Palatine Patch will be helping you get to know the candidates for the upcoming special primary for Palatine Township. Meet Palatine Township Trustee candidate Jason Hillenbrand, who is running alongside ten other candidates in the February 26 special primary election.
1) Name, office being sought, professional background, community affiliations, experiences that you feel qualify you to run for this office.
Jason Hillenbrand, candidate for Palatine Township Trustee
Field Rep. for Underwriters Laboratories
Volunteer at Timothy’s Ministries
2) How long have you been a Palatine Township resident? 27 years
3) What are the reasons you chose to run for office? (for the upcoming election)
The township provides some valuable services that its residents depend on. At the same time, some of the traditional responsibilities of the Township system of government have been for better or worse striped away by the County. The mandates that are left on the township need to be managed and executed responsibly. Currently they are not! I want to be a responsible steward of these tax dollars. There is no reason Palatine Township should have ever raised their tax levy through the recent recession. They have had surplus budgets every year, and expenses have not increased significantly. I want to make sure the town can continue to provide to those most in need, but not forget that we are accountable to every taxpayer in the Township.
4) List 2-3 top issues-and how you plan to address them-that you believe are important to residents living in Palatine Township.
Taxes and Township Board:
The township boards, like all elected officials, are public servants. I will remember that if elected. Currently, the board receives stipends, on top of their generous salaries, for doing the duties they were elected to do. It may not be a big number, and they say they lowered the overall salaries of the executive board, but it doesn’t send a good message. I will donate back to the Needy Family Fund of the Township any stipends I receive, and when legally allowed to do so near the end of my turn, I will bring up a vote to permanently end this practice. Finally, as the scope of the township services continues to decrease, I promise I will not raise our tax levy for at least the next four years, and try to decrease it if possible.
Transparency and Communication:
During the campaign, I have had an eye opening revelation when I tell people I am running for the Township board. They don’t know what the township is or what is does. Most residents believe the like named village is the same as the Township. They don’t realize they provide very different services. This is a failure of the current board. The township needs to move into the 21st century. The website is extremely out of date. Where is the Facebook account? How about twitter? How can we continue to ask struggling property owners to keep paying for a service they don’t know exist or what it does? Our slate will improve this communication and outreach, making the Palatine Township more relevant to more residents.
Town fund and General Assistance Fund:
The most important function of Palatine Township is its charitable giving. The budget for the fund needs to remain balanced and the Township needs to know where every dollar is going. Each charity or organization that receives money from the township should be rated highly and most of the money should go towards its beneficiaries, not administration. That should apply to the township as well. Sadly, this is not the case. Well over half of the tax revenue of the Palatine Township is spent on administration. That is an unacceptable not a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
5) What improvements, if any, would you like to see in the way that Palatine Township is run?
Aside from becoming much more transparent and efficient on the administrative side of the township, I would like to see some of the vital services expanded through the continued use of volunteers. Palatine township is loaded with residents willing to help but probably don’t know the township is a great place to donate their time because of the poor communication. A prime example is the food pantry. Every single food drive I’ve been a part of that is well organized creates an excess of food. I would like to get all the town’s gardeners involved and create a Plant a Row organization in our community. Through coordination with the township food pantry, this Town could not only provide the needed non-perishable goods, but healthy, fresh food that is normally out of reach for the needy family’s budget.
6) Additional comments.
Responsible Republicans for Palatine Township Slate
7) Biographical information, family, children, upbringing, religious beliefs, etc. (optional).
I was Born and raised in Palatine township.
Catholic – St Theresa Parish