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Wheatland Township Supervisor

Vote for 1Wheatland Township is a six-by-six square mile area that was established in 1849. As it predates all other forms of government, it is located in Will County, IL and encompasses portions of The City of Naperville, Village of Plainfield, City of Aurora, Village of Bolingbrook and City of Romeoville.The primary purpose of Wheatland Township is to serve as the local representative government for the unincorporated areas of the above municipalities. Per state statute, this MUST include assessor services, road and drainage maintenance and general assistance services. Wheatland Township has two distinct divisions of government: the township and the road district.The Township Administration includes the Department of Assessor Services, the Wheatland Township Cemetery and the Wheatland Township Park. The Township Board includes an elected Supervisor and four (4) Trustees to govern township operations. Other elected officials include: Assessor, who oversees the Assessor Services, Clerk, who serves as the recorder and Will County liaisonTax Collector, who oversees Cemetery operations. The Cemetery, in accordance with State Law, has its own board that reports directly to the SupervisorThe Road District is governed by an elected Road Commissioner who coordinates all things relative to road and drainage projects. The township Supervisor serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Road District.More information: Wheatland Township

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  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Kohl
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Michael Crowner
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

Please describe the educational background, work experience, and other skills which uniquely qualify you for this position.

What do you consider to be the most important issues facing the Supervisor’s office right now and how would you propose to address them?

What opportunities would you propose to reduce costs in the Supervisor’s office while maintaining or improving needed services for the community?

What programs and policies would you propose, if any, to increase the transparency and accountability of the Supervisor’s office?

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the need for short term and long term services in the Township and how would you propose to address the impacts?

I graduated from Plainfield South high school, I attended Joliet Junior college and Bemidji State University. I have worked in the real estate, land development, hedge fund and construction world. I have managed assets totaling over 1 billion dollars. I have personally managed construction projects up to 2.7 million dollars. I currently own and operate my own business with multiple employees. I understand payroll, human resource and benefits for employees and the importance of cost management. I have started multiple companies that have been successful and started with very lean budgets. I know how to make a team successful and create a great working atmosphere. I will also be donating 100% of my salary to the Green Harvest Food Pantry in Plainfield.
The most important issue I see coming into office is being able to maintain our great services while keeping lower costs. With the recent pandemic it will extremely tough. Our assessor froze his current budget. I will address these issues by using our infrastructure that we already have in place and stream lining our systems to be as efficient as possible.
With current reserve we could reduce the tax levy and relieve the pandemic burden from the public and reduce our budget. Current Assessor also announced he froze his budget for the upcoming year. Currently, we are the lowest cost to taxpayers in the area - we have the lowest tax rate vs other townships and the lowest salaries. No pay raises in over a decade. We are the largest township in Will County. The assessor is freezing his budget this year as a response to the difficult economy.
Wheatland township has won the highest award for transparency the Sunshine Award. Everything is online including salaries and contracts. My job is to find out what else the residents would like to know and get them that information.
Currently we provide senior programs and Impacted seniors. We have subsidized car and bus service. We hope to help to fill gap for more people that need it. We provide a renowned transport program called Ride Dupage, in partnership with Naperville, Lisle Township and Naperville Township, which provides thousands of rides for seniors to get to vital appointments and to special needs kids so they can be employed.
After graduating from Plainfield Central High School, I attended Northwestern University where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Economics. I started my career in investment banking focused on public finance. Our team was responsible for helping municipalities, school districts, public utilities, airports, and several other public entities acquire the capital needed to pay for critical services, invest in infrastructure, build schools, and create jobs. My role then expanded to helping launch a real estate investment advisory practice. In this role, we worked with private investors, public entities, and non-profits as an advisor on real estate development opportunities that would revitalize communities and create a significant number of jobs. While working in this role, I earned a Certificate in Real Estate Finance & Development from the University of Southern California.

After leaving the firm, I attended the Kellogg School of Management where I earned my MBA in Finance. I was recognized for my leadership potential and dedication to community and was named a Fellow by both the Toigo Foundation and Management Leadership for Tomorrow ("MLT"). Since graduating, I have focused my efforts on using my strategic and financial skills to help families and small business owners. I have led strategic and operational functions for a team that in 2020 helped nearly 500 families with their home financing needs. I have worked with small business owners seeking grants, opportunities to expand their businesses, and to launch entirely new businesses.

Given the Township Supervisor's responsibility as the treasurer of township funds and for budgeting, my background in economics and public finance will be a great asset to the township ensuring the responsible management of taxpayer dollars. As someone experienced in real estate development, those learnings will help me to be an effective partner to the efforts of the office of the Highway Commissioner.
I will seek to collaborate with community organizations and other public bodies to expand service offerings at the township. When comparing the offerings of Wheatland Township to those of other townships, it is clear that we have much room for improvement. Youth services are one such example of programming offered in neighboring townships that is noticeably absent within ours.

Another area which I will seek to improve is working with the township clerk to improve accessibility of information, the promotion of the township's capabilities and offerings, and make certain that all residents have the ability to view township meetings whether it be via Facebook live and recordings posted on the township website. Improving accessibility to information allows residents to hold their elected officials accountable.

Transparency in operations is a critical issue facing the township. As described in my response to another question, it is very concerning to see that high paying contracts are being given to the political allies of the currently elected officials. I will work with the elected trustees to institute rules that gives our residents confidence in knowing that contractors are selected based on the merits of their bids, not on their political relationships.
It will be critically important that the township expand collaboration opportunities with other townships for cost sharing opportunities. Likewise, it is important that we look to the success of other townships in identifying efficiencies and cost savings.

I will seek to expand relationships with community focused organizations that can help us to address the needs of our township taking advantage of the resources and knowledge that those organizations may already possess.

I will task the township staff with researching additional grant opportunities so that we can make certain that the township is taking full advantage of the grant opportunities that are available to us to assist in our goals.
Transparency in operations is severely lacking at the township. While the current township elected officials likes to promote a previous award for transparency, the requirements for receiving that award were quite minimal.

The contracts that the township is engaged in are not accessible to the public. We do not know how or why the current contractors being paid from taxpayer funds are selected. It is very concerning to see that many of our highest paid contractors are the political allies of the current township elected officials. I will work with the trustees to bring about true transparency of our contracting policies and require public disclosure of all campaign contributions received from the contractors working with the township.

In addition, I will work alongside the trustees to establish a minimum threshold for which contracts must go through public bidding and make certain that the criteria used for selecting the winning bids are clear to the residents of the township.

It will be my goal to do everything in my power to make clear that the tax dollars spent are always used for the good of the township residents and not to line the pockets of anyone's political allies.
Many people have lost jobs or seen a reduction in wages as a result of the pandemic making it more difficult to feed their families, pay for utilities, etc. A key responsibility for township government is the management of general assistance and emergency funds that families may turn to in their time of need. While other townships make clear that these options are available to their local families, Wheatland Township has failed to provide any information whatsoever about grants or any other resources that may be available for those who are struggling through this pandemic. Wheatland Township must make clear to residents through its website, social media, and outreach into the community the ways in which the township can help struggling families and institute a transparent process for accessing these grants and programs.