The binding referendum to consolidate road services between Lisle and Naperville Townships in the April 4 elections is only one of three responsibilities townships have to their residents, and I would argue it isn't the most important issue in this election.
Townships are charged with general assistance for the indigent, the assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation, and maintenance of all roads and bridges outside other jurisdictions. As a resident of Lisle Township, it appalls me that its 2017 budget shows officials running for re-election, led by Supervisor Richard Tarulis, plan to spend over 40 percent of the (non-highway) township budget ($1.6 million) on their own salaries and benefits and a new office building for themselves, while a mere 4 percent ($168,000) is budgeted for general assistance to the poor.
What makes this disparity more egregious is that these are part-time roles -- the majority of office holders have separate full-time jobs -- but each still collects a generous salary and benefits while in office, as well as a pension when they retire. Being elected in Lisle Township is a lucrative side gig, but good luck to a resident who may need a gas voucher or rent assistance from the township -- with so little set aside, it's probably not in the budget.
Supervisor Tarulis is being challenged by Mary Jo Mullen, who has vowed not to take benefits or a pension, and will find a more cost effective solution for office space. Her focus is on the township's actual charter -- to use resources on assistance and services for the benefit of our residents. It's time we hold our elected officials responsible for their decisions on our behalf and stop propping up those who are less committed to public service than their own comfort and retirement accounts. I'm ready for something new.