Teresa Ponio: Candidate Profile
Island Lake Village Clerk (4-year Term) (Independent)
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: Island Lake
Office sought: Island Lake Village Clerk (4-year Term)
Family: I am married and have three children.
Occupation: I have a Management Degree in the Floral Business and am an Independent Artist. I supervised home-schooling of my three children until college. I managed, edited and published a monthly publication for the Lakes Region Watercolor Guild.
Education: I have an Associates Degree in Applied Science; Floral Shop Management, McHenry County College, 1990; and also an Associates in Theology with concentration in Leadership Training at a Christian Theological College, Indiana, 1984.
Civic involvement: One of the best ways I can fight for true change in our village is by participating in the whole electoral process, and promoting candidates that represent my values; candidates that understand the average citizen's concerns.
Elected offices held: I have not previously held any elective office.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: I have never been arrested or convicted of a crime.
Key Issue 1
We have too many trustees and clerks leave the jobs the people elected them to do. Consistency and accountability are needed in the Clerk's Office and in the Village Hall.
Key Issue 2
If the clerk and employees improve how they do business with customers at village hall we will improve the town's image. We want to live in a town of friendly people where the residents love it here because the services are great, because the people are friendly, because it's easy to do business here, because it's easy to get a permit, because they can freely volunteer their time to make a difference in their community. Then we will see our town prosper and grow.
Key Issue 3
Meeting minutes need to be done accurately and posted promptly. Information should be freely accessible to residents in an open and honest government.
Some communities have contracted out for certain services, such as snowplowing, to save money. What innovative methods would you propose to reduce your office's budget? Explain your answer.
Village employees but especially the clerk need to be customer-friendly to residents and also when dealing with prospective businesses requiring licenses and information. More businesses coming to town will produce more jobs and tax revenue for the village.
The state's revised Freedom of Information Act guidelines renewed focus on open government. Name one specific step you would take if elected to increase government transparency in your office.
Open and honest government should be a priority in this day and age of rampant government corruption. I will endeavor to post accurate and timely meeting minutes and assist in providing requested information (per the Freedom of Information Act) freely because it is the people's government; all documents should be readily available for the public.
Do you believe the village clerk should be an elected or appointed position? Please explain your answer.
The village clerk not only serves as the record keeper but serves as a liaison between the government officials and the public. The position should hold an unbiased source for information to the public. As an elected position it would remain the people's choice and therefore an obligation to serve the people rather than the government.
What steps would you take as village clerk to improve and increase the flow of information to residents?
We need to be sure that all village employees realize that they work for the residents and the businesses in town. If we have people who are customer-friendly and try to assist and help people, we make it a place where people want to live and work.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for village clerk? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
I was shocked by the lack of integrity in local politics;and the adversarial atmosphere the elected officials have cultivated. The clerk should be friendly to all residents and business members in town and help establish a congenial relationship between government officials and residents.