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Naperville Township Highway Commissioner

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    Richard Novinger (Dem) Semi Retired

  • Stan Wojtasiak (Rep) Highway Commissioner

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Biographical Information

Tell us about your background and decision to seek this office? Please include what qualifies you for this position. What skills or experience do you have that prepares you for this position? Do you think road or transportation experience is necessary?

What is the role of the Township Highway Commissioner now that the Lisle Township Road District has been contracted to provide the services to Naperville Township? What do you foresee as the role of the Highway Commissioner if the referendum passes consolidating the two road districts?

How many people are employed in the Highway Department? How many miles of roads is the Township Highway Department responsible for?

What are your top three priorities? What do you hope to accomplish in your term?

What are the advantages of keeping road maintenance under Township management and not under another district such as county or city?

Campaign Phone (630) 240-0453
I am retired from a career in asset management. I spent 23 in the investment industry and was responsible for managing client portfolios totally approximately $200 million. In addition to that lengthy career, I have been a professional driver, ranging from school buses to limousines. Prior to my career in asset management I was with Jewel Foods for 7 years. I ran for this office in 2009 and had hoped to implement changes I considered necessary to reduce waste of taxpayer dollars, and still provide needed services to the residents in the unincorporated sections of the township. At that time the Highway Commissioner was paid an enormous salary relative to the scope of the miles under the jurisdiction of the township. In addition, he has been provided with a personal vehicle at the expense of taxpayers. I believed then as I believe now, that a great deal of the expense in running the highway department can be cut without any detriment to the services provided.
I see a positive benefit for the residents of Naperville Township under the inter-governmental agreement which has been negotiated between the two townships. My friend Steven Winz is running for the position of Highway Commissioner for Lisle Township. Together, I believe we will be able to improve services provided in both townships. He has an extensive background in the construction industry, and combined with my background in finances, I think we make a great combination of leadership for both townships. At this point, should the referendum be passed by the voters to combine the two districts, the role of the Naperville Commissioner is to act as a pass-through office for the tax revenue of our township to be paid to the Lisle Township Commissioner.
I don't know at this time how many employees are still left with township highway department, but Naperville Township highway department is responsible for 16 "lane miles," which is another way of saying a mere 8 miles of road remain in the unincorporated areas.
My first priority is to reduce overhead costs in the department as much as possible given our new relationship with Lisle Township thru the inter-governmental agreement recently signed. My second priority, if the referendum passes would be to fully consolidate our operations and look to maximize tax savings through the sale of assets no longer needed. My third priority would be to further explore other options such as reaching out to other neighboring townships, or the DuPage County Highway Dept. of Transportation.
There is the advantage of "local control." It is reassuring to residents of Naperville Township, both unincorporated and incorporated that they have a local official they can reach out to and get a timely response. The second advantage is ensuring that local tax revenue is dedicated to the maintenance of our local township roads. The Highway department has its own property tax line item which is specifically intended for that maintenance. I think an important issue to consider is keeping a local voice and provision of service, while at the same time not being closed to the idea of getting those services provided by other governmental agencies. I am suggesting that there are too many levels of government providing similar services that could be more effectively managed at much less expense. For too long taxpayers have been taken advantage of through the duplication of services and unbridled spending by elected officials. I believe the time has come to have more accountability by our elected officials, and certainly more transparency as to how tax dollars are spent.
I am the incumbent Commissioner and have held the position since 2003. I have management and budgeting skills from previous employment. I was Operations Manager for a soft drink company in Chicago for 33 years and I retired in 2002. I was a Township Trustee for 10 years before I became Highway Commissioner so I was very familiar with the Road District budget and operations.
The Highway Commissioner still maintains an office with a staff of two, and Administrative Assistant and a foreman. We still issue permits, reply to phone calls and the foreman coordinates with Lisle Township on snow and ice removal and work to be done by moving employees from Lisle to Naperville Townships as needed. The Naperville Commissioner still had budget and levy authority and pays all the bills incurred by the District including the bill for Lisle. If the referendum passes, one commissioner position will be eliminated in the next election cycle and all financial responsibilities will be transferred to the new district Commissioner.
Right now there are two and the Commissioner. We maintain 20.5 miles of road according to IDOT records.
1.To complete the consolidation satisfactorily to all parties involved. 2. To make sure the employees have positions with the new district. 3. To retire.
Townships pride themselves in giving the highest and most efficient level of services to their constituents at the lowest possible cost. All things being equal- trucks , equipment, fuel costs, costs to maintain equipment, methods of snow and ice removal, tree removal etc.- wages are not. County and City employees are union members. Townships are not. City and County wages are 42% higher than Townships' and have more stringent work rules. Townships can and do perform their duties more efficiently and for a much lower cost to the taxpayer.

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