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GOP Group Hopes to Win Support at Wheatland Township Caucus

Candidates say they are an alternative to 'disrespectful,' 'chaotic' status quo on the board.

A group of Republicans is hoping to get the support of voters at the Dec. 4 Wheatland Township GOP caucus.

Vowing change, a slate led by current clerk Chuck Kern is hoping voters will back them at the event, scheduled for 6:15 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plainfield.

After four years as clerk, Kern hopes to fill the role of township supervisor, a position currently filled by Todd Morse.

Kern said the slate is running together and in support of each other.

“I think certainly the primary message we’re going to put taxpayers first,” he said. “We wanted to be able to go to the voters with a unified message.”

Deputy clerk Bill Alstrom is also part of the group’s slate, seeking to move into the clerk’s spot.

“This group came together as a result of dozens of people at the special township meetings in 2011 asking for an honest and responsible alternative to the current elected officials at Wheatland Township,” Alstrom said in a press release issued by the group.

“A lot of people are involved in this because of the building issue,” Alstrom said, referring to voters’ efforts to put a stop to plans to build a $1.5 million township facility at 103rd Street and Route 59.

At a town meeting in August 2011, electors came together to overrule officials, voting down plans to build a new facility and instead ordering the township to sell the land.

Read —

Stirring the building controversy further was a proposal introduced last spring to look into the feasibility of putting a park on the property rather than selling it.

In August, anonymous reports of code violations prompted Morse to request another public meeting to revisit the issue of a new building, resulting in a stalemate.

Read — Stalemate: Tie Vote Means No Town Meeting for Wheatland

“Right now, it’s just chaotic,” Kern said. “The philosophical differences are so broad [the current board] can’t get anything done.”

Deb Holscher and Mike Crockett, who served on a committee to study the space needs of the township, are hoping to seek election to trustee spots as part of the group’s slate, along with fellow Wheatland residents Raquel Mitchell and Ben Peterson.

“We directed the government to listen to the people,” said Holscher, who spearheaded efforts to put a stop to the building project.

Meanwhile, David Monaghan has thrown his hat into the ring for township assessor, Ben Peterson is vying for the tax collector’s seat and Scott Bishop hopes to run for highway commissioner.

The candidates say they hope to unseat current supervisor Morse and what they referred to as “his faction” in their press release, accusing Morse of continuing to “sock away tax money to funnel cash to the defeated township building.”

“There has been a distinct lack of accessibility and respect for township residents’ concerns over the past term,” Monaghan said.  “Transparency has become a real issue.”

Highway Commissioner Candidate Scott Bishop said residents have been treated with disrespect.

“As highway commissioner, I will better serve the taxpayers by bringing back respect and responsible government to Wheatland Township,” he said.

“We need transparency so people know where their tax dollars are going and why. We need to re-evaluate how much the township takes and how those tax dollars are spent so it makes sense,” trustee candidate Mitchell said.

Township residents who voted a Republican ballot in the March 2012 primary are eligible to attend the Dec. 4 caucus.

Alstrom said he anticipates a turnout of 300 to 500 voters.

Current trustee Joe Hudetz, who does not plan to seek re-election, said he helped put the slate of new candidates together and expects to be challenged at the Dec. 4 caucus.

"The old guard is very upset with us and if they don't get on the slate, they plan on abandoning the GOP and running as independents," Hudetz said via email.

King: Group members are ‘extremists’

Reached Wednesday afternoon on his cell phone, Morse said he was busy with work, but pledged to return Patch’s call. As of late Wednesday, he had not done so.

Meanwhile, trustees Frank King and Doug Haddad both said they had no plans to seek re-election in 2013.

While Haddad had no comment on the group of Republicans’ bid to drum up support at the Dec. 4 caucus, King said he wanted no part of the effort.

“There’s a group of extremists that have taken over our local party and I do not want to be part of that group,” he said.

Remaining trustee Karl Karantonis did not return a message left Wednesday by Plainfield Patch.

Conservative November 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Extremist Mr. King? No extreme is spending $2,000,000 of our tax dollars on something we don’t need in an economic crisis. Extreme is doing this in the dark of night against the will of the people, extreme is your views on local politics. Extreme is expecting compensation and pensions on the backs of the tax payers for a job you meet once a month and should be paid nothing but gratitude for helping the community. These individuals running at the caucus are the silent majority with jobs, family, and businesses they shouldn’t need to worry about what oppressive government is doing behind closed doors. Wheatland deserves better. King is a Proud Democrat running this Township AGAINST the Will of the People. He and his party of weak minded flimsy republicans will be ousted Tuesday. These are “republicans” with the same crybaby attitudes that can’t admit their party is spineless and shows no juxtaposition to the democrats. I've sat quietly in meetings and watched these so called Republicans try and spend 2 million of our tax dollars on an unnecessary building. What is this Crook County? I don’t think so on December 4th 2012 we the people take back our township and reduce property taxes to all citizens. You’re Fired Mr. King, it’s time to throw your failed leadership and the rest of the bums out… Vote for respectable, responsible, and most importantly transparent government. This vote is important to your personal wealth. See you at the caucus!
Conservative November 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
@ Shannon, Thank you for this article. It is well written and informative to the voters of Wheatland Township. Have a wonderful day :)
Jerry November 29, 2012 at 03:38 PM
The fact that King and Haddad aren't running tells the whole story. They know their message is contrary to the beliefs of the voters. I've seen Morse in action at a special meeting in 2011. He was disrespectful and embarrassing as an elected official.
Plainfield Mike November 29, 2012 at 04:10 PM
"The old guard is very upset with us and if they don't get on the slate, they plan on abandoning the GOP and running as independents," Hudetz said via email. Sounds like the old guard is full of sour grapes. Nice to see fresh faces step up to run.
Conservative November 29, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Amen Jerry, saw exactly what you've seen at the meetings as well. Recently as the 15th of November.
Conservative November 29, 2012 at 05:23 PM
No, sounds like the Old Guard is full of RINO's or Democrats posing as Republicans. Apparently an extreme view is to not want government hacks throwing away your hard earned tax dollars.
Mike Crockett November 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM
“There’s a group of extremists that have taken over our local party and I do not want to be part of that group,” [King] said. What Morse, King, and Haddad object to are citizens who expect them to be responsible in the positions they hold. For years, they have been collecting more in taxes than is necessary to run the general fund of the Township. That has culminated in $1.77 million in excess funds they wanted to use to build their unnecessary $2 million town hall. Even after the electors told them no.last fall they levied over $1 million to run the township administrative function (general assistance and assessor) with expenses of under $800,000, resulting in a surplus of $277,000. Everyone in the township paid for that excess. If objecting to the continuing process of collecting taxes that are not needed is extreme, call me guilty as charged.
Mike Crockett November 29, 2012 at 05:36 PM
If you would like a copy of last years audited financials in pdf form, email me at macrockett@comcast.net
Jimmy J November 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Glad to see reform in Wheatland Township. We need someone to step forward and lead the reform charge in DuPage Township. DuPage Township is nothing but a group of tax wasters. They funnel our tax dollars to various non profits like H2O, run by Pat and Lindsey Claar and CSC (Roger Claar's favorite non profits) and to the Cricket League and other idiotic wasteful organizations and duplicative services like youth activities. They should never vote for a tax increase under the current economic conditions. Bill Mayer and his group of Roger Claar cronies need to be replaced..but not by democrats who just want their piece of the pie.
Conservative November 29, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I was thinking the same thing, Color me Extreme for wanted limited government spending of my property tax dollars... Well said

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