O. Heidorn: Candidate Profile
Milton Township Supervisor (4-year Term) (R)
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: Glen Ellyn
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Milton Township Supervisor (4-year Term)
Family: Married, three children
Occupation: Attorney at law
Education: B.A. Psychology, NIU, 1980 J.D. cum laude, NIU College of Law, 1983
Civic involvement: Founder & member, Milton Township Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Elected offices held: 1989 to present, Republican Committeeman, Milton Township 1997 to 2001, Milton Township Trustee 2001 to present, Supervisor, Milton Township
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
For the well being of its citizens, Township government should be preserved and protected from purely political attacks on its existence. Not only are Townships the government closest to the people, they are the most cost effective; in part due to the lack of layers of bureaucracy that plague almost all other levels of government.
Key Issue 2
Milton Township needs to educate the electorate regarding the role of Townships and the services they provide.
Key Issue 3
The Town Board must closely review the expenditures of all Township offices and departments to ensure that the taxpayers are getting the most for their money and that excessive staff in certain departments be trimmed.
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. The Board should work to expand our use of intergovernmental agreements to cooperate with other local entities to accomplish mutual goals and reduce unit costs; 2. The Board should reach out into the community, through personal & business contacts, to engage volunteers, in particular for our Community Emergency Response Team and our food pantry. 3. The Board needs to re-assess the distribution of corporate funds between the various township departments to best accomplish the Township's various mandates in the most cost effective manner.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Contrary to this common misconception, municipalities are not gobbling up land in the unincorporated areas. For example, in Milton Township, we have approximately 85 lineal miles (170 lane miles)of roads in the unincorporated areas. This number has remained relatively static for the past 10 years. At present, as builders attempt to recover from the recession in the real estate market, a great deal of the residential housing starts are in the unincorporated areas (I would recommend a visit my own neighborhood for a firsthand view of new construction). My personal belief is that builders recognize that they are able to offer new homes that are not subject to the higher taxes in the municipalities, a valuable marketing item. Furthermore, I believe it is often easier for builders/developers to proceed relatively quickly through the DuPage County zoning and permitting process and opposed to the municipal requirements. Townships, limited by law to specific roles, should simply strive to improve their authorized services and contain costs as much as possible in these lean economic times.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
As stated in the Township Code, Township government has three (3) primary responsibilities: 1) Assess all real property in the Township for equitable taxation by the many and varied taxing bodies; 2) Administer General Assistance (individual Public Aid)for all citizens of the Township; and 3) Maintain the roads in the unincorporated areas. The functions are mandated by State law.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
At Milton Township we have always been very fiscally conservative. We will continue to look for and reduce waste where we find it. As it is, the average tax burden on Milton township households (average value estimated at $300,000) is less than $100. In Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and the other municipalities within Milton it is less than $70. None of our programs are wasteful and each serves the citizens well (e.g. Ride DuPage, 24/7/365 transportation for senior and disabled citizens). Nevertheless, we must continue to look into best practices to obtain the greatest value for our taxpayers. Unfortunately, some aspects of local government continue to cost more and more each day - compliance with burdensome Freedom of Information requests costs a great deal in terms of staff time - staffs that are already minimal.
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 licensed Illinois attorney, formerly in solo general practice, with an emphasis in construction law, real estate and mechanic's liens. I am currently general counsel to a family concrete and general concentrating business. This experience has been valuable in my tenure on the Town Board, first as a Trustee then as the Township Supervisor. I have a firm grasp of the Township Code as well as budget and revenue laws which impact Township government. In particular, I am well versed in the provisions and effect of PTELL (tax caps)on Township funding as well as the more elusive laws regarding personal property replacement taxes, application of the half-rate (1/2-rate)provisions to Road & Bridge levies, tax objections and so on. There are many pitfalls in the interplay of these and other statutes and regulations which can result in unexpected adverse effect on a Township's financial wellbeing