Jeffrey Derango got some advice from an old boss that got him interested in politics.
“He told me of successful people that they all listen, follow, read and understand the news,” Derango said.
Heeding that advice led to him being sworn in Thursday as Mike Crockett’s replacement on the Wheatland Township Board of Trustees.
Derango, 32, is married with a 15-month-old son and another baby on the way.
He was born in Bolingbrook, raised in Carol Stream and is an 11-year resident of Plainfield.
Derango earned an associate’s degree from the College of DuPage and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois in Carbondale.
He is also an accredited land surveyor, which is his current profession.
Derango kept his old boss’ advice in mind over the years, with one aspect of government certainly getting his attention — taxes.
He moved his young family to Plainfield to take advantage of lower taxes there, only to see them start to increase over the years.
Derango began coming to Wheatland Township Board meetings regularly during the pitched battle over a new $1.5 million township facility proposed by the previous administration, an idea that township electors rejected in a historic August 2011 Special Town Hall electors meeting.
The plan was scrapped and led to the new Board of Trustees consolidating operations into the Highway Department building next to the land where the proposed facility was to have been built.
That land is currently on the market and Derango fully supports the actions of Deb Holscher, Mike Crockett and Chuck Kern concerning the facility.
Kern is now township supervisor, and Holscher and Crockett were both trustees until Crockett’s resignation, effective at the end of Thursday’s meeting.
“I just didn’t want to see my taxes go up any higher,” Derango said.
With his experience in land surveying, Derango feels he has the technical skills to make a solid contribution to township government.
But he’s open to serving in other capacities besides road maintenance and the land issues that would normally be assigned to someone with his set of skills.
“I want to see what I can bring to the table,” Derango said.
Derango began his tenure immediately after the July 10 meeting adjourned, and is the second replacement trustee for Wheatland in recent weeks.
When Darren Bennefield resigned to accept a position on the Will County Board, former Chicago Police Officer Bruce Wronski was appointed to serve the rest of his term.
“It was a tough decision,” Kern said of the process which saw Derango edge out five other candidates he called “very good.”
But Derango’s work experience gave him an edge.
“He brought some things to us that were unique,” Kern said. “He’s an experienced land surveyor … that’s a big issue right now because of all the heavy rains.”Tags: Wheatland Township