Raquel Mitchell: Candidate Profile
Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms) (Republican)
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Wheatland Township Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Candidate did not respond.
Occupation: Assistant - Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
Education: Whitney Young Magnet H. S. in Chicago (same high school as First Lady Michelle Obama) Gustavus Adolphus College Northwestern University
Civic involvement: URF Women's Network, Frederick Douglass Foundation
Elected offices held: Appointed Precinct Committeewoman DuPage Township 2010 - 2011
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Reducing or eliminating taxes in 2014: Currently, we have a $2M surplus in the town fund which was to be used in anticipation of a building project the citizens rejected. Now that is no longer on the table, we can eliminate the tax payers? burden in 2014 and use the surplus to fund existing services.
Key Issue 2
Building consolidation: Because the citizens of Wheatland rejected the $2M building project, we should look at using some of that surplus to consolidate the township departments into one building. Wheatland has a $3M highway building that is about four years old that can house all the departments. If more space is needed, it would be wise to investigate the less costly option of an addition to what is already there.
Key Issue 3
Term limits/ pension reform Term limits is a major issue in all areas of government. The idea is to serve the people then go back to one's profession. All too often we see politicians overstay their welcome. Unfortunately, holding an office for too long breed complacency and in Illinois it breeds the unthinkable. It has been my long held position that the people set the limit on a politician with their vote. However, in this golden age of 24 hour news cycles, many voters are given so much opposing information it is hard to discern what is true and sometimes the familiar name is the easiest choice on election day though it may not be the best choice. To encourage fresh ideas and transparency in government Wheatland should look at imposing term limits. The intended consequence of this is that by limiting the term of part time township politicians, we eliminate the need for a pension thus saving the taxpayers even more! Our entire slate has chosen to opt out of the pension plan.
Name the three most important goals or objectives this board should tackle in the coming term. Prioritize them, and briefly discuss why you believe each to be critical, and how the board should go about addressing them.
The three most important objectives is to find a permanent home for our township departments, get a forensic audit done on our books so we know exactly where we stand financially, and increase transparency and accountability to the community.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
The role should be reduced which is why our slate is in favor of consolidating the services into one building. The responsibility of township government is not to duplicate what the municipalities are already providing but to work with those municipalities to cover those unincorporated areas that do not have those services. Since, there are fewer areas that fall under this category, the township government should reflect that.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
The primary responsibility is outlined in the statute which provides for assessor's services, road and drainage services and general assistance.
In these hard economic times, can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
I outlined where Wheatland could save the most money in the building plans and eliminating pensions for part time politicians. Outside of that, I can not provide a definitive answer without a forensic audit.
What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve as an elected official in the township?
The most important background I bring to the table is that of a taxpayer while it does not make me uniquely qualified it puts me just a little closer to the will of the people than a career politician. My professional experience for the last twenty years has been in accounting, pricing and financial analysis. That qualifies to create financial reports and understand what I?m reading when they are presented.