Fred Dornback: Candidate Profile
Blackberry Township Supervisor
Back to Blackberry Township Supervisor
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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Family: Mary is my wife of 56 years and we have two adult boys Michael and David who both are products of Kaneland Schools. Resident of Blackberry Township since 1973.
Occupation: Retired Clinical and School Psychologist
Education: BS and MS Illinois State University and 90 additional graduate hours
Civic involvement: Supervisor Blackberry Township and Sexton Blackberry Township Cemetery. Founding Board member LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. Winner of Bartell Award from Delnor Health System for Leadership Excellence 2010. Volunteer Same Day Surgery at Delnor for 17 years. American Red Cross Greater Chicago Disaster Chairman and Mental Health Chair. Blackberry Township Mental Health 708 board. Past President of National Association of School Psychologists. Distinguished Alumni Psychology Department ISU. Stretch Miller and Golden Redbird awards ISU Athletic Department. Elburn Chamber "Santa Assistant"
Elected offices held: Blackberry Township Supervisor
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.
Continue to be a good steward of Township resources. Pass a Road referendum and develop both senior, family and youth programs. In order to have a quality of life the community has to serve all three groups.
Roads. BBTWP has about 58 miles of roads and it costs about $110,000 to resurface a road. Our current resources allow us to resurface less than 1.5 miles per year. Most of our roads have exceeded the normal life span and the cost to repair or replace them will only increase in the future. I would support a referendum to increase the Road tax if the people requested it.
The Township has successfully sought and received grant dollars to offset the cost of developing some youth and family sport fields. This was made possible by an intergovernmental agreement between the Kane County Forest Preserve District and the Kane County Grand Victoria River Boat grant program.
The demands of the Supervisor and Sexton of Blackberry Township have increased that now require attention on a daily basis. The community deserves to have someone available on a daily basis with posted regular hours of availability. The responsibilities of the Sexton have been folded into one position at a cost saving and best use of resources.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
To serve the people. Townships are the government that is closest to the people. It is the most economical of all forms of government.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
If a Township was engulfed within a municipality it would be redundant. The people in the Township should then have the right to determine if they need or want to continue the Township form of government. Township Government is the oldest form of government and it is designed to allow representation for those not living within a municipality. Most of the area of Blackberry Township is rural. Before thinking of eliminating Townships the question should be asked, "Does the County want to assume the responsibilities of the Township?" Can they do it as cost effective? Does the County have the resources to assume the responsibility of the Township?
Are there any township offices that should be eliminated or consolidated?
Township have three primary responsibilities under the law, one Roads and bridges, two Assessment of property and three General Assistance. In addition the Township can provide additional services like our Ride in Kane program for those persons with disabilities, our Medical equipment lending program. When you compare the cost of Township government to other taxing bodies, we are one of the smallest taxing bodies. The cemetery continue to meet the needs of our community while not being part of the tax levy. I support the current structure.
Can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I believe that Blackberry Township is very efficient and we have continued to hold our tax levy close to even. When computing our Town levy, the town does seek the CPI and new construction. We do this to capture revenue that is available only one time and does not carry over year to year. By capturing new construction it helps reduce the tax burden to the ordinary tax payer.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
We have significantly improved the accounting system that allows us to know the exact status of our resources. All of our departments are efficient and effective. The inter departmental cooperation and morale is high. We continue to focus on transparency. For the first time we have a Supervisor that is in the office on a daily basis to respond to the needs of the community.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
John McCain, he served his country and is willing to stand for his values.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Listen to others and be kind to everyone especially those with whom you disagree
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would have continued my education when I had a chance.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History and Government
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Start building your retirement early and when you can give back to your community