Keith Banks and Gary Gaspard are running for Township Supervisor. The RoundTable prepared a questionnaire for both candidates on 1) justifying Township government in the light of a move to abolish it and 2) expanding Township services.
Responses from Keith Banks
Abolishing the Township: Mr. Banks says the Township should be preserved because of its General Assistance program. The Township “serves people who are in dire need of help. This is the primary function of the Township. … It’s an opportunity to help individuals restore their lives by giving them emergency assistance, assistance with medical needs, cash to help pay bills, and job training to help them get back on their feet.”
Expanding Township Services: Because of its critical function in helping some of the most vulnerable residents of Evanston Township (which is coterminous with the City of Evanston), Mr. Banks says he would not wish to expand the Township’s services. “Evanston is already rich in providing social services to the community,” he says. “If the Township began to expand, we would duplicate those services. … The focus should be on effectively managing the Township more efficiently.”
Finances and Tax Levy: On the question of reserves, Mr. Banks says, “Reserves are good. Having a fund balance is a strength – you always want to maintain an adequate fund balance. I would work to increase the fund balance so that if more people come in requiring services, there is a way to pay for them.”
Visibility, transparency and education would be the focus of Mr. Banks’s tenure, if he were elected Township Supervisor. Education is necessary, he says, for people “to understand what the Township is, why it is important and what it provides. General Assistance is the key component of the Township. … It is not about trying to enable people and keep them in the system so they can’t get back on their feet. … Community is all about walking together and making sure nobody lacks.”