Vernon hopeful envisions township without debt
Robert Kelly has a plan for Vernon Township most places could only dream of.
“I see us being a debt-free community,” Kelly told the Lake County Gazette. “Fiscal responsibility is definitely our number one goal, and we plan to take forensics of every single budget to see if there are others areas where we can save even more.”
Kelly is running for township supervisor as a member of the Township Citizens Party. His opponent is Daniel Didech.
Kelly’s experience might make him capable of pulling off the kind of modern-day miracle he’s set his sights on. He’s spent the last four years as a Vernon Township trustee and has a lifetime of budgeting and fiscal experience as a career banker and industry regulator.
“I have a good sense of what we can do,” he said. “Everything about our party starts with respecting the taxpayer.”
His approach to leadership has earned him the respect and endorsement of longtime supervisor William Peterson, who is stepping down after 44 years of public service, the last 40 as township supervisor. The now 80-year-old Peterson wants to do more traveling, but not before extending a hand to Kelly.
“He’s endorsing our full slate of candidates,” Kelly said. “He’s counseling each and every one of us and has personally let me know he’s only a phone call away if I ever want to reach out to him.”
Kelly’s also wants to modernize the township’s social media presence.
“We’d like to be able to reach out to and connect with more town people,” he said. “We’d like even more people to know we’re here and what we stand for.”
And for all his talk about fiscal responsibility, Kelly prides himself on his compassion.
“We have to have social services programs that make sure we’re taking care of every one of those in need,” Kelly said.
He added that he hopes to build on the food pantry and other programs for the poor that Peterson has long spearheaded. He’s also hoping to convince more voters of his dedication during the party’s “Day of Action” walk on April 2.
Married with two now-adult sons, Kelly is already somewhat famous across the township by virtue of his years of coaching Little League baseball and serving as a Boy Scouts and Lions Club leader.
“I hope it can all shine through the people of Vernon Township,” he said. “I hope they can see that I’m a sincere and hard-working person who would put the needs and interest of this community above everything else.”