Grafton Twp. candidates opine on fixing finances
The eight people running for trustee on the Grafton Township board have varying views on how to handle the township's shaky finances.
Last month, the township borrowed money from the road district to meet payroll and to pay other bills. The township board was scheduled to hold a special meeting last week to move other money around, but trustees decided to wait until Thursday, when their attorney can attend, Township Supervisor Linda Moore said.
Eight candidates are vying for four open trustee seats.
Republican Carol Williams and independent Dan Ziller Jr. say the township needs to complete its audits so officials know exactly where they are financially -- the last audit was done in 2011, according to Moore.
Republican Betty Zirk, the lone incumbent on the board seeking re-election, said borrowing money against the township's future property tax collections could be another way to go.
Newcomer Marcella "Marci" Gordon, an independent, says that while there's no easy fix to the problem, ending the various lawsuits between Moore and the trustees and other township offices would be a step in the right direction.
Republican Robert Wagner, Crystal Lake's former mayor, agrees the township needs to end the lawsuits and also needs to do a cash flow analysis with an auditor to see how much money the township actually has.
He also said the township should work with its creditors to set up payment plans so there will be money left over for the township to take care of business.
David Moore, Linda Moore's husband and a Republican, agrees with reducing the various legal fees in the township.
Independent candidate Tamara Lueth said the township needs to negotiate with its lenders and attorneys for lower rates and predicts there won't be as many lawsuits once the new board is seated.
Joseph Holtorf estimates that the township is between $300,000 and $400,000 in the red. Both he and Ziller say the current board could have done more to keep the finances in order.
"A lot of changes are going to have to take place rapidly," Holtorf said. "They all could have done more, but they all elected not to."