Name: Alvin L. Parks, Jr.
Immediate Family members: Wife, Jo Anne, and daughters, Annalise and Nariah.
Town: East St. Louis
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Office seeking: Township Supervisor
Occupation: Account Manager/Sales Rep at ELB Enterprises. Former city manager of East St. Louis
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Democratic Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 24 in East St. Louis, 2002 - Present. Served as Mayor, 2007 – 2015. Served as City Councilman, 1997 – 2001.
Why are you running? A. To restore HONEST GOOD GOVERNMENT to a system that has shown recently major flaws in legality and financial matters.
B. To ensure that our seniors, our disadvantaged and our youth have an opportunity to experience fulfilling lives.
C. To STAND for East St. Louis and its people, just as I have in my other roles, especially in the role of Mayor.
What is your view on township government and its role? A. It is here to help make sure that the community’s people have the very basics of life, at a minimum. It is also here to work collaboratively with the other governmental bodies to assist them in delivering their missions and so that those entities can help the township to deliver its mission.
B. It should be a lead coordinator of agencies and entities that deliver services to the community, especially to the seniors.
If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? A. The township supervisor is the leader of the community for delivering HELP to those in need, which at one time or another, is just about everyone.
B. The township supervisor is responsible to be the lead steward of the public’s trust and resources that come into the taxing body called the East St. Louis Township. Being the lead steward starts with ensuring that all finances are accounted for in a timely, proper, and honest way.
C. The township supervisor is the lead ambassador for the township in seeking funding and other resources, with the ultimate goal being to bring the community’s people up, with emphasis on the seniors and disadvantaged citizens.
D. The township supervisor must be one who can sit with other s within the township government and outside the township government and create programs that address the needs of the community. The requirements of this job include but are not limited to the following:
1. Ethical, moral leadership.
4. Strong ability to work with others, without hypocrisy.
5. Ability to set a budget and to comply with the budget.
6. Ability to expand budgets by bringing additional monies and resources to the government. This includes grant writing.
7. Knowledge of the community and its people.
8. Heart for the people.
9. Ability to lead and manage people.
10. Courage to do what it right, even when what it right is different from the norm.
11. Courage to think outside the box and come up with an idea that some may think is crazy.
12. Discipline to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well and consistently.
What is the most important issue facing East St. Louis Township? How would you approach it? Initially, we must re-establish that we shall handle ALL financial matters in a truthful way, and in a way that reflects rigid procedures. The first order of business is to conduct an audit that must be completed within 60 calendar days. The audit shall reveal what monies are in all accounts that have the township name on them, providing ending balances of the previous administration. We must then ensure that policies and procedures for cash management, for procurement, for handling accounts payable, for handling accounts receivable, for inventory management, and for capital asset management are in place and are updated where necessary.
Going past the immediate term, the most important issue is ensuring that all 27,006 of our people have the four S’s. They are:
A. Shelter. We must ensure that all have a healthy, safe place to call home. House rehab is one element that the township should embark upon, for providing safe housing for our people.
B. Sustenance. We must ensure that all have enough healthy food and nourishment to consume, and that they are able to do so when they should.
C. Self-esteem. We must make our people know that they are important, and loved. They have to know that they have a purpose, such as a J-O-B to go to.
D. Sustainability. We must help our people maintain and build upon their health condition. Of course, that starts with the physical health, but continues with mental, emotional, economic health. They also have to be able to get around; access to the right transportation is very important for our seniors and disabled alike.
The Township has to lead the way. However, one of the real keys to success is collaboration with others who have expertise and resources in areas to bring about what the community needs.
How would you ensure township funds are appropriately spent? A. By setting budgets that consider the needs and desires of the community, and sticking to the budgets.
B. By ensuring that all trustees, the clerk, the staff, and the citizens are aware of every expense.
C. By requiring that all staff members purchasing anything on behalf of the township request, in advance and in writing, the funds to make a purchase. They must bring a receipt that matches the request.
D. By requiring two signatures, those of the supervisor and the clerk on every check.
E. By eliminating all credit cards.
F. By requiring daily, two-party confirmations that the township has spent monies appropriately. These confirmations shall take place at 3 p.m. Any expenditures that need to take place after 3 p.m. will be confirmed with the next day’s confirmations.
G. By using common-sense purchasing practices, such as seeking at least three prices when purchasing goods and services, to arrive at the lowest responsible price.
H. By spending only when necessary and right to deliver desired results and not spending loosely.
Why should people vote for you? Because I have proven that I can lead and manage very effectively a much more complex public entity in serving as both mayor and city manager of the City of East St. Louis. Because I have led tremendous amounts of public service as a Mayor. One example of the public service is the city’s bringing in Remote Area Medical in 2014, a venture that resulted in the Community’s people receiving over $300,000 in FREE HEALTH CARE. Because I have proven to be a collaborator with other governmental bodies to deliver for the people. An example is getting the State of Illinois to make $8 million available for developing Goose Hill and the Port of East St. Louis, setting the community up for commerce and jobs for generations to come. Because I have proven to be a person who can go get resources for meeting the needs of people. An example of this is during the heat storm of 2007, we secured thousands of dollars worth of air conditioners and fans to protect our medically fragile citizens from perishing in the heat. Because I will be able to leverage the outstanding relationships that I have with St. Clair County Government’s officials to bring help to the city for law enforcement, for streets and other infrastructure, for assisting with economic development efforts. Because I STAND for the magnificent and blossoming City of East St. Louis and its people wherever I go. An example of STANDING is my leading the fight to save Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in 2007 and 2008. While we did not win the fight, the community and the State of Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board will never forget that East St. Louis fights for what is important. We have stood for our young people by raising over $200,000 for their benefit. People should vote for me because I am uniquely qualified by experience and education to straighten out the mess at the township and to see to our people having a better quality of life. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Washington University, providing the background for me to lead our efforts at the township.