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Letters to the Editor

‘Experienced leadership’ needed

I entered local government to see that government work for all its people. It can, and ours does. I believe people should have all the government they are willing to pay for, no more, no less.

The Franklin Grove Village Board governs by a principle novel among governing bodies today. We keep our head above water and avoid the daily crisis by keeping a lid on spending. We do not commit to spend more than we can take in. The county, state and federal governments might consider our approach. 

In 20 years, the only tax referendum initiated by our village under my leadership was to save our library in the days before the Winifred Knox Memorial Library. Our commitment to the library ensured we still had a library when the gift came.

There is no “I” in “board,” so I’ll not claim personal credit for our accomplishments, not to say there’s no connection between board accomplishments and its leader. I’ve used personal skills to save thousands of dollars in administrative and documentation fees. I draft ordinances, annexations, property transfers, contracts, agreements, ordinance compliance, and general correspondence. 

We brought electricity aggregation to the community with the lowest rate in the region per kilowatt-hour to aid residents and small businesses. We’re one of few communities that has twice-a-week garbage pickup.

We work with others, public and private, when cooperation solves a problem or saves money. This includes our township and the village of Ashton, and we’re exploring opportunities with Secure Recycling Services for a place to recycle electronics and aid in employing the disabled.

While in the Army during the Vietnam era, I was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. I’m past post commander and 25-year member of the American Legion. I founded, owned and operated Discount Tractor Supply for 17 years, where we conducted business in 35 states and 203 Illinois communities.

Leadership skills are required to guide a group of decision makers to hold a town together through difficult times and keep it moving forward. The new board will be diverse, strong-willed, and in need of experienced leadership.

To be an effective mayor requires a commitment few are able to make. The last time I did not attend a village board meeting and make a contribution was the year before my son, Rob, was born; he is now 21 and a freshman in college.

Hearing a rumor “we need a change” made me think of my 1989 Cadillac. It’s been around awhile, still does a job few others could hold a candle to, and I wouldn’t change it for the best new bicycle ever made. 

The ride would be new, different, bouncy, could take me places, but it just couldn’t get the job done like the old Caddy. If you’re looking for a new set of wheels, make sure it’s not a bicycle you’re getting before you trade the old Caddy, 

I’d appreciate your vote for Franklin Grove mayor on April 9.

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