Township Continues to Support Community At-Large

2013 Year In Review
Paddie Brennen, Township Supervisor
The Township has had a fresh influx of energy this year with two new trustees coming on board and myself transitioning from trustee to supervisor. Our leadership team has taken this opportunity to assess Township programs and spending to assure we are meeting our mission with greatest impact. Like most businesses, we constantly strive to improve our programming to meet the needs of the community while stretching our budget for maximal efficiency.
The first order of business in our review of programs was to determine the effectiveness of each program. After the eight-year tenure of my predecessor, almost all of the Township programs were found to be appropriately targeted towards the most critical needs in the community. It was decided that one program which had been successfully piloted last holiday season was ready for development into a broader assistance program. Hence the recent launch of Bridge the Gap. This much-publicized initiative allows residents in financial crisis to receive immediate emergency funding from the Township in order to fill necessary prescriptions. This program is a partnership with Conney’s Pharmacy and includes Walgreens and CVS participation, as well. Bridge the Gap meets a critical need that had been identified in the Township community, allowing individuals to access their medication while connecting them with resources to investigate long-term solutions for assistance.
Another area of review by the trustees was the evaluation of non-bid contracts which include the technology consultant, accountant and attorney. As a result of this, the Township attorney was replaced after a long and productive tenure. The Board of Trustees made a decision to select James P. Kelly to handle Township affairs for the present contract period. The contracts for technology consultant and accountant will be reviewed within this same fiscal year.
Budgetary efficiency was also the driving force behind our reconsideration of the labor-intensive administration of grant applications. Over the years, those processes have been updated to adapt to technological advances, however, user-friendliness remains the highest priority. Meetings have been held with social service agency partners to mainstream the grant application process wherever possible, and the duplication of forms has been eliminated in some cases.
Along those lines, partnerships with funded agencies and other business partners have been reinforced as they enable the work of the Township. We invite social service agencies to adapt their programs as shifts occur in the needs of our community. We continue to encourage resident involvement in many facets of Township business. We have also invited use of the Township Office for other service providers to allow improved access for residents. One example of this is that our offices are now available to our Congressional representatives so that residents have easier access to the services they provide. A representative from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s office has been holding regular office hours at the Township for several months, and we expect a representative from Senator Mark Kirk’s office will hold office hours at the Township at the beginning of 2014. In addition, medical ethicist Peggy McDonnell holds office hours to provide service to Township residents. Township funded social service agency New Foundation Center recently held an employment workshop at the Township for residents seeking assistance with job seeking strategies. All of these community partners help the Township to meet our mission of serving as a resource for people across a broad spectrum of need.
An important part of our self-reflection has been to focus not only on continually identifying need in the community and targeting our services to meet that need, but we also strive to clearly communicate with residents the details of the programs we run. We extend an invitation for participation every chance we get. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the community that there are a variety of ways to be a part of the work of the Township. Many of you have participated in this season’s giving programs, and we thank you for your limitless generosity. We have Advisory Committees on which residents may serve, and we are always recruiting volunteers. The work is fascinating, and I encourage interested individuals to contact the Township for more information to consider serving.

This past year of internal review has been a rewarding one for me personally and for the staff and trustees. We look forward to continuing to serve this wonderful community.  

739 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 P. (847) 446-8202 F. (847) 446-1743
© New Trier Twonship. All Rights Reserved.