It’s an election unlike anything the Township of Roscoe has seen in recent memory. Voters can expect to see 14 candidates on the ballot Tuesday, all running for various positions on the township board.
The candidates are split into two groups called “slates”. Each slate is made up of candidates with similar goals and ideals.
The following seven people are running on the Republican Slate:
- Steve Connell – Township Supervisor Candidate
- Patricia Zintak – Township Clerk Candidate
- Matthew Servant – Highway Commissioner Candidate
- Tom Hawes – Township Trustee Candidate
- Todd Piper – Township Trustee Candidate
- Thomas Jack – Township Trustee Candidate
- Jesse Garcia – Township Trustee Candidate
Many of them have been helping operate the township for decades. Township Supervisor candidate Steve Connell says his slate has a proven track record of success when it comes to township finances.
“We are a fiscal conservative group. We always have been,” he said. “We’ve been involved in the Township for many, many years.”
Connell says his group’s primary focus is on providing parks and recreational facilities to the residents of Roscoe Township.
“Our job is to provide excellent recreational facilities for the residents of Roscoe Township. We’ve been doing that since the failure of a park district referendum,” Connell explained. “So the Township filled a void with no additional tax expense to the residents of this Township.”
Connell and his slate are facing off against these eight Independent candidates:
- Jim Benkovich – Township Supervisor Candidate
- Rhonda Surratt – Township Clerk Candidate
- Steve Schreier – Township Highway Commissioner
- Kelly Cosgriff – Township Trustee Candidate
- Pat Henderson – Township Trustee Candidate
- Terri Michelsen – Township Trustee Candidate
- Dawn Cassady – Township Trustee Candidate
The group is running on what it calls a “Clean Slate”. It’s a play on words that Trustee candidate Pat Henderson says accurately depicts what his group is trying to accomplish.
“Our slate wants to be more open to the public,” he said. “The old board isn’t. You know, they don’t return calls.”
Henderson says Clean Slate’s main goal is to be as transparent as possible with residents, and give them more input on where the Township’s money is spent.
“I take pride in that,” Henderson said. “Being open and being honest, and serving the people that put me there. You know, that’s what I’m doing it for. My whole life is here, and I care about my community.”
In the middle of it all, there’s Independent Elizabeth Lindquist, who is running on her own. Lindquist has spent the last few months knocking on residents’ doors to find out what they want to see from their Township.
“I have found that the people of Roscoe Township really have some legitimate concerns that need to be addressed,” she said.
Lindquist says one of the concerns she heard most often is the same one Clean Slate members have: A lack of accessibility to the Township Board.
“When they want to have any input on the decisions that the Township makes, that is not encouraged. That is actively discouraged,” Lindquist said. “The way forward I think is to engage the public and empower voters by encouraging them to be involved, not just letting them be involved.”
On Tuesday, voters will choose between two people for the positions of supervisor, clerk, and highway commissioner. As for the township trustee races, voters can select four out of the ten candidates.
For a copy of the Winnebago County ballot, click here.