- Position sought: Will County Board District 12 representative
- Party: Republican
- Website: margoforwillcounty.com
- Facebook: View page here.
- E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 708-227-2302
- Address: 20821 Briarwood Ln, Mokena IL 60448
- Age: 60
- Family: Married to husband Edward Ronkowski for almost 34 years. One daughter, Andrea, 29; and one son, Stephen, 27.
- Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Simmons College in Boston. Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.
- Occupation: Frankfort Township Clerk
- Related experience: Frankfort Township Trustee
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
I worked for 30 years in the law department of a multi-national corporation where I managed large teams of legal professionals and large budgets. I negotiated multi-million dollar contracts with foreign governments, international banks and other large corporations. This is directly relevant to the contracts the county lets for roads, bridges, buildings, and services.
I used to write and negotiate those contracts. I like to do that and I know how to make sure none of our taxpayer dollars are left on the table. I am not intimidated by any politicians, big businesses or other government entities that think they have the right to Will County taxpayer dollars they haven't earned.
or the 33 years I have lived in the Lincoln-Way area I have worked as a community volunteer for schools, scouts, church, music boosters. I was one of the founders of the Mokena Education Foundation and one of its first presidents. With my church I have worked gutting house in New Orleans and adopted a platoon.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
- Living within our means. There is no need for new taxes if we are willing to work together and make thoughtful, tough choices about the most important priorities for our county tax dollars. It is much more difficult to work and negotiate and think than it is to throw money at an issue to make it go away. I am not afraid of hard work or difficult decisions.
- Controlled growth in the interests of our residents with an emphasis on creation of good, full time jobs with a future.
- Proactively thinking about the future resources (buildings, roads, bridges) needed by our residents as Will County continues to grow. Prioritizing those projects.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I am the one candidate in this race who has not supported tax increases in the past. I will not support new taxes.
This will be my only job and I will bring to it all the energy and passion I have always had for my work, the passion and energy and creativity that made me a top exec at a top company in my first career. I can't wait to dig into the details of the challenges facing Will County and making a difference for those of us who live here.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Will County?
Since its founding in the 1800s, Will County has been about transportation, with our rivers and the I&M Canal. With I-80, I-55, 355, and soon the Illiana Expressway and all our railroads, we are still about transportation. We need to make sure businesses know about what we have to offer and how it would help them grow. We need to make sure our workforce has the training needed by 21st century employers. We need to bring businesses together in Will County to create synergies along the supply chain so each could grow as the other grows.
Do you believe Cook County is encroaching on Will, and how would you make sure there isn't a negative influence from the city?
Cook County is absolutely encroaching on Will County. The redistricting of the congressional representatives so Will County has to look to five to six congressman to find any support and no one congressman needs Will County for election are a clear attempt to render us powerless at the federal level.
The state house redistricting had the same impact on Will County and is another clear power grab by Cook County politicians. It is imperative that voters get to the polls to support candidates challenging the Cook County favorites. Will County residents elected to public office need to stand strong for our citizens and resist intimidation from the north wherever and whenever it shows up.
Should it be Will County or a special commission in charge of a proposed airport? Why, and how would that work?
All the stakeholders for any new airport need to be at the table in a public forum assuming there has to an airport at all. Right now we have a private entity-that has no authorization by any statutory authority-chaired by the chief of staff of an elected official and no open meetings by said entity.
Appropriate representatives to an airport authority are those appointed by actual stakeholders in any airport. Examples of actual stakeholders are: villages and townships in an airport footprint, Will County, potential airport users, the state and the FAA. Appointments by those not actual stakeholders-the type of appointments in place now are completely inappropriate and illustrative of the power grab at work here.
All candidates have lauded the current board for work balancing the budget; what more would you do to practice fiscal responsibility?
- Continue to educate myself on the processes by which money is collected and disbursed in Will County so I can look at all the expenditures with a knowledgeable eye. I have attended all the County Board meetings since August with this in mind.
- Watch out for wage and rank creep. Is it always appropriate to promote or provide raises just because the county could do so if it raised taxes? The answer is no, of course. Our families don't buy a new car or buy more for their children just because another year has passed if there is no more money in the pot than there was last year.
- Prioritize our needs. Sometimes we cannot do everything we want to do all at once. We have to put some things on hold while we invest in something with a higher priority.
Besides Renewing Will County, would you propose any projects related to sustainability in the county?
We have an awful lot of Renew Will projects out there. Making sure all our residents know about all our initiatives will bear fruit. Perhaps using homeowners' associations, senior citizen organizations, park districts, all the various Channel 6's in our county might be ways to spread the messages further into our county.
What ideas do you have for improving the county's infrastructure and transportation?
We need to push for all the federal and state tax dollars to which we are entitled. Our taxpayers are sending so much out, we need to make sure some portion of that at least comes back here.
Segregating the latest RTA tax imposed on us by Springfield into the Build Will program has been an excellent program resulting in new infrastructure projects all over the County. That should continue.
The new Illiana Expressway will remove trucks from other roads in Will County prolonging their life and getting that traffic further from residential areas. The county's participation in that process has been proactive in locating a useful corridor for the highway.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically?
In 2011 the County Board produced a technology plan for the future. The challenge now is to stay on plan, find money to implement the plan in its planned stages and to train our staff and our public in the new technology. It is critical not to let each department go off on its own with some technology that someone wants to sell it. We need to demonstrate the discipline to insist that the technologies are consistent, are not duplicative, and talk to each other easily.