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Mike Crockett leaving Wheatland Township Board

Wheatland Township Trustee Mike Crockett is resigning from the board.

In a June 20 letter to Township Supervisor Chuck Kern, Crockett tendered his resignation.

“I’m looking forward to rest and relaxation,” he said in a telephone interview.

Crockett became involved in township affairs in the battle over the previous administration’s plan to build a $1.5 million township building on the corner of Route 59 and 103rd Street in Naperville.

Along with fellow activist Deb Holscher, Crockett attended Wheatland Township Board meetings throughout 2010-11, when they led the citizen opposition to the proposed building Crockett was fond of describing as a “Taj Mahal.”

The end result was an August 2011 special town meeting where an overwhelming number of registered voters directed the township to scrap plans for the new building, sell the property at Route 59 and 103rd Street and use the proceeds toward renovating the existing township building at 31W239 91st St.

When Will County code violations made that plan untenable, the new administration, including Township Supervisor Chuck Kern and new trustees Crockett and Holscher, called on the residents once again to get permission to refurbish the Highway Department facility at 4232 Tower Court and consolidate all township operations into that building.

With the new facility killed off and the consolidation in the works, Crockett considers his work done.

Crockett said that he recommended his philosophy toward elected office to any citizen interested in working for the betterment of society.

“If everyone gave up a few years of their lives, we’d all be a lot better off,” he said.

Crockett said what has already been accomplished — stopping the new building, eliminating pensions for elected township officials, levying zero taxes for the fiscal year 2014 town fund and the consolidation of facilities — was exactly what he had set out to do.

“We spent a year cleaning up the mess,” he said.

Crockett also said that the township government now is as financially lean as it is likely to get, unless it folds into county government, which he sees as a strong possibility.

“At some point it’s going to happen,” he said.

But Crockett warned that Wheatland Township could wind up bloated and dysfunctional if citizens aren’t vigilant.

“If people don’t pay attention, it could well happen,” he said.

Kern praised Crockett’s service to the Wheatland Township Board.

“He gave us a lot of guidance, and guided us through a lot of issues,” he said.

Crockett will attend his last board meeting July 10, and five applications to replace him have already been received by the township.

To be considered, applicants must be a Wheatland resident for one year and, since Crockett ran as a Republican, must have the same party affiliation.

An announcement can be expected sometime in the next week or so about Crockett’s replacement.

“We have an open mind,” Kern said. “We’re looking at everyone’s qualifications.”

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