Name: John “Skip” Kernan
Immediate Family members: Wife, Kathy, children, Myra, Patrick, Joseph and Megan.
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Office Seeking: St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner
Occupation: Owner of Ango-Kernan Construction & Party Rentals
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Highway Commissioner from 2013 to present, Swansea Trustee from 2001 to 2011.
Why are you running? I am running for re-election so I can continue to stand up for what is right and bring the township, especially the roads back to their “glory-days.” When the new board of trustees is in place, I will restore and continue the services taxpayers had for 50 years before. I will continue to be proactive rather than reactive! I will continue “progress and promised.”
What is your view on Township Government and its role? Township government is here to stay. I am responsible to maintain 60 miles of road in the unincorporated areas of the township and what some people do not realize is Belleville, Shiloh and Swansea do not want to take us because of the $39 million in repairs that are needed today to repair the work on a $1.5 million a year budget. My role is to provide the taxpayers a timely service for the taxes they pay and that will be done with my re-election and a new board. It does not matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, when it comes to local elections, it is about who can get the job done for you.
If you were writing a job description of the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Must be available 24/365. Must have experience in construction. Must know how to manage and stay within your budget. Must know how to manage, train your employees and earn their respect. Must have terrific people listening and communication skills.
What is the most important issue facing St. Clair Township? Getting the township back to the way it was eight years ago. For the last eight years the taxpayers and employees have been treated like second class citizens and it is time to take the township back.
St. Clair Township has had its share of controversies lately including sewer rates and the number of employees in the highway department. What are your views on these issues? In order to be proactive and not reactive and to save the township hundreds of thousands of dollars, my department must have five employees. It is a shame that the past administration was able to just give away 3,200 sewer users costing the taxpayers higher rates and costing over half-a-million dollars a year in lost revenue. During the last eight years, the board has wasted $375,000 in attorney fees. Another in a long list of why they must go.
Why should people vote for you? The easiest question of all, a vote for me is a vote for five permanent full-time employees. I will work with the new supervisor in hiring a full time St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputy, in addition to what the county already does, without any additional expense to the tax payer. I will continue to advocate for lower sewer rates. As in the last four years, no tax increase.