High School, CLCHS 1983
Other, General Studies, MCC 1985
Other, Economics, ISU 1988
Asphalt Estimator / Project Manager, Geske and Sons Inc.
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I am proud to be a 4th generation Nunda Township resident and 3rd generation contractor. Working for and later running my family’s business, Parrish Paving Inc., for over 26 years, I have successfully completed thousands of residential, commercial, and municipal paving projects in Nunda Township. My grandfather Casey and my parents, Bud and Rita, have established a legacy for the Parrish name which I am proud to continue. They provided me with values that place honesty, integrity, and strong moral character in the highest regard. They instilled in me a business ethic that is focused on quality customer service, outstanding craftsmanship, and fiscal responsibility. Since 2008, I have expanded my trade experiences by joining Geske and Sons Inc. and completing 35 municipal road programs. As an estimator/project manager, I am skilled in the completion of all the quantification, job costing, engineering, production, and reconciliation required to successfully complete a road program. As Highway Commissioner, I will advocate to find savings in the daily operations, create strategic road maintenance plans, and implement competitive bidding practices. My overarching focus will be lessening the tax burden on the Nunda residents.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
When elected, my first priority will be the removal of all existing nepotism hires in the road district. Being elected to a public position by taxpayers is not an invitation to start a “family business”. My second priority when elected will be to implement plans and proposals outlined in the “Top Ten Budget Proposal” list which is available on my website, robparrish2013.com. The list outlines specific cuts and increased revenues from the current budget, including cuts to legal services, engineering services, and new equipment purchases. A third priority when elected will be to implement changes as outlined in the “Top Ten Campaign Proposal” which can also be found at robparrish2013.com. The highest priority change to current policy would be to implement an annual road survey report for each township roadway. Each road would be graded on specific criteria and attain a final average score related to characteristics of deterioration. Each road’s score will be recorded for public inspection. The detailed inspection will allow for road specific maintenance and repair plans. The plan will show how and when, a road is selected for resurfacing. The goal of this program would be to maintain a two-year “look ahead” for budget needs and residents’ awareness.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
Yes. My interest in running for political office stems from the belief that the residents of Nunda have become as frustrated as I am with the continued economic pressures we must all deal with today. These frustrations include diminished personal incomes, increased costs on personal budgets, falling property values, and increased taxes. It is my belief, that the Road District should adopt measures to live with in its means. Just as we must tighten our belts, so should the Highway Commissioner. The history of continued annual tax increases that has been levied by the current highway commissioner on residents is a direct disconnect to the reality faced by Nunda citizens. As your Commissioner, I will be able to freeze the tax rate by implementing a fiscally responsible business model learned from 30 years in business. I will conserve taxpayer dollars by adopting need based budgets, eliminating wasteful spending, and implementing a more transparent process for competitive bidding. Using the power of the Internet, we will extend bid notices to a much broader range of vendors resulting in reduced costs. All equipment sales revenues will be maximized by utilizing successful online internet auctions for increased sales revenues of the surplus equipment
What one decision by the township board do you most disagree with and why?
What I disagree with most about the township board lies not with decisions made by the board but with the state statutes in place that provide the board little control or oversight in how the Road District budgeted monies are spent. The board is handcuffed by law that dictates they can only approve the warrants for final payments of already purchased goods or services. The ability to control the direction of any questionable spending is mute at the point of the board’s review. For example, I believe the board should have the ability to control the offensive strategies that exist as far as litigation initiated by the Highway Department against the Township for what appeared to be “in house” discrepancies. When the township officers take themselves to court, the cost of representing both sides of the proceedings can never be an advantageous prospect for the good of the taxpayers. I would like to see the elected trustees have more oversight in spending township monies and more control to mandate initiatives to resolve differences as the governing body of the township.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
Trustee Joni Smith and her family in cooperation with township officials offered an outstanding program for the donation and delivery of presents at Christmas for disadvantaged families in the boundaries of Nunda Township. They brought a tremendous amount of joy to the children and the parents in a challenging time. On a township level, I think one of the greatest services we offer is the promotion of ever increasing our limits of recycling materials that would have been bound for landfills. Reducing impacts on the environment due to open burning and landfills by repurposing a waste product into a desirable material is as “green” as it gets. I like free mulch. The benefit to the environment and the taxpayers far out weighs the cost of production.
Why should voters elect you to office?
Having over 30 years trade specific experiences in both the physical and fiscal aspects of asphalt maintenance and snow removal makes me the best candidate to be elected to the Nunda Township Highway Department, as Commissioner. I have a full understanding of the real costs required to run a successful road program. This experience and understanding will allow me to determine the areas of waste in current operations and find opportunities to increase efficiencies in work production. I will create strategic plans for road maintenance, snow removal, and capital expenditures that will benefit all the residents of Nunda Township. I will advocate for transparency, communication, and integrity in the office, with a special emphasis on restoring the unity among the leadership of Nunda. I believe the residents of Nunda deserve a candidate with my work ethic and attention to customer service. Residents will be able to readily access the annual road survey report in order to determine when their roads will be resurfaced or repaired. Once elected, residents can be assured respectful treatment in their interactions with all employees of the Highway Department including myself. As Commissioner I will provide quality customer service to all residents of the township.