If the Tuesday night Nunda Township Republican Central Committee had been a World War II movie, Supervisor candidate Mike Walkup would have been using the flame thrower.
Walkup was third of three candidates to introduce himself.
First was was Katherine Williams who reviewed her background of community service, which includes six years as President of the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, a private not-for-profit organization.
Next up was Supervisor Lee Jennings who told of paying off all the township debts, lowing all tax levies 5% and promoting a referendum to allow the hiring of a single waste hauler for unincorporated residents. That passed, resulting in lower costs and fewer heavy trucks on township roads.
Walkup was next.
“I don’t believe there should be township government.
“Township officials are milking the taxpayers.
“They use higher population figures to raise salaries for 75-100 hours of work a month.”
Walkup promised to reduce the Nunda Township Supervisor’s salary to $21,000, the same as that paid County Board members, who are expected to work about 1,000 hours a year.
Then came questions, the first of which concerned “future goals.”
Jennings said he would continue to cut expenses where appropriate, that he would not [be] “cutting levies to cut levies.”
He pointed out that under this management, the Township now has some reserves.
Walkup characterized the office as “a salary in search of a job..”
He said he would be “a part-time Supervisor with a part-time staff.”
His goal is to “turn it into the part-time office [and] eliminate the township rip-off that the Supervisor’s office has become.”
Williams emphasized the need for a plan, finding out what the taxpayers want.
The next question was on township consolidation.
Walkup argued for getting rid of them all or keeping them all.
“If we consolidate, we perpetuate [the system],” he said.
Williams said that she came from a state without townships. She mentioned that townships provide services some people want, whether it be “square dancing or whatever it is.”
She predicted there won’t be consolidation in Illinois “for a very long time.”
Townships should provide services in “a revenue neutral position” and should not do “redundant things like a notary or voter registration.”
Jennings said there “could be a case for consolidating Dorr and Nunda Townships. We could have made that work.”
The levies were close.
He suggested continuing doing what townships already do, collaborate by sharing equipment and personnel.
“I think township government is our best form of local government.”
Question three asked how to improve Nunda Township government.
Walkup charged that there was “nothing but smoke and mirrors.”
He talked of “bloated salaries” for a job that consisted of coming in an watching the paint dry.
Walkup pointed out that the Supervisor doesn’t even write the pay check, that the function is done by a private company.
He conceded that the Supervisor prepares the monthly meeting agendas.
“It’s a fraud. It’s a scam, a rip-off.
He said the Supervisor’s office should not be “sitt[ing] around like Democrats and feed[ing] off the public trough.
Jennings pointed out that prior to his taking office “meetings were people coming in an making complaints.”
He told of a steady stream of phone calls.
The next question was about how to improve relations with taxpayers.
Williams promoted better communications with residents, “something better than the newsletter.”
She suggested live streaming the meetings.
Jennings said that the residents appreciate the township newsletter, that it is the “best form of communication.”
He contended that posting it on the internet would not be as good because “most would not look it up.”
“The best way to improve relations with the taxpayers is not to rip them off.”
He referred to township government as “an empty shell.”
“We don’t need a food pantry at the township. It could be somewhere else.”
[Nunda Township allows the Methodist Church and the Northern Illinois Food Pantry to distribute food at the Township Hall every Friday morning.]
“In reality, there’s nothing here.
“Don’t charge them for nothing.”
Williams answer concentrated on recognizing outstanding students and celebrat[ing] small business.
“Stop threatening people that you’re going to call the police about them.”
The final question concerned whether this would be the candidate’s only job.
Walkup replied in the negative.
He said he would have about four jobs, a law practice, a small farm, the County Board and the Supervisor’s post.
Referring to the latter, Walkup said, “This is a part-time job. It shouldn’t take more than a half a day a week.
“Right now county government is a mess.”
He predicted that it might be in dire straits before the end of the year.
Williams replied, “This would be my full-time job.”
Jennings said the same.
Playing off Walkup’s doomsday prediction for the county, Jennings got chuckles by saying,
“When the ultimate demise of our county [comes], the residents will need our township more than ever.”
Concluding remarks by Supervisor Jennings focused on his “not doing the least amount of work that can be done.”
He pledged to cut taxes when [merited].
Walkup quoted Thomas Jefferson’s line about the government’s being best that governs least.
He talked of saving tax money.
Walkup invoked venture capital firms run by Mitt Romney and Bruce Rauner, arguing the first thing they would do would be to eliminate township government.
“It’s a travesty you’re being changed what you are for what [is being done].
Williams observed that an election seems like “the world’s longest job interview.”
She pledged to be “open and accessible to all residents and to be cooperative and open to a variety of questions.
“This isn’t a popularity contest.
“Thank you wfor listening with open ears, open hearts and open minds.”