Timothy Morgan: 2023 candidate for Campton Hills Village Board
Town: Campton Hills
Age on Election Day: 61
Occupation: Chief Operating Officer-COO
Employer: Spanesi Americas, Inc.
Previous offices held: Not a Politician, I'm a Problem Solver
Q: What is the most serious issue your community will face in the coming years and how should the village board respond to it?
A: The recent emphasis on electric vehicles may become an issue for our village because we rely on our motor fuel tax to fund a significant portion of our budget, decreasing the need to collect a property tax from our residents.
In the next decade, we could be facing a tremendous loss in these fuel taxes and that is a concern we need to pay close attention to, finding alternative ways to provide the village future funds. As trustee, I will work diligently to balance budgets so there will never be a need for a tax referendum.
Water resource management is also a potential future concern because most of our residents are on wells. If you look around the country, many areas are addressing these concerns already. However, our current president, as a trustee, voted to dissolve our past water resource committee. I will argue to bring that back.
Q: How would you describe the state of your community's finances?
A: From reviewing our published budget and treasurer's reports, I would say that our finances are in good standing. One thing that stands out, is that we are one of two municipalities in the entire state that have fully-funded police pension funds and that is something to be very proud of.
However, we can never get too comfortable. I will always be looking to find ways to cut costs and feel we need to continually underestimate revenue when budgeting.
Q: What should be the three top priorities for spending in your community during the next four years?
A: The obvious, and first answer, is attention to our roads. Now, as we rebuild these roads, I would like us to take a closer look at already existing easements and see how we can incorporate funds to create space for our equestrian travel, cyclists and snowmobile riders.
Another way I would like to see funds allocated is by getting our village up-to-date on video equipment to easily stream meetings so that our residents will be more involved and informed of village practices. We also need to assure that the website is user-friendly and has the most information possible.
Our current website is lacking and unorganized. This is a common complaint I hear when talking to residents.
Q: Are there areas of spending that need to be curtailed? If so, what are they?
A: It's a little after the fact, and I believe COVID funds were primarily used, but spending over $1.5 million on the village hall remodel seems a bit frivolous. Especially because there was no input asked of the public.
The current president merely presented what had already been decided. The new public meeting room only has a 32-person capacity and the last time I looked, we had over 11,000 residents.
To be fair, a portion of the village renovations included much-needed updates for our deserving police department. To make sure they move forward compliant with the new regulations, and move into 2023 bringing our department ahead many years.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project the community must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what project(s) can be put on the back burner?
A: This is a perfect segue from the last question. Had our village given more thought to the future of Campton Hills, maybe they would have decided to create a larger community center versus remodeling a very limited size building to hold community events at. In the future, I would like to find grant money to create something like this.
For the time being, addressing our aging stormwater management infrastructure is a big concern I have because these systems decline through the years.
Much like our roads, they need attention well before they're in full disrepair.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage local government? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
A: My personal business experience has well-equipped me to be a good listener. Staying impartial and neutral, keeping personal feelings aside and waiting to hear others' opinions before deciding policy is extremely important. In times, it's necessary to put aside ego and let others take the lead when they know more than you do.
After attending Campton Hills meetings for the last four years, it's clear that many trustees do not prepare ahead of the meetings. You can see who is actually reading their board packets and who isn't. The residents deserve trustees that don't just show up, they show up on time and actually do their homework, too.
As just a resident, I often feel like I've spent more time researching than some trustees have.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: My personal dedication level is what has always set me apart from the average Joe/Jane. I am extremely passionate, committed and devoted to the roles that I choose to take on.
Four years ago, I started really paying attention to our village's practices attending meetings. That led me on a quest to talk to as many residents as I could. The feedback I received was mind-blowing. I don't just want to help, I need to help and I take this public servant job very seriously.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: More interest to small businesses in town, prioritize all of Wasco's Business District (WBD) CAMPTON HILLS, make sure they receive support and are treated fairly. Not only is business good for our village, but many of our business owners are residents. As a trustee, our current president voted to dissolve our economic development committee. I will persuade the board to resurrect it so our businesses can get the attention they deserve.
Campton Hills should be hosting town events/festivals. Whether this be partnering up with our Township Open Space to sponsor concerts or movies in the park, smaller scale events like car/tractor shows, educational children's events featuring residents' animals. that is a beginning!
I've always wondered what is happening on the top level of our business buildings. Why are we not encouraging all of that space to become living quarters like they are above Luau Coffee, others? In doing so, this would naturally create more foot traffic to our community.