Candidate Profile: Mark P. Bagby

Mark Bagby
Mark Bagby

Name: Mark P. Bagby

Age: 39

Immediate Family members: Wife, Danyel Bagby, and two daughters and one son

Town: Belleville

Office seeking: Stookey Township Trustee

Occupation: Emergency Management Consultant

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association Board of Trustees 2013-2016

Why are you running? I am running because I am tired of seeing our roads and township assets crumble, our tax money squandered away and township officials not being transparent about the budget, expenditures and day to day business. I am hoping to make things more transparent, be fiscally responsible and include more public outreach were we listen to the taxpayers and treat them with respect.

What is your view on township government and its role? Township government’s role is to represent the interest of the taxpayers/residents for our roads, sewers and facilities. Township officials need to be ethical, transparent and fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. They also need to be available to listen to concerns and viewpoints and be cordial when dealing with the public.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Township Trustee: Must be able to develop and maintain a balanced budget, be able to research legislation that may affect the township, must be a good listener, must be able to withhold ones temper, be ethical and have the citizens best interest in mind.

What is the most important issue facing Stookey Township? How would you approach it? I believe two of the biggest issues are transparency and increasing taxes without increasing services. The first, transparency, can be fixed by simply sharing information with the public via the township website and Facebook page. Currently, one has to submit a FOIA just to get a copy of the budget or an accounting report. Another item is that you should be able to reach your elected officials via phone or e-mail and they should respond in a timely manner. Secondly, the current administration continues to raise taxes by keeping them just under the minimum that requires a public hearing and/or a public vote. While this is a transparency issue, it also ties into fiscal responsibility. We need to do a deeper search into what we are spending money on & looking at what the return on investment is. Our infrastructure is crumbling because it is not being properly maintained. That means that it will cost more in the long run to replace it instead of properly maintaining it. In some cases, we are paying two or three times for the same services, i.e. we pay taxes for the Sheriff Department, then Stookey pays an extra $80,000 for an extra deputy and then if the Public Safety tax is passed then we’ll pay a third time for that service.

Why should people vote for you? I, along with Curtis Williams, Sal Elkott and Leticia Lopez, will help bring transparency, fiscal management and fair treatment of our residents to the table. Policies and procedures will be put into place to ensure that taxpayers are getting the best deal for expenditures by properly bidding them out. It is time for the residents of Stookey Township to stand up and remove the incumbents that are not listening to them and not making substantial improvements that would benefit the township and our schools.