Blackberry Township Supervisor
Two candidates will challenge for the seat of Blackberry Township supervisor on April 9
Fred Dornback, by his own account, hasn’t been active in partisan politics, but has donated to state representatives and Kane County Board members. He believes that local government races should be non-partisan, which is one of the reasons why he announced his candidacy for Blackberry Township supervisor prior to the Republican caucus.
Dornback, 73, holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from Illinois State University, and has over 60 additional advance degree credits in psychology and administration. He has been a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois since 1975. And as an administrator in both public and private schools, he feels he’s successfully managed both budgets and people.
Dornback and his wife, Mary, are active in assisting neighbors and friends with medical needs, snow clearance, meals, general handyman work, etc. Fred is also a founding member and current board member of LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, and has volunteered at Hessed House in Aurora for many years.
Fred served as a volunteer for the first three years of his appointment as superintendent/sexton of Blackberry Township Cemetery. He now receives a stipend to serve as sexton, but the majority of time he spends sorting cemetery records and updating the database is still on a volunteer basis.
Fred defines the role of supervisor as the chief executive office of the township—someone who chairs the board of trustees.
“The supervisor also administers the general assistance program, and is the treasurer of all town funds,” he said. “I intend to be a good steward of township resources and be available to learn about township needs, and work to respond to those needs within the resources of the township,” he said.
Fred decided to run for township supervisor because he believes he offers the combination of professional training and experience that the township “needs and deserves.”
“My day-to-day participation in the township affairs allows me to have a unique perspective,” he said. “I observed the position of supervisor being influenced by partisan politics rather than listening to the wishes of the people. I think the supervisor should be available on a regular basis to encourage the public to share its views.”
Fred has attended every Blackberry Township meeting since 2007, and has been elected the township moderator at the annual township meeting for over 10 years.
If elected, Fred’s priorities as supervisor would include working with the board, highway commissioner and public to develop a long-term solution to deteriorating roads.
“I see the issue as the people’s roads and the people’s choice,” he said.
Fred also wants to create a series of education sessions at board and town meetings to learn the community’s priorities, and hopes to improve the efficiency of the supervisor’s office by depositing all checks on a daily basis and having regular hours, as well as hours by appointment, to encourage community participation.
“I plan to offer the public, at little or no cost to the township, a series of program options, particularly for seniors,” he said.
He plans to achieve his goals through a tried and true method.
“Listen, ask, discuss, propose, plan, implement and review,” he said.
Dennis C. Ryan
Dennis C. Ryan will challenge for the seat of Blackberry Township supervisor on the April 9 General Election ballot.
Ryan, 66, is currently the chairman of Western Kane County Republicans. He has served as Republican committeeman of Blackberry Pct. 3, and secretary for the Western Kane County Republican Organization.
Ryan’s community involvement includes service as president, vice president and board member of the Elburn Town and Country Library. He’s also assisted with Elburn Ambulance Service and served as a volunteer firefighter for Kaneville.
Ryan said he wants the seat of township supervisor in order to be of further service to his community.
“I have experience from operating two small businesses (to) various jobs in the working world and community service,” he said. “My life has been one of practical experience and problem solving in many situations.”
If elected, Ryan’s top priorities as township supervisor would include continuing the policies that “have kept Blackberry Township government within its budget, as those before me have done.”
Ryan would also seek additional funding from outside sources to maintain and repair township roads, as he said the township only has funds to repave a mile of road per year and remain within its budget. He will also look into the possible future expansion of Blackberry Cemetery, as more space will be needed as the population of Blackberry Township grows.
Ryan plans to achieve his goals via investigation of alternative solutions to get the jobs done without adding to the property tax burden of Blackberry Township residents.
“This includes cooperation with other governmental bodies whenever possible,” he said.
Ryan said his ideal ordinance would be one that requires all new subdivisions located in unincorporated areas of the township to have names after local geographic features, and “all new streets established within them to be named for families or persons with local historic significance, as Elburn is currently doing.”