As we look to the November elections, and in no way should we take our eye off the ball, we also should realize that the local municipal, park district, school board, and fire district elections are coming up in April.
September 21st candidates were able to start circulating nominating petitions for the April 5, 2011 consolidated elections. Many local positions across the State will be up for election in April 2011, including Village Board, City Council, Fire District Board, Park District Board, and School Board.
Voter turnout in local elections historically is very low. This is very unfortunate because voters can make such a big difference in local elections. The local government impacts people far more than they often realize. For the most part, the local elected officials are very accessible as well.
As a Village Trustee in Bartlett, I represent a community of just over 41,000 residents. I try to attend as many local events as possible. My contact information is on facebook, and on my website. I try to return calls and emails in a very timely manner. I do not believe I am unique in this, I believe most local elected officials are or should be very accessible to their community as well as involved in their community.
Municipalities and other local governments set budgets to improve local infrastructure including roads, bridges, bike paths, sidewalk improvements, etc. School Boards typically take the majority of our property tax, and spend that money on teachers’ salaries, books, maintenance of the schools, upgrades to the schools technology, and of course on administration. The elected officials are expected to be good stewards of the tax payer’s dollars. If you don’t think they are doing a good job at it, get involved, run for office, or vote them out.
Local government is also a great way to have your voice heard on larger issues. One example is a resolution that the Board can pass and forward on to higher offices expressing the views of the community. We, in the Village of Bartlett, passed a resolution opposing some of Governor Quinn’s budget plans. Other cities across the country passed resolutions opposing the Immigration Law in Arizona, and many other cities passed resolutions supporting the Arizona law. If you want your voice heard on issues like this, getting involved in local elections would be a great way to do it.
If you don’t have your voice heard in local elections, you will be allowing someone else to make the decision for you as to who will run your municipality, your school board, your park district, etc. These local elected officials often will run for higher office, so if you allow someone to get into office that does not represent your views, you may very well see them as a Congressman or even as Governor.
In 1983 Chicago’s 10th ward Alderman, Ed Vrdolyak, hired Rod Blagojevich as his Clerk. Rod Blagojevich went on to become a Congressman, and eventually Governor of Illinois. In 2003, while Governor of Illinois, Rod increased spending, and deficits approving of more government spending without a means to pay for it. In 2009 Rod Blagojevich was impeached. He then went on the Celebrity Apprentice where he was fired by Donald Trump for his lack of leadership.
In 1992 residents of Wasilla, AK elected Sarah Palin to serve on their City Council. She then went on to serve as Wasilla’s Mayor. In 2006 Sarah Palin was elected as Alaska’s Governor where she cut budgets, and vetoed wasteful spending bills. She was the Republican nominee for Vice President in 2008 and now is an outspoken supporter of the Tea Party, good common sense and conservative values across the country.
The impact and domino effect of who is elected to local offices can be very significant. If you are not satisfied with the job your local elected officials are doing, stand up, run for office, or at a bare minimum vote them out. It is time to get more conservatives into office throughout the State of Illinois, and local elections are a great place to start.
About Frank Napolitano: Frank Napolitano is a Village Trustee in Bartlett, Illinois where he chairs the Public Works Committee. He is involved in several conservative groups including the Illinois Center Right Coalition where he serves on the Steering Committee, is involved in a new Tea Party Group, the Tri Count Teas, and the following facebook groups; Founder of DuPage Conservatives, Illinois Coordinator for Facebook Conservatives and Congressman of Illinois Conservatives. Frank is fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and constitutionally conservative and is a member of the NRA and ISRA. Frank is also a Repubican precinct committeeman in Wayne Township, where he serves on the Technology Committee.