Catherine Sewell: Candidate Profile
York Township Board (4-year Terms)
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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.
City: Villa Park
Office sought: York Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, one daughter.
Occupation: Retired, former CEO/Executive Director for non-profit.
Education: Bachelor of Art, English Literature Master of Business Administration, Marketing Certified Association Executive, CAE
Civic involvement: First Vice-Chair, Democratic Party of DuPage County First Vicce-Chair, York Township Democratic Organization Precinct Committeman, York Township 68
Elected offices held: President, Int;l Assn of Customer Service, 1995
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Transparency of local government services. The township does not communicate with residents nor do they have a forum to listen to their issues. Very little is known about the variety of services provided to York Township residences. What is the purchasing process for the various services provided to the residents? How can residents be sure their tax dollars are well spent?
Key Issue 2
Accountability of services provided. What do the township officials do to ensure goals are met and services provided are of excellent quality? What measurements are in place for the activities in youth services, elder services and services for low-income persons?
Key Issue 3
Transformation of township objectives. An audit should be performed that will ferret out those things the township should continue doing, not do and possibly begin doing. A new fresh look at the services and needs of the residents is deserved.
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. Communicate services of York Twp to residents. This is critical because current communication is below par. Address them via open forums, marketing pieces in target areas where the need is most, and general info via local TV ads. 2. Deliver a measurement mechanism to the residents that will be a scorecard of performance to goals by budget, operations, and quality of service (as told by residents). Quarterly reporting for all to see on web site, etc. 3. Audit and give a fresh look at existing activities and goals. Deliver report in 3 months of what's needed, what needs to be cut, and what needs to start up.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Township officials should look at this very carefully and decide what role they play. Please see my last comment about a "fresh look". Embedded in the remark is the need for townships at all. Surely, if the need is filled somewhere else, and it is easily accessible to residents, then we do, as an aspiring official, need to look at this carefully, and recommend either dissolution or a new role for the township to play to serve residents.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility of twp govt should be to meet the needs of the senior, youth and low-income residents locally, where other entities cannot meet them. It should offer general assistance where needed and play a service role to its' residents locally.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I will when I see the budget. There is a FOIA request to the Township that needs to be filled. When received, I will review it carefully. I do know that a rule of thumb would be NOT to do anything that does not provide basic services to the residents of York Township, so if there are any extraneous services that do not fit the mission of the township, it should not be paid for by taxpayer dollars.
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 am a highly qualified business person who has spent many years running organizations with multi-million dollar budgets successfully. I have many years serving the public as a former teacher, adjunct professor, and business woman.
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