Mike Abts: Candidate Profile

Geneva Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)

Updated 2/22/2013 6:04 PM
  • Mike Abts, running for Geneva Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)

    Mike Abts, running for Geneva Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)



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: Geneva

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Geneva Township Highway Commissioner (4-year Term)

Age: 59

Family: Married 40 years to Joy Ogden Abts; three children, Megi (34), Anna (31) and Michael (29); two grandsons.

Occupation: Self-employed, Mike"s Home Services, Electrician

Education: Geneva High School graduate: 1967 - 1971 Western New Mexico University: 1971 - 1972 Western Illinois University: 1972 - 1974 Harper College: 1975-1976

Civic involvement: Geneva Park District Board Commissioner: 18 years, 4 years as vice president and two years as president Fox Valley Special Recreation Association Board Commissioner: 10 years Geneva Community Chest: 2 years Geneva Lions Club: 6 years United Methodist Church of Geneva: Trustee for 2 years

Elected offices held: Geneva Park District Board Commissioner: 18 years, 4 years as vice president and two years as president. Fox Valley Special Recreation Association Board Commissioner: 10 years

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Lease: Currently the highway department is leasing a facility to store equipment that is not being used and has no foreseeable use in the future. The lease should be terminated as soon as possible, therefore reducing the current budget of the highway commission by more than $18,000.

Key Issue 2

Equipment: There is a surplus of supplies and equipment not being used that should be sold with the money going back to the highway fund.

Key Issue 3

A very transparent bidding system should be put together for the work that the highway department is required to outsource. It's quite possible with more competitive bidding this work can be done at a lower rate. This would reduce expenses, and result in more savings.

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.

This is not a board position, however, as Road Commissioner I would sell unused equipment, terminate unnecessary leases, ensure a transparent bidding system, and continue to work towards reducing overhead expenses wherever possible.

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

In regards to the Township Road Commissioner position, the Geneva Township has about 11 miles of roads. Those roads need to be maintained, grass mowed snow plowed, brush and leaves pickup etc. Unless a city or county government is willing to step up and take over those tasks, there still is a need for a Township Road Commissioner.

What should be the primary responsibility of township government?

This is not applicable to the Road Commissioner's position other than the roads.

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

As I previously discussed, unused equipment should be sold and the money returned to the road fund. Unnecessary leases should be terminated with a cost savings of $18,000 a year. The salary should reflect the work that's being done and not inflate to a full-time salary for a part-time position, as the current commissioner had requested.

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

This is a part-time position where the primary job is to take care of a limited number of roads. The work is outsourced to experienced and qualified individuals as needed. This is more of an administrative position requiring management skills rather than a technical position requiring a specific skill set. My 18 years on the Geneva Park District Board and 35 years as a business owner more than qualifies me to look after the taxpayers' interests and see to it that this work is done in an efficient and economical manner.