Meet William "Ed" Hoke
Long-Time Resident and Advocate for Positive Change
My name is Ed Hoke, technically it is William Edward Hoke but I’ve gone by Ed since college. I was raised on a farm near Robinson, Illinois. I hold a BS from SIUC in Agricultural Economics and a Masters of Theology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. I recently retired after 40 years in the ministry as a United Methodist pastor. During that time I managed Little Grassy United Methodist Camp for 12 years. While there I grew LGUMC to triple it’s attendance from 1991 to 1998 and managed a $300,000 annual budget. At the peak I supervised 5 permanent employees and as many as 25 seasonal workers and counselors. Presently I am still working at LGUMC but only as the maintenance guy, 20-29 hours/week.
I am married to Pat Hoke, an attorney in Carbondale, for 46 years. We have two sons and four grandchildren. Pat and I have lived in or around Carbondale and the southern Illinois area since 1987.Our home and property are in Makanda Township on Zion Road. I love this part of Illinois and am happy to be retired here.
I have spent most of my career helping people. I have always been a mission minded minister leading hundreds of youth to the Appalachia mountain area to do home repair, have been instrumental in developing disaster recovery efforts in Southern Illinois and have been to Africa 7 times with Marion Medical Mission. I believe in the collective efforts of people to govern themselves. I believe in open and honest government and in open communication with people. Makanda Township taxpayers deserve responsive, responsible and skilled leaders to perform the jobs they are elected for.
As your highway commissioner my overriding goal will be to have a very open and transparent office in which Makanda Township residents will be able to easily contact and communicate with me and have input into how their highway tax dollars are being spent. This will be accomplished in several ways:
1. Become responsive to the taxpayers of Makanda Township. I plan to conduct open public meetings (post Covid restrictions) at which residents can voice their concerns and needs pertaining to the roads of the township and how best to spend both the taxpayer levy dollars and the Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) dollars that are available for Township highway repair and maintenance.
2. I will be developing a priority list of what I see as the road needs and to develop a budget and a timeline for those priorities and to make that list public on the Makanda Township website. We will have to tackle these needs in an orderly fashion as we do not have unlimited funds. As I have driven these roads I see some that need immediate attention in regards to oil and chipping, signage, and painting middle lines on the more traveled roads.
3. I plan to attend as many Makanda Township board meetings as is possible and to be accountable to the board with up-to-date information as to how the road budget is spent and to share and seek advice on the development and maintenance of a Priority Needs List concerning the roads of Makanda Township.
4. I have also had concerns over the years of the lack of roadside mowing in the summer. I have plans to improve that. I have spoken with neighboring township highway commissioners and there may be ways to cooperate and work together to save money. 5) I will develop a list of local contractors as comprehensive and inclusive as is possible that would have an interest in conducting road repair and maintenance. I will engage in and seek active open bidding from these local contractors to insure that Township road repair and maintenance projects and tasks will be accomplished with equal opportunity for all interested contractors and at the lowest possible cost.
5. I will not engage the Township in unnecessary legal proceedings that divert precious highway tax dollars into unproductive actions. I will always seek to avoid any possible legal actions by having open dialog before issues develop to a level where litigation seems the only course of action. Overall our roads are not in terrible shape but I think we can all expect better.