Ahmed Sayyed: Candidate Profile
York Township Supervisor (4-year Term) (D)
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: Oakbrook Terrace
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: York Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: I am divorced and have no children. I three nephews and three nieces. I have two sisters and a brother that live in the Chicago suburbs and a brother who lives in Texas.
Occupation: Financial Adviser/Broker
Education: -MBA, Illinois Institute of Technology,Chicago, 1984. -Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations & Welfare (Personnel management), Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, India. 1976. -Bachelor of Science,Poona University,Poona India, 1974.
Civic involvement: #NAME?
Elected offices held: Alderman, ward 3, City of Oakbrook Terrace 2009-2013.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
TRANSPARENCY: York Township was declared one of the least transparent government organizations by the Illinois Policy Institute. The majority of taxpayers have no idea of what's going on in York Township. They don't know its board of trustees, they don't know the issues and even though the board's decisions directly affect how tax dollars are spent; residents have no idea what decisions,if any, the board of trustees makes.
Key Issue 2
TRANSFORMATION: The Township needs to refocus on its primary mission service to its residents, THE TAXPAYER! Presently more than half of their two million plus dollar budget is being spent on salaries.
Key Issue 3
TRANSITION: The existence of townships depends on the whims of Springfield. Presently, York Township exists! As good citizens it is incumbent upon us to manage it as efficiently as possible.
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.IMPROVE TRANSPERENCY: Townships are considered the most grass roots form of government. I would work to be inclusive and disseminate the role that York Township plays and can play to all its taxpayers. I would take a proactive role not just put up a web site with my photo on it or electronic sign board with my name on it - in introducing the board of trustees and the elected staff to ALL residents. I would make the board's decision making process as public as possible. Township services are funded by taxpayer dollars. I will ensure that ALL taxpayers potentially know where their tax dollars are going. 2.IMPROVE EFFICIENCY: This directly relates to my second key issuetransformation?. When I am elected, as soon as practicable. I will institute a study to determine the manpower needs and suitability of the salaries in York Township. The Township's website states,Township services touch the lives of most of our residents. We are small, accessible, responsive, and cost effective claiming less than one and one-half percent of the entire real estate tax bill. ONE AND ONE HALF PERCENT OF THE ENTIRE TAX BILL may be far too much and spending more than fifty percent of the budget on salaries does not sound very cost effective. I will refocus expenditure on programs that benefit tax payers, not township employees! 3. CUSTODIANSHIP: George Mallory, considered to be the greatest mountaineer ever, when asked why he climbed mountains, replied,?because they are there?. In the same vein, I want to be the supervisor of York Township because it is there. The Illinois legislature put it there. As long as it's there it is incumbent upon us as good citizens to nurture it, tend it and make it run as efficiently as possible. If and when the time comes and the legislature decides to fold it into some other government body, the board and I need to be prepared to assist the legislature in whatever way possible to make a smooth transition.
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 to provide assistance to and fill in the gaps left by municipal government. I suppose the role they can play is limited only by the imagination of their chief executive and the budget. In these trying times the youth programs can be expanded. We can and will put out initiative to assist our veterans. In Du Page county where storm water disposal is a major issue, the different townships can cooperate to find solutions to the problem. Ive heard of instances in Lake County where the Township, during their regularly scheduled meeting, invites public speakers to address topics of common interest to the residents. I believe at those meetings there is standing room only. Not only do the residents get informed about their topic of interest but also get an insight into the working of the Township. These are some of the new roles townships can play.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
Township government should be responsible for filling the gap in services offered by municipalities. Individuals who can demonstrate the need but who do not qualify for assistance from federal, state, or local programs should be able to receive help from the township.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
Given the opaque nature of our township budget it is difficult to list any specific program or expense. This again demonstrates the need for a transparent township government so that taxpayers know what their tax dollars are funding. Nevertheless, I would examine the administration costs of the township as over half the budget seems to be allocated to those costs.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
?Absolutely foremost; I bring complete honesty, integrity and the highest morals. I bring a solid academic background diversified over several fields. Consequently, I bring all the knowledge, skills and abilities that go along with those academics. I have worked in Personnel & welfare for several years and have a master's degree in those subjects. This will bode me well when it comes to working with seniors, the under privileged and youth. It will also help me in designing and implementing new initiatives. My academic training has allowed me to develop excellent quantitative and qualitative analytic skills. I have prepared managed and monitored budgets for over 15 years. Consequently, I have the ability to think critically and multi-task. The financial industry has taught me the importance of controlling cost and closely tracking expenditures. This will be crucial in handling taxpayer dollars and controlling administrative costs. In my previous jobs I have developed the ability to supervise staffs that handle multiple projects simultaneously. I have experience in prioritizing projects. Consequently I'll endorse and expand the most effective ones. I am organized, detail-oriented and able to handle a heavy workload. I possess excellent oral and written communication skills.