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Wheatland Township Highway Commissioner

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 Trustees to govern township operations. Other elected officials include: Assessor, who oversees the Assessor Services, Clerk, who serves as the recorder and Will County liaison and Tax Collector, who oversees Cemetery operations. The Cemetery, in accordance with State Law, has its own board that reports directly to the Supervisor.The 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

    Bill Alstrom
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Thomas Wieser
    (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 Highway Commissioner’s office right now and how would you propose to address them?

What opportunities would you propose to reduce costs in the Highway Commissioner’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 Highway Commissioner’s office?

I have served as the Wheatland Township Highway Commissioner for seven years. Prior to this I owned and operated a restaurant for twenty years. From 1989-1999 I worked for the IDOC and served as one of the first Intelligence Officers in the department.

This wide variety of experience allows me to better communicate with residents on issues and projects. Over the years I've gained the trust of the Township residents and other community leaders. I have advocated for child safety by installing speed calming devices in numerous neighborhoods and adding stop signs. 1000's of residents have signed up for our service via Nixle that gives instant weather and safety notifications.

My best trait/skill is listening and giving the residents what they want for a better quality of life.
We are in the final few years of a massive construction project that has seen the Road District install over 11 miles of underground storm sewer to alleviate standing water in the subdivisions. Road District staff performs most of the work "in-house" which has saved the taxpayers close to a million dollars. Under my leadership we've gone from a maintenance unit to a construction unit rivaling the capabilities of any small to medium sized underground contractor.

I have added through intergovernmental agreements with nearby communities specialized pieces of equipment that many Townships do not have. These specialized machines have enabled us to keep the streets and storm sewers cleaner thus improving the environment. I purchased the equipment used at a fraction of their value saving taxpayers over $500,000.

In the past five years the Road District has lowered the use of sodium chloride ' road salt" by 35%. This has been achieved by the use of different products, technology and training. Lowering the use of chlorides while not sacrificing quality and safety is a learned process that takes years of experience.

The most important issue would be these programs I've put in place being not being finished. Everything I do is about resident satisfaction by improving property values and quality of life.
The Wheatland Township Road District currently has the lowest tax rate of any in Will County. Under my leadership the Road District's tax rate has decreased by 8% while the level of service has increased. Two years ago I decreased administration costs by eliminating a position in the office to dedicate this funding to operations.

Three years ago I led a committee that was able to provide weekly trash services to the unincorporated Township residents. This service has saved residents hundreds of dollars each year. I was able to negotiate a leaf and brush pickup for the residents at no additional charge which has reduced the burning of leaves and brush in the neighborhoods. Unlike most governments the Township does not receive a fee or surcharge for waste services as the savings is passed along to the resident.
The Wheatland Township Road District received the Sunshine Award with a score of 100% five years ago. The Sunshine Award is only given out to government bodies that show the highest level of transparency.

In 2019 I received the Mighty Message award from the Township Officials of Illinois for the best use of social media. I also send out a newsletter at least once a year to Township residents along with other informative mailings. There isn't another Road District or public works unit in Illinois that gives daily updates via social media and other online platforms at the rate that I do. In 2019 I received Highway Commissioner certification. I am the only Wheatland township resident with these credentials.

The Road District is an open book. All of our bills, invoices, and payroll data are available on our website for review.

Mechanical Engineer Michigan State University Professional Engineer MEM, Masters of Engineering Management, Northwestern University MBA, Masters of Business Administration, The Kellogg School of Management Alumnus Northwestern University's Transportation Institute

As an Engineer and Project Manager I've managed hundreds of projects that were on time and under budget. Some of those projects required input for City, State and Federal Authorities (The EPA). Most of those projects require me and my team to be creative. To seek out savings where others could not.

As an Executive I have been focused on innovation and sustainability, doing things better than how they were done before.

My background and work experience uniquely qualify me for the Highway Commissioner position.
Reduce spending and control roadway costs by competitively bidding road projects. Reduce operating expenses by doing a comprehensive energy audit of Township facilities. Implement sustainable roadway construction and maintenance practices that have proven to improve stormwater management that also improves water quality and reduces runoff volume and flow. Develop an integrated roadway construction plan with community and regional input that considers whole life costs and benefits. Regularly meet with City and Regional Planners to see where we can collaborate and share resources.
Make all bids and final project costs and benefits publicly available. Work with Will County Green (WillCountyGreen.com) on potentially using the Township facility a drop off site for electronic and hazardous waste recycling. Today the closest facility in the north part of Wheatland Township is the Bolingbrook Park District and it's only open 2 days a month. Benchmark nearby Townships on successful programs that they have run. Collaborate with local businesses on programs that help them grow their business and provide needed services for the community.
Make all bids and final project costs and benefits publicly available. Whenever possible get feedback from the community and business leaders. Work with Will County - WillCountyGreen.com - on potentially using the Township facility a drop off site for electronic and hazardous waste recycling. Today the closest facility in the north part of Wheatland Township is the Bolingbrook Park District and it's only open 2 days a month.