Esther Steel: Candidate Profile

Blackberry Township Supervisor

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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. Jump to:BioQA Bio City: ElburnWebsite: Candidate did not respond.Twitter: Candidate did not respond.Facebook: Candidate did not respond.Office sought: Blackberry Township Supervisor Age: 55Family: Parents: Paul and Gayla SteelChildren:Christopher (Esther) BarclayGeoff (Dana) BarclayKaitlin (Ed and son Eddie) KerstetterOccupation: SalesEducation: Waubonsee Community College Business AdministrationNIU Business AdministrationCivic involvement: Downtown beautification committeeLong range planning committee Geneva Park DistricStrategic Plan Advisory CommitteeDowntown Master plan committeeElected offices held: Republican Precinct CommitteemanPresident Geneva Library BoardQuestions 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.I think the number one objective for the Board is to actively investigate opportunities to work with other taxing bodies. Through collaboration and communication there are ways to share resources and establish programs that save tax dollars and benefit all residents. We can't continue to work independently as taxing bodies without considering the advantages of working together and having a better understanding of the priorities and challenges of all.Second is to help the Township Road district in developing a strategic plan on solving the road conditions. Many of the roads are deteriorating and need to be addressed. Referendums have failed so until there is support from the tax payers to maintain the roads, there may be a way to develop a plan to help. While the Road District may be separate from the Township Board, the roads need to be addressed jointly to hopefully achieve a stronger position.Finally. I have observed opportunities for the Township to place into motion projects that will improve the cemetery and to develop sports fields. I think it is extremely important for the Township to fully understand these opportunities before deciding not to consider them. That means communication and most importantly transparency. Through an open dialog with the other organizations the Township can gain all the information necessary to make an informed decision. This only happens through conversation. If it becomes a reality, the Township can participate in a great project that will benefit all tax payers.What should be the primary responsibility of township government?Actually there are three primary areas of responsibility for a Township. Those are maintaining the roads, assement of properties within the township and for services for underprivileged. The last can include senior services and youth services. In the state of Illinois 53% of the roads are maintained by townships. I think all three should be considered primary responsibilities of the township.In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?While it is true that municipalities are annexing additional land, there is still a significant need for townships. More than eight million residents are served by townships in the state of Illinois. Township government is the oldest form of government and has evolved over the generations with the changes of our society. Considering the economic environment we currently find ourselves townships have maintained a very successful position. The scope of services and the vast number of people whose lives the townships touch makes it difficult to imagine another entity that can easily take those responsibilities over. Having said that, we need to be cognizant of the burden the multitude of taxing bodies has on the tax payers. In many areas the traditional responsibilities need to be maintained but as I stated earlier, collaboration with other organizations can be an opportunity for the townships to ddiscover new ways to support and enhance the lives of the residents.Are there any township offices that should be eliminated or consolidated?I think that consolidation is inevitable. The state is looking at that intensely. But I believe it should not be a plan taken lightly. Every position, every process, even every taxing body should be evaluated extensively before changes are made as to avoid any negative results on the most important stake holders. The tax payers.Can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?As a new candidate and not an incumbant, I do not have full access to all the information that would be required for me to make that kind of decision. I truly believe that you need all the information possible before you make a determination to trim or eleminate anything. The responsible thing to do is to spend time evaluating everything and then make a recommendation to make changes.What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?The most important issue I feel as a candidate is to improve communication and transparency. I truly believe the tax payers want transparency in government and appreciate open communication. I have spoken with many residents who don't feel their voices are heard and that many elected don't care about them. I think open communication can improve the relationship between the elected and the residents.Please name one current leader who most inspires you.Randy HultgrenWhat is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?Always take the high road. Be honest and you will maintain integrity. Think of others first.If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?I think I would have gone on to graduate school.What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?English. Literature is the ultimate communicator. Communication is one of my greatest assets.If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?Always be open and honest in everything you do.