Candidate Profile: Sal Elkott

Sal Elkott
Sal Elkott

Name: Sal Elkott

Age: 56

Town: Belleville

Immediate family members: Karen Elkott (wife), Ikibad the cat, and Maribell the cat.

Office seeking: Highway Commissioner, Stookey Township

Occupation: Civil engineer, licensed as a professional engineer in Illinois, and Missouri

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None.

Why are you running? The highway department is in dire need for basic competencies in planning, budgeting, management, technical knowhow on how to maintain and repair roads, solve drainage problems, and listen to residents about their concerns. Proper maintenance of roads requires few thousand dollars per mile, but if this maintenance is not done, then a mile of road would require one million dollars per mile for total replacement. Unless money starts growing on trees this become a serious problem for property values, quality of life, and future prosperity. A change in leadership is imperative to avoid further exacerbation of problems. Broken windows if left unrepaired can take down a neighborhood; roads and infrastructure if left to deteriorate will take down the town.

What is your view on township government and its role? Township government has generally been one of the least encumbered democratic forms of government in terms of ordinary residents ability to participate and affect how their affairs are managed and how the township is governed. Unfortunately the township form of government is under increasing pressure for merging into larger bodies. More specifically as it relates to Stookey Township, there has been a gradual decrease in the level of transparency, service, and responsiveness. Stookey Township government should have been proactive in addressing that. Residents- myself included- also bear some responsibility for enabling the situation by not being adequately active in the governance of the affairs of the township, which in turn allowed for the situation to be exploited. We must become more active.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Develop a dynamic plan for maintenance of roads and for resolving drainage problems, work with department personnel to increase the level of service, professionalism, and responsiveness to residents in an effective manner, seek regular input of residents about their concerns, incorporate sound practices for maintaining department’s equipment and resources, have preparedness plans for dealing with weather emergencies from snow events to storms that will knock down trees and cause flooding.

Why should people vote for you? I am asking residents to vote for me because of my qualifications, and proven abilities as demonstrated over 30 years as a practicing engineer, who has worked on local, national, and international projects, and who has been involved in the establishment of several businesses.