Michael Murray: Candidate Profile

Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms) (Democrat)

Updated 2/22/2013 6:34 PM



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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Roselle

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Bloomingdale Township Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 64

Family: Married, 3 Children, 4 Grandchildren

Occupation: Semi Retired, Millwork Estimator (Sales)

Education: AA-Liberal Arts, Mount SanAntonio College, Walnut California English Major, California State College Los Angeles

Civic involvement: Sister Cities Committee, Roselle, Illinois ESL Teacher, Trinity Lutheran Church Roselle Caring and Service Ministry Trinity Lutheran Church Roselle New Neighbor, Exodus World Service Citizenship Tutor, Exodus World Service Clinic Volunteer, Trinity Lutheran Church Roselle

Elected offices held: Deomocratic Prencinct Captain, Roselle Elder, Trinity Lutheran Church Roselle

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Transparency. Transparency builds trust and trust is essential for government to be effective. If we are to have the broad prosperity and better future we all desire for Bloomingdale Township, we must build trust by putting the budget, job vacancies and hiring practices , monthly expenditures, committee reports, projects out for bid and bid results, road building schedules and community events on the township website.

Key Issue 2

Transportation. Our suburban communities were designed around the car. However, as the suburbs have become densely and diversely populated, not all are physically or financially able to own and operate an automobile. We need to make it possible for our seniors, young adults and workers to get around without the absolute necessity of driving. Other townships are working to make this possible. For instance, Palatine Township provided 12,746 buses and van rides and Oak Park Township included $393,112 for transportation in their Senior Services budget . Currently, Bloomingdale Township addresses the needs of the handicap and disabled in regards to transportation through the Pace Dial A Ride bus program. This is a start, but we should do more.

Key Issue 3

Coordination. There are over 1,200 non profits registered in DuPage County alone. Besides the non profits there are numerous Federal, State and County programs. If you?ve ever needed help or helped someone working through this maze of programs, it is daunting. Township government by statute has a role in making sure these public and private programs work effectively together for their intended purposes. For example, Palatine Township partnered with 25 social agencies to provide various programs for children, teens, adults, senior citizens and disable individuals. Hanover Township has service contracts with more than 150 groups totaling one million dollars to help their community. A Lion's club member recently told me. When someone comes to the Lions club for a pair of glasses , we don't know if they?ve gone to other Lion's clubs for the same service?. The township does offer coordination , but we need to make it more accessible, more comprehensive and more transparent.

Questions & 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.

1, The township government needs to update our website. The internet can make government activity comprehensible and transparent. If the website included budgets, job vacancies, monthly expenditures, committee reports, projects out for bid and bid results, road building and township maintenance schedules, our community could see how our tax dollars are being spent. This is a critical goal. Transparency builds trust- an essential for successful action. 2. I attend Trinity Lutheran Church and the last two years we?ve had what we callcommunity walks?. The purpose of these walks is to find out the needs and concerns of the community. During these walks, an expressed concern of many was thelack of community?. Township government is a civic expression of community . It builds community by working with business and community groups helping and encouraging them in their efforts. The Township government is the bridge between diverse groups. Specifically, we could recognize the accomplishments of groups and individuals several weeks prior to the annual Town meeting and encourage groups and individuals to come up with ideas to make our community better. These recommendations could be put on the agenda and voted on in the town meeting. Township government by statute gives the electors primacy unlike other governments. Empowering citizens is critical. It builds hope for the future and that is essential for a vibrant community.. 3. Township government needs to use all funds and resources effectively. We need to examine all township activities with the goal of getting thebiggest bang for the buck?. Administering public funds is the highest trust in a democratic society. Bidding practices, salaries, and government activities need to be examined with an eye toward effective government. Effective government does not mean hiring people at below living wages, but hiring thebest? people and paying them sufficiently so they can live in the community they serve. It is critical citizens know government is spending their money wisely for the benefit and welfare of the community

In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?

Illinois statues (60 ILCS-13) give township government an expansive and specific range of activities. The annual Town Meeting (60-ILCS 30-10) covering the notice of Town Meeting and agenda is unique to Township government. Many of the services are not provided for in municipal charters and considering the limitations suggested byDillon's Rule? ,also called the rule of statutory construction, would not be appropriate. When I talked with my local Mayor, and asked her what township government needed to do to help the Village of Roselle, she highlighted numerous activities especially dealing with community and social needs that the Village cannot address. The township meeting and community activities are not new, but they are responsibilities necessitating constant examination and reinvention in light of changing demographics and technologies.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

The primary responsibilities of township government are covered under Illinois Statutes. Having local accessible property assessors and maintenance of township roads are the primary responsibilities of township government. However, the broad range of activities and responsibilities involving community organizations and social service are equally essential.. There is lots of research on 'the wise crowd? and that is what township government needs to turn to through the town meeting to establish the unique priorities and responsibilities of Bloomingdale Township. Electors need to know they are the deciding voice in township affairs not the elected officials.

In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?

Lots of areas need to be examined for savings. Presently, township trustees are eligible for pensions. Since this is a part time job, is a pension necessary? Highway maintenance costs need to be examined to make sure the most efficient practices and vendors are being used. Average expenditures for Township roads in the 2012-13 budget is $63,417.23 per mile. This compares to an average cost of $45,150.21 for all township roads in DuPage county and suggests significant savings could be realized.

What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?

Since township government ideally reflects the values and concerns of the community, all able residence need to be considered capable to serve as an elected official. All citizens need to believe they can make a difference and have the opportunity to serve. I?ve been active raising a family, owned a small business, attend church, and volunteer for various civic and community organizations. Some of the specific areas I volunteered for are Roselle's Sister Cities Committee, Trinity's Caring and Service Ministry, Elder, Community Walk , Exodus World Service as a New Neighbor and tutor for Citizenship. I have been fortunate to have lived in communities that valued education and made educational opportunities readily available. I?ve attended Oak Park River Forest High School, Mt San Antonio College in Walnut California, California State College at Los Angeles, University of Illinois Circle Campus, and College of DuPage.