Ardyth Duhatschek-Krause: Candidate Profile
Downers Grove Township Supervisor
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.
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Facebook: Ardyth Duhatschek-Krause
Family: My parents are deceased. Dad was a welder at Argonne Nat Lab and Mom a homemaker. In Dec 2015,I lost my dear husband. Dr. Kenneth Krause was a popular professor at Jane Addams College of Social Work UIC. After retirement he taught and volunteered with underprivileged kids, seniors and vets. My daughter received an excellent education at Hinsdale South that prepared her to get a great job right after graduation. My brother lives in WI and my sister in Naperville. One of my nieces teaches Special Education at Hinsdale Central. We are a small but very close family.
Occupation: Retired Professor of Social Work
Education: Ph.D.-Jane Addams College of Social Work, UIC 1996
MSW--Jane Addams College of Social Work, UIC 1987
BA--University of IL at Chicago 1970
HS-Lyons Township H.S. La Grange 1966
Civic involvement: State of IL Special Ed Parent Rep, I982. Lived in Eau Claire, WI from 2003-2013. Elected to serve on EC County Board (2008-2013.) Also served on related committees including the Aging and Disability Center, Human Services, and Judiciary and Law. Chaired the Older Americans Act Sub-Committee and was Commissioner for EC Housing Authority. Examples of other service: Program Evaluation Team for the United Way, State of WI Nutritional Task Force, WI Mental Health/Substance Abuse Infrastructure Committee, Homelessness Partnership Network. After we moved back here I was my husband's caretaker. This is my first attempt to return to public service.
Elected offices held: Downers Grove Township Precinct Committeeman--2016 to present
Eau Claire County Board in WI--April 2008 until I moved back to Darien in October of 2013.
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.
Priority One: A New Process For Budgeting
Why? 1.) Budgets should be rooted in current needs. Demographic, geographic, cultural and economic circumstances do change. We need to change our appropriations accordingly. 2.) We should only fund those services that can show evidence of effectiveness and relevance to prioritized community needs.
How? 1.) Learn from our township organizations, medical/social service providers, businesses and citizens how well we are meeting needs. 2.) Ask departments to produce prioritized Evidence Based Budget Requests.
Priority Two: Consolidate Services to Decrease Costs and Increase Effectiveness
Why? No need to double spend for highways and we can do better in providing transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities.
How? Form partnerships with municipalities, other townships and the county.
Priority Three: Support our township businesses as we provide a better place to live for our citizens.
Why? A win-win situation.
How? This requires examples. Here is one: DG Township restaurants can increase their business by agreeing to become congregate meal sites. This will provide reasonably priced meals and more socialization for seniors. Both participating restaurants and surrounding businesses could benefit. This is already funded under the Older Americans Act, so there would be no new revenues required.
What should be the primary responsibility of township government?
According to the Township Officials of IL website, the primary responsibilities are to provide "1) general assistance for the indigent; 2) the assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation and 3) maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state, and other local jurisdiction." This site also states that the township can choose to provide other services for the youth, seniors, and people with disabilities, to parks and recreational facilities, health services and cemetery care. https://www.toi.org/About-Us/History/
Putting this altogether, I would say that:
The primary responsibility of township government is to provide quality and cost effective services that safeguard and enhance the well-being of its people and its resources in an accurately targeted and transparently fair manner.
In the 21st Century, with municipalities gobbling up vacant land, why are townships needed? Should they be serving a new role? If so, what?
Since I have served in office in a state that does not utilize a township system, it is possible for me to visualize how townships could be eliminated. However, without actually seeing evidence of the effectiveness of this system, and without learning from the experiences of a wide and diverse section of our citizenry, I do not think I have enough information to develop a well-informed opinion as to whether or not a township is needed here. I can envision a new role, however. A township has a unique and valuable perspective. It is closer to the core of our people than the county, and yet since it serves multiple municipalities and unincorporated areas, it has a more comprehensive view than do the towns and cities within its jurisdiction. Hence, a township is well equipped to identify and to gauge specific needs. This information can be used to negotiate with and to inform other levels of government and the private sector in order to develop better targeted services for our township.
Are there any township offices that should be eliminated or consolidated?
I think that many if not all roles could be eventually eliminated. Other parts of IL and whole other states do not use the township system at all. For example, Wisconsin does not have a township system. Every single service that our township now provides is provided by the counties in Wisconsin.
Consolidating and eventually eliminating the Highway Department would save a huge amount of money. It services only 70 miles in the unincorporated areas of our township. The 2016-2017 budget includes $750,000 in salaries and $823,100 in contractual services. Why are we paying for both salaries and contractual services? In total, this year's highway department budget was $3,228,835. In other words, we are spending $46,126 per mile this year! Surely we could lower this via consolidation. Part of these savings would be that taxpayers would not have to pay for duplicate highway equipment ($250,000 this year according to budget)or a HW Commissioner salary of $93,215 (with annual 3% increases to come.)
SOCIAL SERVICES: TRANSPORTATION
Downers Grove Township transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities is a very limited service in the times offered (8AM-4PM weekdays) and in the area that folks are allowed to travel (only within the township.) Other townships provide much more comprehensive services. We need to consolidate so we can expand our own services so riders can get to work, family events, access more of our local businesses, attend social and educational programming, and worship where they choose.
Can you identify some township expenses/programs that could be trimmed or eliminated to reduce the tax burden?
1.I was unable to determine if pension benefits are provided for township officials. If so, this should be eliminated.
2.We are spending a lot of money for both specified and unspecified contractual and professional services. I would like to examine what services we are using and also if the contractual services need to be an annual allotted contractual amount or if instead we could contract for such services on an as needed basis.
3. It is difficult to determine what portions of the budget we need to trim since the whole thing is very vague. For example, our last two years of budgets include a total spending of $290,000 for "Twp & Cemetery Maintenance" and "Cemetery Improvements." While major restorations have been accomplished, I am still left to wonder exactly how we spent this large amount of money for our cemeteries in two years. In addition, while much effort has gone into soliciting cemetery donations, I do not see these contributions in the revenue portion of the budget.
4.The amount of money that is distributed in General Assistance is only $5,200. Money for in kind services such as medical care, food, etc. totals $56,100, with a grand total of $61,300. Our administrative costs are $82,200. It would seem that we could cut some of these costs to better provide for our most needy of citizens. Also, there is no information as to how the DHS Grant of $144,000 is being spent.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
There has been much research into our up and coming seniors"”the Baby Boomers. The first Baby Boomer hit the age of 65 in 2011. Since then and until 2029, we have been and will continue to be adding 10,000 more seniors to our nation's older American population every single day! This age cohort is not only huge, but also, according to numerous studies, extremely different than past generations of seniors. For example, Baby Boomers are much more healthy food conscious than are earlier seniors, yet they also have a much higher rate of obesity. Baby Boomers are less likely to have family supports, more likely to work longer and more likely to want to stay in good physical shape than earlier generations. I believe that our township can work with the DuPage Senior Citizens Council to modernize programming in order to meet the emerging needs of our township seniors. Based upon my experience on senior related county and state boards and commissions, I have numerous ideas on how to improve the health, economic, and the social well-being of this group. I want to form mutually beneficial partnerships with township businesses and other organizations in order to accomplish my ultimate goal-- which is to make Downers Grove Township a Senior Friendly Community.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Oprah Winfrey. Role model of humble roots to success, champion for the marginalized, and an inspiration for those who wish to follow the Golden Rule.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
There is no such word as can't.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Instead of waiting until the age of fifty- nine, I would have endeavored to live my passion of public service much earlier in my life.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
English. It has helped me to better communicate both orally and by the written word in all of my jobs and as a writer.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
The world cannot truly know you. And so it is only YOU who can determine and strive toward your OWN personally designed variant of success.