Avon Focused is committed to responsible leadership and fiscal responsibility.
Avon Township doesn’t need to buy houses and finance real estate development inside village limits. Avon Township doesn’t need to invest in cars for officials to attend local meetings. Avon Township doesn’t need to build more facilities when we can’t afford to maintain the ones that we have.
This is the leadership and government that we have in place today.
Under the current Supervisor, Avon Township has spent tens of thousands of dollars on real estate and vehicles. He spent $7000 on an electric car and another $1500 for charging stations – then sold the car to himself. He spent over $20,000 on a suburban then sold it to an unknown buyer for $13,000. He spent almost $12,000 on a large van then donated it to the Avon Cares Food Pantry. None of this was done with the approval of the current town board and the taxpayers are on the hook for more than $20,000 in related expenses.
Despite objections from the public, the Supervisor spent more than $10,000 on a house under a “Community Redevelopment Plan”. He was asked repeatedly for plans and estimates related to the project but they were never provided. The Township never even went out for bid on the project – a required step for any project of that size. If not for a bank loan officer, the Supervisor would have succeeded in taking on $250,000 of debt for the township for a project that had no voter approval, no town board approval, did not follow the bidding requirements of the state, and with no plans for repayment.
Now he wants to spend taxpayer dollars to build a new ten-thousand square foot garage for his Avon Cares food pantry. He wants to spend taxpayer dollars on emergency generators for his Avon Cares food pantry. He wants to spend taxpayer dollars on a fleet of electric vehicles. He wants to spend taxpayer dollars to install solar panels on a roof that he identified as is in need of maintenance.
We have to admire the work he has done for his own Avon Cares food pantry – it has been a vital resource during these difficult times – but we can’t help but see a link between everything he has done and proposes to do for his own personal gain.
- He bought a vehicle for himself using taxpayer dollars
- He bought a vehicle for his food pantry using taxpayer dollars
- He bought a house for his food pantry using taxpayer dollars
- He tried to take on debt for that house and leave taxpayers footing the bill
- He wants to build a new garage for the food pantry using taxpayer dollars
- He wants to buy more cars – presumably for his running mates – using taxpayer dollars
After twelve years on the Lake County Board, most of that spent as a member of the Finance Committee, you would think that the Supervisor would know better.
Avon Focused is the only slate committed to stopping this wasteful spending.
We are committed to returning Avon Township to spending only on items that benefit the people.
Our Township doesn’t need more cars, houses and township buildings. We need to get back to providing the things that townships were created for: general assistance for the indigent, assessment of real property and the maintenance of roads.
Indigent doesn’t mean “poor”, it also means “needy” – and the township has lost it’s way. Townships are more than just food pantries, rent and utility assistance. We need to go beyond hand outs and empower our people for the long term. We need to provide funding to services that help undocumented members of our community to enable them. We need to provide funding to help the abused to empower them. We need to provide support for our youth to educate the future leaders in our community. We need a holistic approach that provides people a hand up, not just a hand out.
The assessment of our homes are not the cause of high taxes – that’s the taxing bodies themselves. The assessment simply determines what portion of the tax bill is assigned to each property, and Assessor Ditton does this for less than every other township in Lake County. Avon Township operates on just over $50 per $100,000 value of your home each year – about 1% of your entire tax bill.
Despite legislative changes that have disbanded the Highway Commissioner, the maintenance of roads, street lights, snow plowing, storm drainage and emergency public works assistance remains a core mission for us. We are resolved to keep the highway department in Avon Township and, with the community, develop a concrete long-term plan for providing these vital services to our community in the most cost-effective fashion possible.
We are committed to a balanced, responsible budget that does not spend beyond our means.
Avon Township itself receives about $800,000 each year in tax revenue. After accounting for salaries and basic operating costs, right now there is less than $100,000 available to actually put to use in our community. That doesn’t leave much room for new buildings and cars – not if we want to actually perform our mandated responsibilities and take care of the facilities we already have. This means difficult decisions on how our government operates and how we provide those services to the community. We are ready to take a hard look at our spending and find the most cost-efficient solutions to perform these services.
The Road district receives about $800,000 each year as well, and that money will fall under the control of the next township board. That money is dedicated to the public works of not just unincorporated areas, but also in partnership with the villages within Avon Township and Lake County. We need to ensure these funds stay allocated for the maintenance of our roads far into the future.
Develop long-term maintenance and improvement plans for facilities and roads.
Our township has seen repeated turnover of leadership over the past sixteen years and our facilities are starting to reflect a lack of a long-term plan to provide for that maintenance. We have been asking for a long-term plan that includes a capital reserve fund to avoid taking on debt for more than a year now and we still don’t have one. We need to do better, and our team has the proven experience in planning and budgeting to develop a comprehensive plan and put it into action.
There is no short term plan in place for the continued operation of the highway department – it hasn’t even been brought up in a meeting for serious discussion in the past year. Our team is the only one that is ready to work with the highway department and ensure these vital services continue to be provided for long into the future.