Slates Battle for Worth Township Seats
Worth Township will see competition between two slates for seats.
In one of the few locally contested elections, two slates are running for Worth Township commissioner and trustee seats. The entire board is up for reelection in the April consolidated election.
Worth Township encompasses the communities of Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Hometown, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Alsip, Merrionette Park and sections of Blue Island, Robbins, Crestwood, Palos Heights and Bridgeview.
The United Party of Worth Township slate includes all current incumbents. Roger A. Benson was appointed to fill the remaining term of long-time clerk Thomas "Bud" Gavin, who passed away last July. Benson is running for his first four-year term.
Challenging the incumbents is the Worth Township Community First Party.
What does a township do, you ask? Townships were formed in the late 19th century as a way to link rural, unincorporated and far flung areas with the county seat. By law, Illinois townships today are charged with providing financial and/or social services to the poor, seniors and youth. The township also assists with property assessments and maintaining roads in unincorporated areas.
Townships have recently fallen under fire as archaic relics that collect taxes to fund their own existence. Further, a Better Goverment Association investigative report says most of the services and jobs that townships provide can easily by absorbed by the county or nearby communities.
Last year, Illinois State Senate leader John Cullerton introduced a bill that would abolish the township form of government, and presumably put more money back into taxpayers' pockets.
According to financial statements provided to the Illinois Comptroller's Office for fiscal year ending in 2010, Worth Township carried $10.409 million in assets, including $2.261 million in cash reserves. Breaking it down, the township reported $4.567 million in liabilities and total net assets of $5.841 million.
By compairson, of Cook's 30 townships, Thornton carried the largest cash reserve for the same fiscal year for $14.629 million. (Source: Better Government Association)
Supporters vehemently defend townships and the services they provide to constitutents.
Worth Township offers a food pantry, senior mini-bus, dental clinic, children's summer day camp, youth commission, general assistance fund, and help with property assessments and senior home exemptions.
The following candidates will appear on the April 9 ballot:
UNITED PARTY OF WORTH TOWNSHIP
John F. Murphy, Supervisor
Roger A. Benson, Clerk
John Z. Toscas, Assessor
Steve Loulousis, Highway Commissioner
Michael E. Mahoney, Trustee
John "Jack" Lind, Trustee
David J. Walsh, Trustee
Marianne Viverito Chmela, Trustee
WORTH TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY FIRST PARTY
Kevin M. Hughes, Supervisor
Katie Elwood, Clerk
John H. Dietrick, Assessor
Edward Michael Moody, Highway Commissioner
Richard J. Lewandowski, Trustee
Norm Anderson, Trustee
Eamon McMahon, Trustee
Patrick J. Hanlon, Trustee
Source: Worth Township
Palos Patch editor Nick Swedberg contributed to this report.
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