
Key Issue 2
I want to encourage new businesses, both large and small, to locate in Blackberry Township, to strengthen our tax base and lift some of the tax burden from our homeowners.
Key Issue 3
Blackberry is largely an unincorporated, rural township, so I want the Kane County Board to increase the budget of the Kane County Sheriff to enable more patrolling of our rural areas. The County Sheriff's deputies provide the only police presence we have in most of the township.
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.
Goal Number 1: Stay within the budget. We are entrusted with the taxpayers? funds and it is our responsibility to use them wisely. Goal Number 2: Find additional funding to maintain and repair township roads. The township can repave only a mile of road per year and remain within its current budget limits. Effort is needed to find any additional funds which may be available from other government sources. Goal Number 3: Possible expansion of Blackberry Township Cemetery. More space will soon be needed and, if possible, adjoining property must be acquired.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Of Kane County's sixteen townships, only the eastern six are almost completely within city, town or village jurisdictions. In the ten mostly rural townships of western Kane County, many of the responsibilities of government are performed by the individual townships, such as general public assistance, property assessment and road and bridge maintenance, roadside mowing and clean-up, drainage maintenance, and other duties outside of federal, state and other local jurisdiction. In townships where most of the land area lies within incorporated municipalities, perhaps township value is open to question. If 85 to 90 % of a township is within incorporated boundaries, its township government may have outlived its purpose, and remaining unincorporated areas could be divided among, and administered by, the nearest municipalities. However, this must be decided on a county-by-county, township-by-township basis, not by an all-encompassing,blanket? law.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Service to the people, our neighbors. Township government is government of the people, directly elected by the people, and directly responsible to the people.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Blackberry Township has a history of operating within its budget. As Supervisor, I would look for ways to improve on this record.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
I have small business experience, and have operated two small businesses. I was a volunteer firefighter and an emergency medical technician. My life has been one of practical experience and problem-solving in many situations. A township official must be prepared to tackle any problem. The township supervisor must be a voice for his township neighbors in questions involving the Kane County Board.
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