Candidate profile: Helen Hawkins

Helen Hawkins
Helen Hawkins

Name: Helen M. Hawkins

Age: 87

Immediate family members: Dr. Mark Hawkins (son), Debra Oehler (daughter)

Town: Nameoki Township

Office seeking: Township clerk

Occupation: Madison County Board member district #16

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Town trustee (eight years), precinct committeeman (43 years), county board member (15 years)

Why are you running? I am running so that I can continue the work I have been involved in for the past 50 years. Serving Nameoki Township as their trustee prepared me for my position as clerk.

What is your view on township government? It is closest to the people, lower takes and you don’t need to go through someone in order to speak.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? Don’t take a pension for so few hours work. I did not for the county or Nameoki Township. Be honest and don’t steal from the taxpayers, as so many do. The job description of clerk is to be available to the electors when they need to get registered to vote, need copies of documents, in most cases without a Freedom of Information Act form, attend all meetings (never missed) to take the minutes, be available to answer telephone calls concerning problems after work hours and on weekends. My motto is, “The Citizens Come First.”

What is the most important issue facing Nameoki Township? How would you approach it? I believe working together with other town officials is the key to accomplishing programs that township government offers. Programs such as our Health Clinic, where our residents can get flu shots, etc., our Senior Citizens Center and our well-kept parks that our young and old residents enjoy are just a few things that I am proud to say I’ve been a part of its happening. The most important issue facing Nameoki Township is big cities using forced annexations or back-door referendums to take us into their city, like it or not.

Why should people vote for you? Because I am an honest, good Christian from the Greatest Generation. I have many years of experience, skills and knowledge of Nameoki Township that make me qualified for the job. There is no substitute in life for knowledge/experience that I have for this and surrounding areas. The special skills/qualifications that I have brought to the clerk’s office are completely computerized, up-to-date office and record keeping. Also, I have created greater transparency by our website that meets the requirements of the Illinois Policy’s Institute’s Transparency Checklist for government websites. Residents can easily find agendas, minutes, etc.