Moraine Township Democrats were happy to support the successful election of the Democratic slate “Team Moraine” in the April 4th municipal elections. Overall, the slate received 75% of the total vote.
We congratulate and welcome the continued services of the following: Anne Flanigan Bassi, Township Supervisor: Gail Feiger Brown, Township Clerk: Cynthia Plouche, Assessor and Dwayne Douglas, Cindy Wolfson, Amy Zisook, Trustees. In addition, we welcome Pablo Alvarez, Trustee in his first term.
While the Presidential election was a grave disappointment, Moraine Township Democrats were quite successful in our local grassroots efforts to elect the majority of the Democrats that were on our ballot at the federal, state, county and local levels. We worked hard, and November’s election results show that Democratic candidates received overwhelming support from Moraine Township voters.
Although Hillary Clinton won Illinois with 56% of the vote to Trump’s 39% and the 10th Congressional District with 62% to 33%, Hillary absolutely crushed with 76.3% of Moraine Township votes to Trump’s 19.47%. Tammy Duckworth, our new U.S. Senator, received 60.49% of the Moraine Township vote to Mark Kirk’s 36.89%. Congressman Brad Schneider received 62.39% to Bob Dold’s 37.61%.
Susana Mendoza, our new State Comptroller, received 57.92% to Leslie Munger’s 38.29% in Moraine. Julie Morrison, re-elected State Senator, received 67.79%. State Representative Scott Drury, received 66.81%.
Erin Cartwright Weinstein, our new Lake County Circuit Court Clerk, received 66.07%. Lake County Recorder Mary Ellen Vanderventer received 70.9%. New Lake County Board Member Paul Frank received 69.97%. Mitchell Hoffman received 100% (unopposed) of the vote to become an elected Judge in the 19th Circuit Court. Circuit Court Judge Mark Levitt retained his position with 87.28%. Through your efforts, Moraine Township remains a Democratic stronghold.
The Moraine Township 2016 Property Tax Levy will be reduced by 5%, and compensation for Elected Officials will be cut by 28% for the 2017 – 2021 term, as decided by a Moraine Township Board of Trustees vote last week. In the last four years, Moraine Township has reduced its levy by over 9%.
The reductions are funded by the elimination of rent expense due to the October purchase of a permanent home for Township services, reduction in Elected Officials compensation, as well as reorganization of office staffing, according to Moraine Township Supervisor Anne Flanigan Bassi.
“Purchase of a permanent, centrally-located home with adequate parking was a significant tax-saving move which allows the Township to assess its budget needs without concern about rental increases,” commented Moraine Township Trustee Dwayne Douglas.
“The new space will remain in convenient downtown Highland Park for clients to access the popular Food Pantry and for Township staff and volunteers to adequately deliver other needed social services,” noted Trustee Amy Zisook.
Currently, less than $100 of a property tax bill on a $500,000 home funds Moraine Township services, which includes General and Emergency Assistance, Senior/Disabled transportation, Food Pantry, two Township cemeteries, the Township Assessor’s office, and other social services. In the last 12-month period, the Township provided over 16,000 resident services/responses.
The vote to set compensation for Elected Officials next term is in accordance with Illinois law. Elected Officials base salaries will be reduced by almost 20%, and total compensation including benefits by almost 30%.
- Township Supervisor: base salary reduced by 31% from $65,000 per year to $45,000, and elimination of eligibility for health insurance and IMRF pension;
- Township Clerk: base salary reduced by 33% from $18,000 to $12,000, no employee benefits;
- Township Trustees: base salary reduced by 50% from $3,000 per year to $1,500, no employee benefits;
- Township Assessor base salary frozen at $74,000 per year for the full-time position, and elimination of eligibility for IMRF pension.
Moraine Township Expands Door-to-Door Transportation Hours to Help Seniors with Errands.
Call 847-432-3000 to schedule a ride!
In an effort to help seniors continue to enrich and contribute to our community, Moraine Township offers daily hours for its paratransit vans to provide rides for non-medical appointments. The Township looks forward to helping seniors and disabled residents run errands, visit area businesses, grocery shop, schedule beauty shop appointments, and take care of other personal business within the Township.
Personal errands can be scheduled weekdays between 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.; other times may be scheduled subject to availability.
ABOUT Moraine Township Vans
- Operates weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Available to Moraine Township residents age 65 or older, or disabled
- Primarily for medical appointments up to 15-miles from Township borders
- Personal errands can be scheduled within the Township 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.weekdays; other times subject to availability
- Caregivers are required to accompany wheelchair riders (caregivers ride free)
- $4.00 per trip; $2.00 for income qualified residents
Moraine Township’s website is www.morainetownship.org.
Anne Flanigan Bassi
Moraine Township Supervisor
Highland Park, IL – The inspired crowd of 150 residents who packed the Highland Park Country Club on Tuesday, April 21st to learn about food insecurity in Highland Park and Highwood were energized to become part of the solution in ensuring no one goes hungry in their communities.
Keynote speaker Christopher G. Kennedy, founder of Top Box Foods Express and former chairman of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, shared his thoughts on collaborative ways to address hunger. Noted Kennedy, “Top Box Foods is successful because we listen to our partners’ requests for nutritious, healthy and affordable food.”
Co-sponsored by Moraine Township and the City of Highland Park, the event allowed an audience to learn from Kennedy’s vison and unique strategy to address hunger and nutrition. Top Box Foods Express is a non-profit business in Lake County that provides healthy food at affordable prices in areas with limited access to nutritional eating options.
With one out of every four elementary students in Highland Park and Highwood qualifying for the federal free/reduced lunch program at their school, along with the increased use of the Moraine Township Food Pantry, food insecurity is an unfortunate reality.
This face of hunger was illustrated through enlightening presentations by Tom Koulentes, Principal of Highland Park High School; Matt Erikson, Principal of Edgewood Middle School; John Cullen, Director of St. James Food Pantry; Laura Ramirez, Director of Latino and Youth Services at Family Service; and Linda Contreras, from Moraine Township’s Food Pantry.
Noted Dr. Tom Koulentes, “Food insecurity touches all of the age and cultural demographics of our students and our community; no group is immune.”
The patchwork of community programs currently in place to address hunger was described by 15 speakers, including Moraine Township Food Pantry volunteers and key leaders from religious congregations and the business community.
On behalf of the more than 30 committed Food Pantry volunteers, Highland Park resident Debi Gordon commented that “I’ve worked with the amazing men and women who help in this tremendous effort and they’re not in it for glory or accolades, they just want to help their hungry neighbors.”
The meeting ended with a “Call to Action” when participants visited tables to talk with volunteers about how they could help fill in the gaps needed to alleviate food insecurity. Phil Kaplan from Congregation Solel in Highland Park commented that visiting the tables and talking with people working on a wide variety of programs was the best part of the evening.
John Cullen, Director of the St. James Food Pantry in Highwood, noted that “he looks forward to a day when the pantry doors are opened and no one is there because hunger has been eradicated.”
“Given the overwhelming response to Tuesday’s event,” commented Moraine Township Supervisor Anne Flanigan Bassi, “working together we can strive to make John’s dream a reality.”
If you weren’t able to attend the event and want to learn more, call Moraine Township 847-432-3240.
Moraine Township’s website is www.morainetownship.org.
On Sunday, March 8, Democratic supporters from Moraine Township gathered at Lucky Fish in Highwood to meet state and local elected officials and candidates for office. Moraine Township, one of 18 townships within the 10th Congressional District, includes parts of Highland Park, all of Highwood and Fort Sheridan, and parts of Deerfield and Lake Forest. As the more than 70 in attendance enjoyed fish tacos and crab quesadillas, they had the opportunity to mingle with fellow activists, elected officials, and candidates.
During the formal program, the importance of Democratic values in a changing society, and, indeed, as a catalyst for change, was emphasized by all speakers, who included Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, State Representative Scott Drury, College of Lake County Trustee Amanda Howland, and candidates for local school boards. As Barbara Altman, one of the Moraine Township Democrats’ vice chairs pointed out, many elected officials who achieve higher office begin their political careers in non-partisan, down-ballot races. It is important, she noted, that we support those who share our party’s values.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rodkin Rotering, who is running unopposed for reelection and has announced that she will be running for Congress in the 10th District in 2016, said that Highland Park has had a balanced budget for four years and that, responding to residents’ concerns, the city has installed new sidewalks in many parts of the community.
Dan Pierce, a former Highland Park mayor and currently a Democratic State Committeeman and President of the North Shore Water Reclamation District (formerly known as the North Shore Sanitary District), noted that Democrats are working toward solutions to global water shortages in our own back yard.
Education at all levels was a topic of concern. Highland Park’s K-8 schools are slated to undergo a major reorganization that will be on the 2016 ballot for voter approval, and Superintendent Michael Bregy briefly spoke about the issues. Amanda Howland, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the College of Lake County emphasized the importance of this two-year public college as a resource for so many in our community. Candidates for school boards throughout Moraine Township also addressed the group.
Perhaps the most significant warnings about the urgency of employing our Democratic values came from State Senator Julie Morrison and State Representative Scott Drury. Senator Morrison noted that changes were coming to the Illinois budget that were extremely worrisome and that she and Representative Drury would be working to make sure that Illinois maintains a morally equitable budget.
Representative Drury warned that in the 2014 elections we saw a demographic shift and a change in the electoral landscape that necessitates a greater unity among Democrats and persistent, powerful campaign tactics. He also emphasized the importance of reading the electorate based on the 2014 results and of candidates acting accordingly in this new environment.