What is your Number 1 campaign issue?
Real Estate Taxes in Lake County are one of the highest in the Country, even thought the Township share of those taxes are a small pecentage we need to ensure we deliver needed services at the lowest possible costs.
What is your Number 2 campaign issue?
Senior Services. Continue to provide services that our seniors want, need and deserve. In addition to programs we need to continue our work on transportation to help our seniors remain independent.
What is your Number 3 campaign issue?
Youth Facilities. Continue to provide active facilities for the 2,000 children that participate in organized sports, and other organizations, in our community.
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.
First, Lake Villa Township needs to help our citizens through this rough economic time. The Township Board should continue to expand our existing programs like the Township Food Pantry, General Assistance and Emergency Assistance programs. We need to offer new and innovative services like the Job Fair which the township held in January. Over 1,000 people met with prospective employers and attended job search training classes. We are now publishing an E-Newsletter that initially will focus on employment opportunities.
Lake Villa Township should continue to offer information and training classes to help our community. I would also like to see the township offer more employment training classes as well as others classes dealing with foreclosures, bankruptcy and budgeting topics, along with the computer related training we now offer in the computer lab at our west campus facility.
Second, the Lake Villa Township Board needs to continue to expand services for seniors. Transportation is always an issue with seniors and disabled members of the community. The Township Transit System has been a great success. We are now expanding public transportation in the township through the Lake County Transportation Alliances. This spring our partnership is expanding our destination based transportation system to bring a shared system to Lake Villa Township with neighboring Antioch, Grant and Avon Townships. The Township Board should continue to consider services that increase independence and improve the quality of life within our community.
Third, the Lake Villa Township Board should continue its work to provide facilities and game fields for our youth programs. Between football, baseball and soccer we have over 2,000 children in sports programs. We also have large successful scouting programs. These programs are important to our community and the township should continue to support them by seeking grants and other assistance to provide the needed facilities.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The role of township government is complimentary to, not duplicative of, municipalities. Townships serve as a safety net for our neighbors in need. Townships also offer a wide array of services for residents including providing facilities for the community, coordinating group and community activities, providing election services, and processing passports and voter registration applications. Lake Villa Township also takes an active role in the management of the lakes in our community. The elimination of township government would create a large void in Lake Villa Township.
Having said that, townships and governmental bodies in general, should be vigilant in not duplicating services thereby wasting taxpayer money. Lake Villa Township has been successful in creating partnerships to share resources and avoid duplicating services.
Townships have the ability, if not the obligation, to serve as an umbrella organization to work efficiently and effectively with other government entities and community groups to provide services and activities to enhance our quality of life.
In these hard in these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I have always run Lake Villa Township as frugally as possible. I constantly pursue partnerships and grant opportunities to stretch taxpayer dollars. In fact, most of the activities in the township are a result of the township’s partnering with individual volunteers and volunteer groups. This is true for the football and baseball programs and our very popular Tot Program. Even our senior programs are made possible by our community leaders volunteering their time. In light of the hard economic times, Lake Villa Township has reallocated resources to help our neighbors that have been hurt. We expanded our food pantry, hosted a job fair to expand employment opportunities and are expanding the role of Lake Villa Township Charities Inc., a 501(c )3 recognized organization that is funded by donations and not tax dollars.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have a solid track record of accomplishments that I think makes me uniquely qualified to be re-elected as Lake Villa Township Supervisor. I am completing my second term and would very much like to have the privilege to serve another term. As supervisor I have worked hard to be fiscally responsible while expanding services, and improving the quality of life in our community.
We have expanded our food pantry and other programs for our citizens in need. We have established Lake Villa Township Charities Inc., a recognized 501(c)3 charity for the purpose of expanding services without utilizing taxpayer dollars.
We have added services that our senior citizens want, need and deserve. We established the Township Transit System, a destination based transportation system. Our Township Transit has been a great success and will be expanded through a partnership with the Lake County Transportation Alliance to provide an expanded destination based transportation system in Lake Villa Township along with Grant, Antioch and Avon Townships.
We have expanded our active recreational land. Through many partnerships and over $1 million in grants the Township’s active recreation land has grown from 20 acres to over 110 acres. With the opening of Tiny‘s Park we expanded our football fields from a single shared football/baseball field to a dedicated football complex. Our baseball fields have been expanded from two small fields to seven full-size baseball fields, as well as two T-ball fields.
I am very proud of our acquisition and development of the former Gavin North school site into our West Campus facility. This 20,000 sq ft. facility gives provides a gymnasium and ample room for residents and community groups to use.
We are opend our 45 acre Dering Park property which provide two new regulation and oe practice soccer fields, nature trails that will sever to connect Grant Woods Trails system to the new Bluebird Meadows syste , a youth camp area and a pedestrian/bicycle trail. This will also be part of the comprehensive trail system throughout the township.