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Letters to the Editor

‘We can continue the progress’

Doug Farster
Doug Farster

A lifelong Dixon Township resident, I learned values from my parents such as delivering a firm handshake, looking someone in the eye when speaking, and keeping your word when it was given. Those are principles I’ve followed throughout my life and applied during my time as your township supervisor. 

My wife, Julie, and I have been married 36 years and have been blessed with our daughters, Andrea and Erica, son-in-law, Greg Slain, and our grandson, Max.  We are members of St. Patrick’s Parish; I serve as a board member on the Lee County Council on Aging and am a member of Dixon Rotary, Dixon Elks Lodge, Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association. 

Prior to becoming elected township supervisor, I was a township trustee for 8 years and served 10 years on the Lee County Board. 

Over the past 4 years, we have made important changes in township management, such as doing in-house accounting and reviewing maintenance contracts and purchasing practices along with other costs. By making changes, the township has realized thousands in savings in those items alone. 

I made the personal choice not to participate in the Dixon Township Health Insurance Plan available to the supervisor. This has saved the township corporate fund more than $40,000 during my term in office. Should you retain me as your supervisor, I pledge to do the same. 

We’ve made sure our finances are open and transparent by having several people overseeing deposits and expenditures where accounts are audited by the full board monthly. We welcome citizens of Dixon Township to attend our meetings and see how business is conducted. 

Many may not know that administration of general assistance is a primary duty for the Dixon Township supervisor. Consequently, more than 400 persons have received financial assistance. During my term, we’ve been able to maintain the same overall general assistance budget yet increase the emergency assistance budget. This has allowed those to get help who are forced with possible eviction or utilities being shut off.

An important step different from past administrations was to change how people receive financial assistance. We no longer allocate funds directly to the individual but pay the providers owed, which ensures that bills are paid. 

A person who receives general assistance and is physically able to work participates in our Work-Fare program. Here they become active in tasks such as mowing and lawn maintenance at two cemeteries in Dixon Township and the township office; assisting at Oakwood Cemetery (storm damage), the Leydig Center, and the Lee County Council on Aging (various maintenance tasks), along with growing their own produce in our Work-Fare gardens. 

In 2009, I pledged as a candidate, when elected township supervisor, that I would assist those in need and assure that tax dollars were spent responsibly. Over the past 4 years, your board and I have kept our word. We’ve saved township funds, improved township functions, and served hundreds of people in need.

With your help and vote, together we can continue the progress we’ve made.

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