Tough to follow a campaign with as many candidates as are running for Nunda Township Trustee, so let’s look at their part of the February 28th ballot:
Introductions were the first order of business when the Nunda Township Republican Party candidates’ night started on Tuesday, January 31st.
Township Trustee candidates were comprised the first panel.
Tim Parrish was first.
He told of his college education and that he currently has ten people working for him.
Elected incumbent Mike Shorten was next. He pointed out that the current (appointed) Assessor Mark Dzemski has reduced his spending 18%.
(Later audience members learned most of that was because he did not replace the Deputy Assessor position when he held before the Township Board appointed him Assessor.)
He said there were changes needed in state law.
Karen Tynis revealed that she had been appointed Trustee in May of 2016.
William Boltz was appointed three years ago. He said the Board had “tried our darnest to reduce out expenses” and that the Township now had $200,000 in the bank.
Debra Heath told of her leadership in the Friday morning food giveaways at Nunda Township.
She said she was getting involved in anything that is “community oriented.”
Rob Parrish reflected favorably in his having lost the race for Township Road Commissioner four years ago by three votes.
He commented negatively on the lack of more cost cutting in the township budget.
Parrish said that Shorten had tried, but that Shorten’s suggestions had fallen “on deaf ears.”
Next came questions, written by audience members.
The first was about township consolidation.
Shorten, who was in the forefront of the effort said that for it to have worked “elected officials would have to be willing to work together to drive the cost savings.”
He said he “didn’t think that was possible.”
“Right now, no,” was Tynis’ answer. She said she needed “some definitive proof it’s a cost savings.”
“I think we are getting the most through our township,” Boltz said. “If it’s not broke, why fix it?
“If we are relying on the state to fix it, I believe we’re relying on the wrong state.”
Heath told of the cooperation between her Village of Oakwood Hills and Nunda Township.
Rob Parrish pointed out that a problem might exist with regard to “economies of scale” if parts of the township were served by municipal governments. He said the unincorporated areas would be “out on an island.”
Tim Parrish agreed with Shorten. He said he “would steer clear of all consolidation right now.”
The second question asked which services should be cut.
Tynis did not mention any.
Boltz repeated his “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” comment.
“We’re moving forward. It’s slow, but we’re moving forward.
“I think this township provides the needed services.”
Heath expressed agreement.
Rob Parrish offered “no specific parts of the township we need to eliminate,” but pointed to the Cemetery Board.
Tim Parrish suggested the township newsletter was “fat.”
“20,000 twice a year. Why not put that on Facebook?” he asked.
Shorten argued that significant costs could be saved through a “shared services model.”
Concluding statements came next.
Rob Parrish said the township had “trimmed down, but haven’t gone far enough.”
He criticized the legal fees spent by the Road District.
“What I want is every office to run as efficiently as the Assessor’s.”
Referring to his slate, Parrish said, “You’re going to get more for your dollar [with us].”
Tim Parrish said he “watched Mike Shorten fight every day to cut taxes.
“We’ve lost who we’re working for.”
“There’s a sickness in local government in McHenry County.
“Just enough. They do just enough to make it seem that they’re doing just enough.”
“Generally speaking, they’ve fallen on deaf ears.”
He pointed out that Assessor Mark Dzemske, running on his slate, had cut his budget 18%.
Tynis pointed out that the current administration had gone “from heavy deficits to having a surplus.”
The Township Board “set salaries that represent a reduction,” although “not much'”