We represent diverse, committed, qualified residents seeking to move York Township forward with fresh new ideas to better serve our community. We believe in improved transparency and accessibility to Township-provided resources. Our vision includes, but is not limited to:
- Transparency. We believe in the community’s right to easily access the Township budget, meetings and minutes, and other important decisions made on behalf of Township residents.
- Accessibility. Our community deserves a Township committed to utilizing all available resources and technology to inform and publicize the services available to residents, York Township serves a diverse population and we aspire to ensure that township services are readily available to all residents regardless of income, mobility, or native language.
- Collaboration. We are committed to working with surrounding Townships to increase efficiency and provide the highest level of service to our community members.
- Sustainability. To ensure our community is adequately prepared for the impacts of climate change, and to do our part to create a better community for future generations, we will create programs to encourage efficient energy use, water consumption, recycling, and composting.
- Stewardship. We owe it to our community to be responsible stewards of their tax money and will audit each Township program to ensure that it is as effective and efficient as possible.
We will lead by listening to our community and ensuring our decisions leave a Township even more beautiful than the one we are privileged to live in.
Who We Are
Melissa Sablack Gonzalez, Supervisor
Melissa and her family moved to Lombard in 2014 from the Cleveland suburbs and are thrilled to call the Lilac Village home. Melissa is known locally as an effective organizer and mentor, a skilled communicator, and a trusted healthcare advocate and resource to young families. She is the co-founder of Lombard Allies for Racial Justice (LARJ), an 800-member strong group devoted to racial justice here in our community, and also serves as a DuPage County Election Judge.
The Supervisor is charged with executing one of the basic functions of township governance — general assistance for the indigent. It makes sense that given the hard times being experienced by so many, York Township should take this mission seriously and make the most of this cost-effective and well-organized safety net.
Current leadership at York Township has been in place since 2005, and it’s hard to tell what they do. Information is not easy to come by and township programs are poorly promoted. Local leadership should reflect the values and concerns of all constituents. Melissa and her team will work consistently to manage our township effectively and in line with shared ideals of diversity and inclusion, careful stewardship of tax funds, collaboration, and sustainability. New and engaged leadership for our Township will better serve all of our residents.
Melissa believes firmly that democracy works best when elected officials reflect and understand the real concerns of hard-working citizens, many of whom are raising families in our community. As Township Supervisor, she brings her substantial intelligence and personal warmth, an understanding of business and the concerns of entrepreneurs, a deep belief in the values of transparent and effective government, personal honesty and thrift, a devotion to social justice and advocacy, and a strong belief in the ability of people to do great things when encouraged and supported.Contact Melissa
Martin Dunne, Highway Commissioner
Martin is the Democratic candidate for the York Township Highway Commissioner in the April 2021 municipal election. The Highway Commissioner in York Township has the responsibility and oversight of road maintenance, snow plowing, tree trimming, signage, and water culvert management.
The incumbent has been in the role for over 24 years. While also serving as the Highway Commissioner, the incumbent was operating a family business and serving on numerous boards. As the new Highway Commissioner, Martin will be dedicated and committed to the safety of the York Township residents and work full time in the role.
Under the current administration, the operations of the York Township Highway Commissioner are a mystery. There is a lack of information about how the funds of York Township Highway Commission are being used. When elected, Martin will ensure that the residents of York Township have access to the facts and figures behind the Highway Commissioner’s office.
York Township has a rich and proud history. Where neighboring townships have organized recycling extravaganzas and invested in sidewalk projects, York Township has been static regarding the duties of the Highway Commissioner. As the forward-thinking Highway Commissioner, Martin will work to ensure that York Township is the leading municipality in DuPage County.
Martin lives in Lombard and is lucky enough to be married to a third-generation Lombardian. Martin is an alum of College of DuPage and Benedictine University. His career has seen Martin work for international Fortune 500 companies in contracting, finance, and business operations. Martin is a current member of the adjunct faculty at Benedictine University and serves as the President of the Chicagoland Rugby Referee Society.Contact Martin
Andrela Hill, Clerk
Andrela has been a Lombard resident for 5 years and is excited to further serve her community as the York Township Clerk.
Advocacy for others has been a life-long passion for Andrela as she has spent many years volunteering for homeless food pantries, Meals on Wheels Holiday Benefit events, Feed Our Starving Children, and the Wings Program, a domestic violence organization that provides assistance with housing, integrated services, and education.
For the past 1.5 years, Andrela has been a full-time Marketing Pricing Analyst in a highly data-driven role. Prior to that, she spent 19 years in the advertising industry as a Media Buying Manager at an ad agency. Andrela acted as a liaison and was primarily responsible for negotiating pricing and sustaining the integrity and accuracy of contract terms on behalf of major retail clients. This role required her to have strong business acumen and impeccable organizational skills to maintain thousands of documents while utilizing strategic planning to attain client objectives.
While attending college, Andrela held a position as a Title Examiner at Chicago Title, where she was responsible for researching the history of residential property ensuring a clean title prior to approving a proposed sale. She was responsible for locating tax records, liens, judgments, mortgages and foreclosures, preceding the title’s existence and getting these documents recorded at the Dupage County Recorder office.
Building relationships, communication, analyzing data, negotiating, researching and problem-solving are a few of her strengths, therefore, Andrela is very equipped to take on these tasks for a higher and greater purpose in the role of the York Township Clerk.
Andrela is the mother of one of the best people she knows, which happens to be her 20 year-old daughter who’s currently attending the College of Dupage. Above all, Andrela really enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys outdoor music festivals, reading and watching the Food Channel!
Andrela is looking forward to being in good company with like-minded people and is prepared to stand up for what’s right and just. Social and Economic Equality is her mission.
Ilse Messner, Trustee
Ilse is a Chicagoland native and has lived in Lombard with her husband for the past nine years. She grew up in a low-income family with three siblings, watching her mom struggle working 2-3 jobs at a time to put food on the table, and still having to rely on the generosity of her church, local food bank, and other social services.
Ilse is dedicated to giving back to her community and currently serves as treasurer on the York Center Community neighborhood board and as a dedicated volunteer with Ladder Up’s Tax assistance program, offering free tax assistance and financial services for low-income families.
York Township is in need of a more disciplined budget and spending policies in order for much-needed community programs and services to be run efficiently and effectively. The lack of transparency and uncontrolled spending of the current York Township board needs to be addressed. Township budgets, spend information, Board Meeting agendas, and minutes are required by law to be publicly available and are currently not. With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Ilse is the perfect candidate to audit programs and budgets, and investigate the unmet needs of the community.
Transparency and effective communication are an important part of Ilse’s vision. York township’s communication could be vastly improved to better serve our community. The lack of timely updates to Township website, the need for a community-facing Facebook page that provides useful information, and the ability to work with local organizations to transmit information will all be addressed.
Katherine (Kathy) Nash, Trustee
Chicago native, Katherine (Kathy) Nash has proudly called Lombard home since 2009 when she moved to the Lilac Village with her husband and two sons.
There is tremendous opportunity for York Township to generate more value for residents through improved transparency, fiscal responsibility, and impactful services. Kathy is excited to use her data analysis skills as a Systems Engineer to review current Township services and expenses to ensure that the Township is providing the most value to the community. In addition, Kathy seeks to amplify the work of local non-profits so that residents have better access to existing care and services.
With her community organizing experience as co-founder and President of Prairie Food Co-op – a cooperative initiative to support local farmers and food producers – Kathy invites resident input and participation in all aspects of Township governance. In addition, Kathy believes the community deserves better access to Township business matters, including making meeting agendas, minutes, and the annual budget available online. Lastly, Kathy will focus on improving communication about Township services so that residents can take full advantage of tax-payer funded amenities. A well functioning Township will enhance the quality of life for our community.
Kathy enjoys spending time with her family hiking and biking the nearby Prairie Path, visiting the numerous parks in DuPage county, and traveling via a “home exchange” program.
Tomas Novickas, Trustee
Tomas grew up in Chicagoland and has made a home in the York Center area of DuPage County. As an active member of his community, Tomas currently serves as President of his neighborhood board.
With decades of stagnation for York Township officials, it is past time for a change. As Trustee, Tomas will work to ensure the Township represents the interests and diversity of all of York Township. York spends a disproportionate amount of money on overhead costs instead of aid to families in need all while citizens are kept in the dark due to a lack of accessible, transparent information on budgets, meetings, and Township activities.
Ensuring information about Township services is readily available—such as Food Pantry, Senior Services, and Township budgets— is a core mission for Tomas. He believes that modernizing the way the Township communicates will help build a government that can be trusted and relied upon. Tomas will work to ensure the Township is engaged in sustainable and efficient practices, including reducing the amount of taxpayer dollars spent buying gasoline for Township vehicles and reducing utilities for Township properties.
Working with an exceptional slate of Candidates, Tomas sees a unique opportunity to make impactful progress towards ensuring that York Township residents are getting the services they pay for. Tomas believes that a Township by and for the residents is achieved through inclusive leadership representing the values of the community.
In his spare time, you can find Tomas gardening and enjoying the natural areas of DuPage County with his family. In his professional life, Tomas builds, maintains, and optimizes a large communication distribution network. Tomas will bring this same data and efficiency-driven approach to his role as Township Trustee.
Elizabeth (Beth) Peluse, Trustee
Elizabeth (Beth) was born and raised in DuPage County, growing up in Downers Grove and happily living in Lombard with her husband for the last nine years.
York Township is currently woefully behind the times in how people communicate and receive information. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Grand Valley State University and a professional career in Marketing, Beth will bring a fresh perspective to York Township’s communications allowing greater transparency and accessibility into important tax-funded community programs.
Looking beyond communications, Beth will also focus on increasing accessibility of crucial financial and social programs for low-income families that are currently being ignored while still being a trustworthy steward of the township’s budget. Additionally, Beth has a goal of turning York into a prime example of sustainability in local government by planting native plant pollinator gardens surrounding the township building – cutting lawn maintenance costs and improving rainwater absorption.
Beth is excited to be running with an exceptional slate of fellow York for Progress candidates who share the same values of transparency, accessibility, sustainability, and stewardship for our community.
In her spare time, Beth enjoys traveling with her husband, reading, gardening, running and biking on the Prairie Path, and tending to her hives as an amateur beekeeper.
What is a Township?
Townships are one of the oldest forms of government in North America that continues to exist today. By law, Illinois townships are charged with three basic functions:
1) General assistance for their citizens which can include access to food pantries, emergency financial relief, senior citizen services, etc.
2) The assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation
3) Maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state, and other local jurisdiction