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Spend any amount of time with Patrick Sellers and it becomes very clear, very quickly that the candidate for Township Supervisor has one thing on his mind: REFORM The Independent candidate is running against incumbent Freeport Township Supervisor Sheila Hooper in a Tuesday, April 9th Consolidated Municipal election. The election will determine whether long-sought after reform and change will occur in the office over the next four years.
How Patrick Sellers’ plan to improve transparency will help regain the public’s trust in Township government.
In addition, Sellers would like the financial records of the Township to be available to the public. He also says the Township must begin to produce a monthly expenditure report. Currently, the township provides no such records to the public.
A LOOK AT THE BOOKS
To ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely and ethically, Sellers is calling for a full and complete audit of all the Township’s financial records. “There seems to be a lot of questions regarding the paying of employees and other activities involving Hooper’s family members,” says Sellers. “I think a full audit of the township’s records might help us find some of the answers to these questions, but more importantly an extensive audit will help us tighten up our practices.”
“TRUST IS EVERYTHING”
Sellers says he believes that the key to moving the Freeport Township government forward is regaining the trust of Freeport taxpayers. “Trust is everything,” says Sellers, a family resource coordinator with Freeport School District #145. “For any local government to be effective it has to have the trust of those that pay the bills—the taxpayers. We owe it to our taxpayers and to our community to provide them with the best township government we can. That starts with trust.” Sellers this week proposed a series of reforms that he says will create a new level of transparency within the beleaguered township government. The township office has been beset with a series of ethics issues over the past two years— including pay advances for staff and Hooper herself, nepotism, and violations of the Open Meetings Act.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Sellers also advocates for strict adherence to the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). During a recent investigation of the Township’s payroll advance scandal many criticized Hooper’s slow, and at times unwilling, response to produce pertinent documents upon request from the public. According to those investigating the pay advance scandal, it took more than 12 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to Hooper to obtain information regarding employees’ salaries. Even more troubling was the fact that several FOIA requests were unable to be fulTOWNSHIP PAYGATE filled. Some documents had been deIn 2011 it was discovered that Hooper stroyed by the township office in violahad given herself an additional $2,300 in tion of the public records act. salary for the year and illegally voted to Patrick Sellers increase her own salary for 2013. It was “There is a reason why we have good also discovered that Hooper had been government laws like the Open Meetings pay in advance of working the required giving herself pay advances all the way Act and the Freedom of Information hours. Act,” contends Sellers. “It’s so the pubback to 2007. Hooper’s activities led to the sponsor- lic has a way to keep its government and The township pay advance scandal, ship of Senate Bill 3324 by State Senator its elected officials accountable.” unfortunately, did not stop at just HoopTim Bivins and State Representative Jim er. Several township employees also Continued on Page 2 Sacia. This bill will prohibit township received pay advances on request. One employee received a full three months of officials from receiving pay advances.
2 March 22, 2013
Reform-minded candidates tell us why they are running for Township Trustee
I truly care about my community. I care about those we serve through the township services. I believe the most important issue is transparency. I will work to restore credibility and financial accountability. I am not a rubber stamp. I will put thought and research into an issue before voting, always considering how to best serve the constituents. I am not afraid to speak up when something is awry. As Township Trustee I will oversee the financial well-being of our Township Government. I will be dedicated to ensuring Freeport Township is accountable, fiscally responsible, professional and respectful to their clients. I believe the taxpayers of Freeport Township deserve someone that has their best interest at heart.
Continued from page 1 Sellers says that the Township government must also be open to public oversight. He says, if elected, he would like to have a Township website built so that people can have electronic access to meeting notices, minutes, reports, and other Township news. Sellers believes that all Township meetings should be open to the public and that notices for upcoming meetings of the local government should be posted in a proper and timely fashion. “Keeping the public out or discouraging them from participating in government is never a good idea,” says Sellers. “I believe the more participation in government the better. How you do that is make your meetings, your documents, your finances, and your operations available for inspection by the people and taxpayers that have hired you.” Finally, Sellers says he would like to create a community board that would serve as an additional “eyes and ears” to the business conducted by the Freeport Township. This board, he says, would be made up of community members who have a heart for good government and for helping people who are in need. Sellers believes that an advisory board like this may have stopped the township government from spending $124,723 more than it needed to. The township recently purchased a new office building for $376,723 when the building was only appraised at $252,000. The township has since sunk an additional $116,139 in remodeling and furnishings. “Regaining the trust in our Freeport Township will be my number one priority if given the honor to serve as its Supervisor,” pledges Sellers. “I can’t think of anything more important.”
Kathleen M. Altensey
I am dedicated about making positive steps to reform Freeport Township. I will ensure that the taxpayer dollars are spent on those in need within our community. I want to regain the trust and make honest, open minded decisions to assist our clients and lead them in a direction that would help them obtain a better life.
(not related to Patrick A Sellers)
Joy Harrell Sellers
I care about the welfare of our community and feel that an important issue that needs to be addressed is fiscal responsibility. I will explore other available programs and opportunities so that Freeport Township is not solely dependent on tax payer dollars. I am committed to working hard keeping in mind the best interest of the Township and its taxpayers and their dollars.
On Tuesday, April 9th VOTE 4 REFORM!
Barb Burns FOR TOWNSHIP CLERK
RESPECTED DEDICATED TRUSTED
On Tuesday, April 9th VOTE 4 BARB BURNS!
Elect Patrick A Sellers for Freeport Township Supervisor
March 22, 2013
TAKE ME WITH YOU TO THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY, TUESDAY, APRIL 9th
BALLOT STYLE 97
FREEPORT TOWNSHIP FOR TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR (VOTE FOR ONE) SHEILA HOOPER
INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:
To vote, complete the oval to the LEFT of your choice, like this To cast a write-in vote, complete the oval to the LEFT of the blank space provided and write the candidate’s name in that space. For specific information, refer to the card of instruction posted in the voting booth. If you tear, soil, deface or erroneously mark this ballot, return it to the Election Judge and obtain another. Vote both sides of the ballot if applicable. VICI R. OTTE, COUNTY CLERK STEPHENSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS
CITY OF FREEPORT POLLING PLACES
PRECINCT 1 ST PAUL MISSIONARY BAPIST CHURCH PRECINCT 2 MT CALVARY CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST PRECINCT 3 ST PAUL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH PRECINCT 4 MARY HOSMER APARTMENTS PRECINCT 5 STEPHENSON COUNTY FARM BUREAU PRECINCT 6 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH PRECINCT 7 MT CALVARY CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST PRECINCT 8 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH PRECINCT 9 PARKVIEW HOME PRECINCT 10 ST JOHN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST PRECINCT 11 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH PRECINCT 12 BREWSTER HIGH RISE PRECINCT 13 ST JOHN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST PRECINCT 14 COMMUNITY REFORMED CHURCH PRECINCT 15 COMMUNITY REFORMED CHURCH PRECINCT 16 PARK HILLS GOLF COURSE CLUB HOUSE PRECINCT 17 ST JOHN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST PRECINCT 18 PARK HILLS GOLF COURSE CLUB HOUSE
PATRICK A SELLERS
FREEPORT TOWNSHIP FOR TOWNSHIP CLERK (VOTE FOR ONE) MARY JO CLAPPER
CITY OF FREEPORT FOR MAYOR (VOTE FOR ONE) JAMES “JIM”GITZ
FREEPORT TOWNSHIP FOR TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR (VOTE FOR ONE) CYNTHIA PETTA WORSTER
JON CARLOTON SABEN
INDEPENDENT WRITE IN
FREEPORT TOWNSHIP FOR TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES (Vote for not more than four) MICKEY MARTIN
CITY OF FREEPORT FOR CITY CLERK (VOTE FOR ONE) MARTHA E. “MEG” ZURAVEL
JOY HARRELL SELLERS
NICOLETTE “NICKEE” BENDER
CITY OF FREEPORT FOR CITY TREASURER (VOTE FOR ONE) LINDA L. BUSS
TAKE ME WITH YOU TO THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY, TUESDAY, APRIL 9th