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Candidate Questionnaire from February 9, 2017 Forum: Dundee Township Trustee Sue Harney

Categories: Elections,Questionnaire

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NAME: SUE HARNEY

POSITION FOR WHICH YOU ARE A CANDIDATE:

DUNDEE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE

1.  Why are you seeking this position?

I am retiring as Township Supervisor but still want to be involved with the Township programs such as Open Space, Ride In Kane and Cemetery improvements at the Board level.  I’m enormously pleased to see the next generation of leaders running for both Supervisor, Road District and Board positions.  I’m running with two incumbents, George Johnson & Ken Schaffer and a fresh face for Road Commissioner, Scott Sinnett.  Our V1sion-One team will combine knowledge of three incumbents with Sinnett’s private sector experience to serve Township residents by building on past successes for a better future.  I look forward to the mix of new ideas and skills with the experience as Supervisor.

2.  What experience and background do you have which qualifies you for this position?

I’ve been the Township Supervisor for 16 years.  I oversaw the planning and construction of the Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary, the purchase of Raceway Woods, Library Springs and the Jelke Creek Annex (aka Nollman Property), the protection and restoration of Township Open Space, the acquisition of nearly  $7M in grant funding for Township programs/projects, the implementation of the Ride In Kane Program in Dundee, the transition into new office space, the planning of the Columbaria section at the Cemetery and the planning and construction of the Library Springs Nature Play Space (opening in May 2017) while overseeing the day to day Township operations.  I am the Vice-Chairman of the Kane County Planning Commission and am active in Rotary.  I was honored to receive the Public Service Award at the 2013 YWCA Leader Luncheon as well as the Environmental Achievement Award from the International Erosion Control Association for the Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary in 2012.

3.  What will be your greatest challenge if elected?

The greatest challenge facing Townships is telling tax payers why Townships are worth having and what value residents receive for the taxes they pay.  Township government has been around for a long time,165 years in Dundee.  The services Townships provide are deeply embedded in the community; especially those services to our most vulnerable residents.  Things run smoothly and for a relatively minor cost (about 2% of one’s property tax bill) providing stability without being noticeable. Township taxes go back into the local economy.  Getting rid of Townships will cause major disruptions in our communities. Because there are many Townships and because the State is in dire economic straits, some say that the State will be able to balance its budget if we just reduce the number of government bodies.  While it is true that the number of local governments will be reduced if Townships are eliminated, it is false that the State will balance its budget or that our taxes will go down. Past experience shows that reducing the size or number of government bodies often results in little or no tax savings.  Reducing the number and quality of services reduces taxes.  Cemetery operations, open space maintenance, public assistance, tax assessment and road maintenance will have to be picked up by the County, State or Villages…often at a greater cost than what the Township charges.  The burden of services that are dropped falls on the shoulders of families and friends of those who lose jobs or whose health fails.  Reducing taxes requires that voters decide what services they no longer want to pay for.  When we decide what services we want to eliminate, eliminating the governmental bodies providing those services becomes a clear choice.

Release for publication? YES

I will attend the forum? YES


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